Italy’s Supreme Court of Appeals has told a 32-year-old man that he is not eligible for financial assistance from his father in a case that made headlines in a country where millions depend on mom and dad’s bank.
The unemployed man, whose name has been withheld for data protection reasons, has lived with his mother in Sicily since he divorced his father a few years ago.
The mother wanted to continue receiving a monthly sum from her ex-husband to provide for her son and to uphold the right for the couple to live in the family home.
The judges initially ruled in their favor in 2018, but that was overturned on appeal in 2020 and upheld by the Court of Cassation, Italy’s highest court, in a ruling released this month.
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Citing the “principle of personal responsibility”, the court said a son should “not abuse the right to parental support beyond reasonable time and measure”.
Extended parental support can only be justified for offspring who are still in training or education, it said.
The Sicilian in question last took part in vocational training in 2012, it said.
Judges, who did not provide information on how much money the man had received from his father so far, said there were “no objective or subjective circumstances that could justify his inability to enter the labor market.”
Family-minded Italians have long been known to have difficulty leaving the parental nest, usually due to the difficulty of finding a job in a country with a stagnant economy that typically offers young people poorly paid and insecure jobs.
On average, Italians leave home by around 30 years of age, compared with an EU average of around 26. France and Germany are around 24 and Sweden only 17.5.