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Italian court allows man to pay alimony to ex-wife with pizza and calzone

The man was unable to pay the €400 monthly payment stipulated in the divorce settlement

Matt Payton
Sunday 29 May 2016 10:32 BST
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Nicola Toso and Nicoletta Zuin divorced in 2002 after having a daughter together
Nicola Toso and Nicoletta Zuin divorced in 2002 after having a daughter together (Luca Marchiori)

An Italian court has allowed a man to pay his alimony to his ex-wife "in kind" with pizza due to his inability to pay with money,

The 50-year-old pizza baker from a small village outside Padua in Northern Italy was acquitted of criminal charges of failing to pay child support.

Nicola Toso and Nicoletta Zuin divorced in 2002 after having a daughter together, Il Gazzettino reports.

Court records state the monthly alimony payment of €400 (£303) was paid according to the divorce settlement.

However, after the economic crisis of 2008, Mr Toso struggled to pay the figure after remarrying and having three further children.

As a result, from 2008 to 2010, he offered Ms Zuin free pizza, calzone and other meals produced from the takeaway restaurant he managed.

At this juncture, the pair's daughter was 12-years-old.

The Telegraph reported that the presiding Judge Chiara Bitozzi wrote in her ruling: "In lieu of money, the defendant offered his ex-wife the same amount of compensation in the form of take-away pizzas from his workplace, an offer promptly rejected as 'beggar’s change'."

As a result of his attempt to pay "in kind", Ms Zuin decided to file a criminal complaint.

Mr Toso's attorney, Sonia Della Greca, said in his defence that he was really struggling financially to the extent he was forced to close his business in 2010.

She added that he had held up all other custody obligations by not missing visits and helping their daughter develop a relationship with his new wife and her half siblings.

The relationship between the daughter and mother quickly deteriorated leading to her moving in with her father in 2011. As a result Ms Zuin was then compelled to pay Mr Toso €300 in child support.

As a result, Judge Bitozzi found there to be no evidence the father had committed a crime.

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