Father ordered to pay for upkeep of his 28-year-old son in Italy

Civil court in Modena rules man cannot his force his son to get a job while at university

Caroline Mortimer
Thursday 28 April 2016 19:00
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The case over the terms of the divorce was heard in a civil court in Modena
The case over the terms of the divorce was heard in a civil court in Modena

An Italian court has ordered a man to continue supporting his 28-year-old son through university after he tried to get the courts to force him to get a job.

The unnamed father went to a civil court in Modena, northern Italy, to challenge one of the conditions of his divorce settlement which ruled he must pay for his youngest son’s university education.

His son completed a degree in literature - taking several years longer than expected - and then began a post-graduate course in Bologna.

The man, who is a freelance writer, argued it was time his son got a part-time job and started contributing towards his upkeep, according to the Daily Telegraph.

He told the court his son did not “deserve” any further support because he had made no effort to find work himself.

But the court ruled the post-graduate course was in keeping with the son’s “personal aspirations” and must be paid for by his father.

The case is one of 8,000 similar family disputes that end up in Italian courts every year where parents try to force their adult children to fly the nest.

Adult children being unable or unwilling to move out is a well known phenomenon across Europe with the “Peter Pan” generation of young people in the UK estimated to cost their parents £1.2bn altogether every year.

The phenomenon is known as “bamboccioni” - or “big babies” - in Italy and has increased since the country was hit by the financial crisis and youth unemployment reached 40 per cent.

Around 65 per cent of Italians between the age of 18 to 34 live with their parents - compared to 34 per cent in France and Britain and 42 per cent in Germany.

Cultural factors are often also blamed. Family plays an important role in Italian society and young men especially are said to be attached to their “Mamma” who cooks and cleans for them everyday.

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