Judicial separation

It is the procedure that the spouses must resort to when they have not reached an agreement on the conditions of separation. Judicial separation is more complex than consensual separation, because a presidential hearing is set first and then a series of preliminary hearings.

The procedure must be started by one of the two spouses, always with the help of a lawyer.


Article 706 et seq. Code of Civil Procedure


One of the spouses, with the assistance of the lawyer, requests judicial separation from the President of the Court of the place of the last residence of the spouses.
Foreign citizens, of a country adhering to the European Union, residing in Italy, can obtain consensual or judicial separation in Italy even if the institution of separation is not provided for by the law of the country in which the marriage was celebrated for the provision of article 8 reg. EU 1259/10 in force from 21/06/2012, and pursuant to Article 31, second paragraph, l. 218/95.


The judicial separation ends with a sentence (unlike the consensual, see ut supra, with the homologous) Spouses can apply for
divorce one year after the first presidential separation hearing. From 2015, divorce can be requested in one year, in the case of
judicial separation, and in six months, in the case of consensual. The separation serves to ensure a temporary interruption of the
marriage and its civil effects, to allow the spouses to return together if they change their mind.

The documentation, exempt from stamp duty, to be presented is as follows:

  • Family status
  • Residence certificate, (historical certificate, if the spouses no longer have the same residence)
  • Marriage certificate to be requested in the municipality where the marriage was celebrated
  • Tax return for the last three years and ISTAT M252 form completed in sections 7-28