How do you start an action for divorce? An action for divorce is started by filing a lawsuit in either the Family court or Rabbinical court which has jurisdiction over your marriage. Thereafter, your spouse will be served, and will be required to respond to the law suit.
What is a complaint (Ktav Tvia)? The Complaint is a legal document in the action for divorce. It contains the specific details and reasons for the relief requested, including your grounds for divorce; it also contains other requests such as child custody, visitation, child support and maintenance, equitable distribution of marital property, health insurance, life insurance, payment of legal fees and experts’ fees, possession of the marital residence, orders of protection, etc.
Do I have a right to see my spouse’s financial records? Both spouses have the right to financial disclosure as to the other spouse’s income, assets and expenses before the case can proceed to trial or amicable settlement negotiations.
What is distribution of marital property? It is a method for distributing property acquired by either spouse upon the divorce. The court must distribute “equitably” all “marital property” regardless of the manner in which title is held.
What property is subject to distribution? All property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage, but before signing a separation agreement, and before commencement of a divorce or matrimonial action, regardless of the form title is held. It does not include property provided for in a written agreement (e.g. a pre-nuptial agreement or a divorce agreement).
What constitutes a Matrimonial (or Marital) Agreement (heskem mamone)? Matrimonial Agreements include Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements, Divorce Agreements, Separation Agreements and Shalom Bayit (Settlement) Agreements made by the two spouses
When can Matrimonial Agreements be made? Before or during the marriage.
What may be included in such agreements? The following may be included in a Matrimonial Agreement: a contract to make a testamentary provision or a waiver of any right to elect against a will; provisions for the ownership, division or distribution of separate property; provisions for the ownership, division or distribution of marital property; provisions for the amount and duration of maintenance; these provisions must be fair and reasonable at the time of making the agreement and must not be unconscionable at the time of entry of final judgment o Other terms and conditions of the marriage relationship; these provisions must be fair and reasonable at the time of making the agreement and must not be unconscionable at the time of entry of final judgment; provisions for custody, care, education and support of any child of the parties
Can I unilaterally terminate my child support payments if my spouse refuses to allow visitation with my children? No. Although an application may be made to the court to suspend or terminate future child support, the right of the child to receive adequate support is superior to the parents’ right to visitation. When it appears that a custodial parent receiving alimony or maintenance has wrongfully interfered with or withheld visitation rights the court in very rare instances may suspend the maintenance payments.
Are Common-Law Marriages Valid in Israel? Israel does not recognize common-law marriage. However, two people who live together in Israel as common law spouses are categorized as “yedooim batzibur” (literally – “known in public”), a status which grants them many of the same rights people are entitled to if they reside in jurisdictions that have common law marriage.
For more information on divorce in Israel, check out our 10 commandments for People Considering Divorce.