Child Support Attorney Ensuring the Welfare of Children After a Divorce
Any divorce involving children can be very painful and challenging for everyone involved. As part of the divorce, you must determine how much child support will be required for your child’s needs. In Israel, a parent’s duty to support their child is determined by the personal law that applies to them. For example, a Jewish individual’s child support responsibility is generally determined by Jewish law. For people who are not subject to a personal law, the civil law will apply. But precisely how is support calculated? And what can you do if you aren’t receiving the support your children are owed?
Child support can be a contentious topic during a divorce, but it is crucial for both sides to understand the laws and potential outcomes so they can have realistic expectations. It is vital to keep your child’s best interests in mind when going through this process. When child support doesn’t get paid, it harms the well-being of the child, and the law takes this very seriously because it is a dereliction of your duty as a parent. If you have any questions regarding child support, from how to negotiate your own support plan to methods for recovering support payments from a non-paying ex, Hait Family Law can help. Contact our firm today to schedule a free case evaluation: (077) 200 8161.
Who is Responsible for Paying Child Support in Israel?
Until a recent decision by the Supreme Court, Israeli law had specified that fathers were solely responsible for the support of their children until the age of 15, regardless of circumstances. Under the new laws, a father is obliged to provide sole maintenance for any child under the age of six. From the age of six onward, both parents are considered responsible for the child’s maintenance. Fathers are still nearly always responsible for making child support payments, but the mother’s income and the time the child spends with each parent will also be considered when making calculations.
Due to the dual court systems in Israel, some child support cases may be heard in Family Court, while the Rabbinical Courts or other religious courts decide others. Religious courts may follow different guidelines for adjudicating child support than Family Court because they make their rulings based on religious law. Consulting a lawyer who is familiar with both court systems can provide you with a better sense of the possible rulings in your case.
How Are Child Support Payments Determined?
Confusingly, Israel does not have codified child support guidelines. Consequently, individuals with similar situations and incomes may pay vastly different amounts in child support. The lack of a clear-cut law can make it challenging to determine what your child support obligations may look like before the court hands down its ruling.
Overall, courts are supposed to consider the basic needs of the child and the amount that would allow them to continue living at the same standard as they did before the divorce. Essential needs include things such as food, living expenses, footwear and clothing, and the cost of housing the child. For children under six, the court determines the child support amount without consideration of the father’s income or ability to pay. Past the age of six, both parents’ incomes and other factors will be factored into the child support determination.
Unfortunately, the current system can be very confusing and convoluted for both parents involved, and rulings can vary significantly based on your circumstances. If you have questions or concerns about the amount of your child support payment, we recommend a consultation with a child support attorney to discuss the details of your situation and how the law may apply.
How Long Do Child Support Payments Last?
The length of an individual’s child support obligation can vary based on their personal law. If the case is heard in the Rabbinic or Family Court, child support will likely continue until the age of 18. After this time, it will continue at a third of the amount until the age of 20, for a son, and 21, for a daughter. If you are subject to Islamic law, you may be required to pay child support until your son is old enough to support themselves (usually until the age of 18) or until your daughter is married (no age limitation).
Can You and Your Ex-Spouse Create Your Own Child Support Agreement as Part of Your Divorce?
One of the many advantages of creating your own divorce agreement is that you can negotiate your child support amount and schedule. This agreement can be carefully crafted to work in the best interests of the minor children involved and doesn’t subject the mother or father to the whims of the court. You also have more options for arranging your plan and payments. For example, the civil court generally does not allow parents to pay their child support in a lump sum payment. However, if you present a carefully written divorce agreement that includes a lump sum child support arrangement to the Rabbinic Court, they are likely to approve it.
If you are considering crafting your own child support agreement as part of a divorce, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced child support attorney. Hait Family Law can help ensure that your support agreement is clear and carefully structured, so you can feel confident that your children will be cared for properly.
Can Child Support Payments Be Modified?
Sometimes exceptional circumstances arise, and you may wish to ask the court to reconsider the amount of your child support. The court considers these modification requests on a case-by-case basis. Typically, the court will only approve the request if the parent can prove an official change in their circumstances. For example, a father may choose to request a decrease in payments if he experiences a disabling injury that prevents him from maintaining the level of income he had been earning prior to the injury. Or a mother may request an increase if the child has developed a medical condition that requires costly ongoing treatments. If you initially negotiated the terms of your child support as part of a divorce agreement, you may be able to renegotiate if the other parent is willing.
Under the law, a child is not limited by the support agreement made by their parents. If their needs are not being met, they can also bring a suit to receive additional funds from the responsible parent.
What Can You Do if Your Ex is Not Paying Their Child Support?
Whether they have one child or several, an individual who is ordered by the court to pay child support or has agreed to pay through a divorce agreement is obligated to fulfill their duty. However, because child support often requires a large portion of the individual’s income, those who are not financially responsible or are facing financial challenges may struggle to make payments or refuse to pay altogether. Regardless of the reasons for non-payment, your child has a right to the support owed to them, and there are steps you can take to collect it.
First, you can open a case in Bailiff’s Court. Your ex will be served and made to account for their missed payments. The court can then place a lien on their wages, cancel their driver’s license, or place them in jail in an attempt to induce them to pay. Another option for recovering payments is to go to Betuach Leumi (social security) and speak with them about the situation. Depending on your income, they may provide you with the necessary child support payments and take on the task of recovering the money from your ex.
Does My Ex Still Have to Pay Child Support if They Leave the Country?
Supporting their child is a parent’s obligation no matter where they live. If your ex has left the country and has quit paying child support, there are legal remedies. A skilled child support attorney from Hait Family Law can assist you with navigating the international laws involved. You must file a case in Bailiff’s Court in Israel before taking any other steps. If your spouse has gone to the US, we can file a complaint with the Israeli Department of Justice, and they will work with the US government to find your ex and recover your child support payments. This process is done at no cost to you. If your spouse has gone to another country, the steps will depend on that country’s laws. Contact our law firm today to learn how we can help you and your family regain your rightful child support.
Will Child Support Cease if I Get Remarried?
When discussing remarriage, it is essential to remember that spousal support does not exist in Israel as it does in other countries like the US. In other countries, the amount that an individual pays to their ex often involves a significant chunk of spousal support. When the ex gets remarried, the spousal support stops because their new spouse will now be responsible for their care, so the amount the ex receives will be less.
However, in Israel, child support is purely for the sake of the child. The ex, usually the father, pays child support to fulfill their parental obligations and ensure their child is cared for properly. The mother’s marital status is irrelevant because the money is not for her personal use, and her new husband does not bear the financial obligation for bringing up her children. Instead, that role remains with the child’s father, who must continue to pay the same amount of child support, even after their ex remarries.
When Should You Consult a Child Support Lawyer?
Trying to navigate the child support system in Israel can present many challenges for divorcing parents. An experienced child support lawyer can guide you through the process and ensure you understand your parental rights and obligations. If it is suitable for your situation, a lawyer can help you mediate your divorce agreement so you can play an active role in determining the amount of child support you will pay instead of leaving it entirely up to the court.
Having everyone on the same page, without bitter feelings, can increase the likelihood of the parent making their child support payments. However, if the responsible parent fails to pay, our law firm can help you take legal action to recover support payments for your child. Contact Hait Family Law today for all your child support-related legal needs: (077) 200 8161.
preventing him from leaving?
you from leaving Israel?