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Italy, England and the great maintenance debate

As long as English courts will continue to make generous awards to the financially weaker spouse, London's reputation as the divorce capital will hold firm, says Paul Hunt

7 June 2017

There were reports recently of a high-profile case which, it appears, will have a significant impact upon the level and duration of spousal maintenance payments in Italy.

An Italian Supreme Court ruling was made in relation to a case involving American businesswoman Lisa Lowenstein and her ex-husband, a minister in the Italian government, Vittorio Grilli.

The couple divorced in 2013, and despite Mr Grilli making a monthly maintenance payment of up to €2m to Ms Lowenstein, she continued to fight through the courts to make him pay heavy debts which she had accumulated.

When the Milan Court of Appeal rejected Ms Lowenstein’s claim to receive maintenance payments for life, she appealed to the Supreme Court.

The move led to the landmark ruling that divorcees who have independent means or are ...

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