You know things have to be bad at home when you read a headline that says “mother evicts sons from home.”
In the scenic city of Pavia, Italy, a landmark case highlights the sometimes strained dynamics between parents and their adult children. A 75-year-old mother, frustrated and worn out, took her two sons to court to have them evicted from her home. The central bone of contention? The mother, who is retired, alleges her two adult sons have lived off her pension, not contributing financially or assisting with household chores, despite both being gainfully employed.
The Sons’ Defense: Cultural and Legal Ties
The sons, aged 40 and 42, labeled as “bamboccioni” (big babies) in court, didn’t take the eviction lightly. Resorting to legal representation, they countered that Italian law compels parents to support their children indefinitely. This argument alludes to a cultural phenomenon in Italy, where many adults live with their parents into their late twenties and beyond. The term “mammoni” (mama’s boys) is often used to describe such men who are heavily reliant on their mothers, even in adulthood.
In the court ruling, Judge Simona Caterbi upheld the mother’s plea. She emphasized that adult children don’t have an inherent right to inhabit a property owned solely by their parents. Particularly when that goes against the parents’ wishes. Caterbi acknowledged the law’s provision for parents to maintain their offspring. But she deemed it unreasonable for men over 40 to continue exploiting this provision.
Judge Caterbi’s verdict: the sons have until December 18 to pack up and leave.
What Lies Ahead After Mother Evicts Sons?
Italy is no stranger to such cases. In 2020, the nation’s Supreme Court ruled against a 35-year-old part-time music teacher who sought financial backing from his parents. He claimed his 20,000 euros annual income was insufficient. It seems Italy grapples with a unique cultural challenge – a significant number of adults delay their departure from the parental nest.
According to Eurostat 2022, Italians, on average, venture out of their parents’ homes around age 30. This trend is relatively high when juxtaposed with northern European countries like Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. In these countries, young adults commence their independent journey at roughly 21.
As the sons ponder an appeal, this case underscores the evolving dynamics between Italian parents and their adult children. With the court’s ruling, other parents might be empowered to establish boundaries, especially with adult children who can support themselves. Furthermore, it’s an essential commentary on cultural shifts and the legal system’s role in mediating familial disputes.