Divorce Attorney Helping Clients Navigate the Complexities of Ending a Marriage
Divorce can be a heart-wrenching experience. Whether you have decided to seek a divorce yourself or your spouse has told you that they wish to end your marriage, there are many emotions and considerations involved. From dividing your assets to obtaining a GET, it can quickly become overwhelming. If you have children, the process can feel even more daunting: Will you retain custody? Could your children be taken out of the country? How will you support them?
When facing these uncertainties, it is critical to have a lawyer on your side who has experience with Family Courts, Rabbinic Courts, and Western law and can provide knowledgeable advice and guidance to help you reach the best possible outcome in your divorce. Jay Hait, the founder of Hait Family Law, has a unique set of skills and the personal experience to help you successfully navigate your divorce proceedings. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free case evaluation: (077) 200 8161.
What Role Does the Rabbinical Court Play in Israeli Divorce Cases?
Israel has two court systems: the civil court and the religious courts. Every religion officially recognized by Israel (Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze) has their own religious court to rule on certain types of cases, such as marriage and divorce. The Jewish religious court is called the Rabbinical Court. If a Jewish couple is ending their marriage, the Rabbinical Court has jurisdiction over the divorce itself and will make rulings based on religious law. However, other aspects of the divorce, such as child custody, can be heard in either court system. Typically, the court where the divorce case is first filed will have jurisdiction over these matters.
What Are the Four Most Important Topics to Address When Planning Your Divorce in Israel?
Divorce is a highly emotional process, and individuals may decide to get divorced for many reasons. No matter the reason behind your divorce, there will be certain issues you will have to resolve to complete the process, whether it is through divorce negotiations or the court system:
- Custody: Any divorce involving children can be especially difficult. It can be challenging to put aside your feelings about your spouse and focus on creating a custody plan that is in your child’s best interests. In the past, courts have often granted more custodial time to the wife, particularly if the child involved was under six. However, joint custody agreements are becoming more common. If you and your former spouse can reach an amicable agreement regarding custody, the court will likely honor it.
- Child support: If left up to the courts during litigation, the amount of your child support will be determined through a complex series of calculations that consider your custody agreement, income, and other factors. In many cases, Jewish men will have to pay a high amount for child support because they have typically been viewed as bearing financial responsibility for their child’s upbringing. If you wish to have more control over your child support agreement and not leave it in the hands of the judicial system, you can negotiate child support as part of your divorce agreement.
- Division of assets: If you signed a prenup before your marriage, it will dictate how your assets will be divided. Otherwise, under Israeli law, each spouse will receive half of the assets accumulated during the marriage, even if the asset is not in both spouses’ names. They will also share half the responsibility for the debts they amassed while married. However, the “innocent spouse rule” may apply if one party is unaware of the debt. The situation can become more complex if inheritances are involved, but a skilled divorce attorney can help you determine how they should be handled.
- The GET: If you are a Jewish couple, you must appear before the Rabbinical Court with this document to officially finalize your divorce case. If either spouse refuses to give a GET, the individuals are still considered married.
When considering these topics, it is essential to decide whether you wish to have all the divorce matters decided by the rabbinical courts or if you would prefer to have the custody, child support, and division of assets decisions handled by the Family Court and only have your GET managed by the religious courts. Each choice has advantages and disadvantages, and the right decision for your situation will depend on your goals for the outcome of your divorce. As an experienced divorce and family law lawyer, Hait Family Law can provide the guidance and advice you need to make the best possible decisions for yourself and your family.
What Are the Benefits of Negotiating a Divorce Agreement?
Litigating a divorce can be costly, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. In many cases, at least one party is unhappy with the outcome when a court decides the divorce terms for them. Mediation provides divorcing couples with an alternative where they can work out the essential details of the split with the help of divorce lawyers. A divorce agreement can be a more amicable way to handle your divorce and can be highly beneficial if you have children and wish to remain on good terms with your ex-spouse so you can continue to co-parent effectively.
Can Individuals Married Outside of Israel Seek a Divorce Within the Country?
