In the package of measures of the "Decreto ristori" (D.L.n.127 /2020, 28.10.2020), the government has transposed into a decree the practice sporadically followed by some courts during the first lockdown (see our client letter no. 49), and has now generally provided for the possibility of holding separation and divorce hearings without the parties appearing in person for the period of the Corona exception (i.e. until 31.01.21, subject to extension). This is permitted if both spouses agree and indicate in writing within 15 days of the date of the hearing that they are aware of the procedural rules providing for attendance at the hearing, that they have freely chosen to waive their personal attendance at the hearing, that they do not wish to reconcile, that they confirm the conclusions and terms of the divorce or separation action, and that they wish to waive the appeal. (See Art. 23, para. 6 of the Decree-Law).
In Germany, too, divorce proceedings are admissible without the personal presence of a party if the court recognizes from the actions and conduct of the parties that the marriage has finally ended (OLG Oldenburg, order of 13.05.2020, 13 UF 20/20).
Anyone who wants to separate or divorce in Italy in these times should therefore give preference to amicable proceedings, as otherwise they run the risk of waiting several months for a court hearing.