Spain’s ‘lazy’ young told by judges to get a life

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In northern Spain, a judge has turned down the demand of a 23-year-old woman to continue receiving her parents’ financial support, ruling that she is “too lazy to earn a living”.

Family bonds are traditionally highly valued in Spain and this decision marks a contrast with many previous rulings in which parents have been obliged to support their offspring long after they become adults, and even into their 30s.

Spain’s crippling economic crisis has caused youth unemployment to soar, meaning most young people rely on their parents for many years after leaving school.

The average age at which Spaniards leave home has risen to 29, almost nine years later than the average Swede, according to Eurostat.

The unnamed 23 year old, from the seaside town of Castro Urdiales, went to the Cantabrian provincial court to demand maintenance of €300 a month (£255; $330) from her father.

The woman’s parents had separated in 2012 and there had been no mention of child support in their settlement.

The court noted that the woman had not completed secondary education but she had received money from her parents to pay for IT courses that she had not managed to complete.

Legal precedent in Spain holds that parents are obliged to provide for their children until they reach economic independence. But the judges ruled that this responsibility does not apply if the child’s behaviour prevents them from getting on in life.

In this instance, the woman’s conduct was “legally classifiable as one of abandonment, laziness and failure to take advantage”.

In a similar vein, a court in Catalonia last year told a 19 year old, who was neither in work nor studying, that his parents were not obliged to support his “capricious lifestyle”, effectively booting him on to the street.

The president of the Spanish family law association, Maria Dolores Lozano, says parents are increasingly seeking legal help.

Judges are also drawing attention to the large numbers of young Spaniards who have moved abroad to find work, when they consider whether or not a child has options to support themselves, she adds.

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