Some couples, such as same-sex couples or couples of different religions, cannot legally get married within Israel. However, Israel does recognize legal marriages performed outside of the country. You may choose to get a divorce within Israel even if you were married elsewhere, but you will be subject to Israeli law. To understand the impact these laws could have on your specific case, don’t hesitate to contact our law firm for a complimentary case evaluation.
Why Can Divorce Be So Challenging for Anglo-Jewish Couples?
Making aliyah is important to Jewish individuals worldwide. Many couples are olim who have emigrated to Israel from the US or other countries. Other people come to Israel to marry their partner who is already living here. If these marriages don’t work out, it can feel overwhelming for anglo-Jewish individuals to navigate the Israeli court system. The concept of civil and religious courts is often unfamiliar to anglo immigrants, and understanding the complex divorce process can be highly challenging for English speakers because some legal issues may be handled in Hebrew.
Anglo-Jewish wives married to Israeli citizens can be at an even greater disadvantage because they may be far from their support system and could be facing pressures from their husband’s family over the divorce. Hait Family Law can act as a divorce lawyer for women who are feeling uncertain about the process or have questions about what’s next. Our law firm has provided skilled and compassionate legal services to individuals in various circumstances and can help you with your situation.
Can You Seek a Divorce From Outside of Israel?
It is possible to begin divorce proceedings from outside the country, but you should carefully consider all your options before taking this step. There may be advantages to seeking a divorce under the jurisdiction of the country you are currently in. For example, the US allows alimony, while Israel does not. During Covid, using Zoom for required court dates became acceptable in Israel. This seems to be a continuing trend, making it more convenient for individuals who wish to go through divorce proceedings from outside the country.
However, please note that taking your children with you is not recommended if you do not intend to return to the country and your spouse. Minimally, this action does not put you in good standing with the court, and at worst, you could face kidnapping charges. If you feel that your home is not a safe space for yourself and your children, contact the authorities or reach out to our law office to speak with a domestic violence lawyer who can assist in getting you the legal protections you need.
How Long Do Divorce Proceedings Usually Take?
Unfortunately, it is impossible to accurately estimate how long your divorce will take without knowing all the factors involved. If you and your spouse mutually agree about the divorce and can work out a divorce agreement that suits both of you, your divorce could be finalized in as little as a month or two. On the other end of the spectrum, if your spouse refuses to cooperate at all with the process or refuses to give you a GET, the procedure may take years.
The majority of cases fall somewhere in the middle: the couple agrees on most aspects of the divorce but may require the court to make a ruling on some issues that they cannot settle. In these cases, the divorce is usually finalized within a few months. To better understand the timeline for your specific situation, contact the law offices of Hait Family Law to speak with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer about your case.
If You Begin a Divorce Claim, Can You Change Your Mind?
People may consider divorce for any number of reasons. Sometimes the threat of divorce serves as a catalyst for both sides to come together to work on their issues, and they may end up deciding that the marriage can be repaired. In other cases, they may conclude that divorce is not a feasible option at the current time.
Whatever the reason for the reconciliation, you do have the option to withdraw your suit, and everything will return to how it was before you filed. Alternatively, if you’ve formally come to terms on specific issues that had been causing stress on your marriage, you can officially file those agreements with the court. This action ends the suit and legally puts those agreements into effect.
How Can a Divorce Lawyer Help You?
Israel’s divorce laws can be difficult for the average person to navigate. Missteps in handling the process can cost you dearly, both in terms of money and losing precious time with your children. Rabbinical Courts can be particularly confusing and frustrating to work with for emigrated Jews because the system is unfamiliar. However, in some instances, having your entire divorce handled by the Rabbinical Court instead of the Family Courts may be the best option for you.
Hait Family Law is committed to helping families find the best solutions for their legal issues. As a father and an individual who has personally been through divorce litigation in Israel and the US, attorney Jay Hait deeply understands the challenges divorcing couples face. For skilled legal advice that is compassionately tailored to meet the needs of your situation, contact Hait Family Law today at (077) 200 8161 to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.
preventing him from leaving?
you from leaving Israel?