This blog could also be titled “Thank Goodness We Live in America (Not Italy).” We often receive questions (normally with teenagers…surprise…) if parents can terminate his or her parental rights to a child. Unfortunately for these parents (and maybe their teenagers), the quick answer is “no” because American parents are obligated to support and be legally responsible for their children until their children reach 18.
In contrast Italian parents are required by law to take care of their Mammoni (Momma’s boys) “as long as necessary” with the average Italian leaving their parental home at 33.4 years of age. These adult children often have jobs but are not required to pay any expenses for residing his his or her parent(s)’ residence.
One could say Momma’s love in Italy is a lot stronger than in America! However, this love and support has its limits. A 75-year-old mother was successful at evicting her two sons (ages 40 and 42) from her house in a court in Pavia (northern Italy city).
The Mother called her sons “parasites” because they have been living in the family apartment without helping around the house (financially or assisting in upkeep). Both men are gainfully employed.
Judge Simona Caterbi stated the two “bamboccioni” (big babies) had to vacate the premises. The judge cited the existing law “the stay in the property could initially be considered well founded because the law is based on the maintenance obligation incumbent on the parent.” However, the judge further limited the existing law to indicate in the current case that “it no longer appears justifiable considering the two defendants are subjects over 40 and once a certain age has been exceeded, the child can no longer expect the parents to continue the maintenance obligation beyond limits that are no longer reasonable.”What is interesting in the current case is that the Judge did not indicate the age in which it was “no longer reasonable” to financially support his or her children which appears to indicate that this is a case-by-case determination. So…Americans, when contemplating the sadness of your legal obligations to your teenager, realize that it could be worse, you could be legally obligated to support this hellion into middle age!