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Italian mother wins court case against 40-something sons who refused to fly the nest

A court in Italy sided with a 75-year-old woman asking for her two sons, aged 40 and 42, to move out.
A court in Italy sided with a 75-year-old woman asking for her two sons, aged 40 and 42, to move out. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Giulia Carbonaro
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A 75-year-old Italian woman sued her two sons, aged 40 and 42, after repeatedly asking them to move out and live more independently, which they refused.

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A court case has shown that even Italian mothers have limits when it comes to mollycoddling their sons - especially when they're all grown up.  

A 75-year-old Italian woman from the northern city of Pavia has just won a lawsuit against her adult sons - aged 40 and 42 - for overstaying their welcome in the family home. 

The 'children' refused to move out while their mother was doing all the cooking and cleaning at her own expense. 

She tried in vain to get them to leave, telling the local newspaper "neither of them wanted to know." 

The woman eventually grew so tired of the situation that she decided to sue her two sons, especially as both have jobs but apparently refused to help out with household chores or expenses, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

The court sided with her, with Judge Simona Caterbi issuing an eviction order against the woman’s two sons. While parents have an obligation to provide maintenance to their children, this was no longer justified because the two ‘kids’ were now over 40, Caterbi ruled.

The two men have to move out before 18 December.

While eviction orders against family members are rare, this is not an uncommon situation in Italy, where over 2 million people over the age of 30 reported still living with their parents in 2022.

Young people in Italy fly the nest at an average age of 26, according to the Italian National Institute of Statistics, ISTAT. But it’s quite common for many to keep living with their parents well over the age of 26 and even 30 as young people form the majority of those unemployed in Italy.

According to the latest data, unemployment in Italy was on average 7.8% in August 2023, while it was 22.3% among young people.

The number of young people still living at home has grown in the past decades. According to ISTAT, the percentage of people aged between 18 and 34 who still lived with their family was 49 in 1983. In the year 2000, this number had climbed to 60.2%, while in 2009 it had stabilised around 58.6%. In 2022, 67.6% of Italians aged between 18 and 34 lived with their parents, about 7 million people.

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