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Important: Understanding Obligatory Divorce Mediation in Israel

Women

In July 2016, Israel introduced the “Obligatory Divorce Mediation” law, also known as the “Law for Judicial Procedures in Family Disputes.” This law aims to make divorce proceedings smoother without changing the main issues. Here’s a simple guide to what it involves and some worries about how it’s done.

Misconceptions and Starting Out
Contrary to what some think, this law doesn’t make mediation a must before divorcing in Israel. Judges still have some say, and the exact steps are still being worked out. The main goal is to organize divorce cases and set a clear process.

When one spouse (let’s call them Spouse A) asks to resolve a problem (called “Bakasha LiYashev Sichsuch”), there’s a 45-day pause. During this time, neither spouse can start a lawsuit, except for urgent cases like stopping a spouse from leaving the country.

First Meeting and Suggestions
Both spouses meet a social worker linked to the court. The worker looks at the situation and suggests what to do next. This might mean more meetings, couples’ therapy, mediation, or going to court. At this meeting, there are no lawyers, but spouses can call their lawyers. If more meetings are set, lawyers can join in.

Starting the Process Again
After the 45-day pause (or longer if agreed), the spouse who asked for help can start a lawsuit within 15 days. This is when the legal steps kick in. Anyone curious about how it works can watch a free short course made by legal experts.

Worries and What’s Next
One big worry is how this affects people in abusive relationships. They might have to talk to their abuser without a lawyer, just with a social worker there. We’ll see how the law works out and if any changes are needed.

*If you need help regarding any family law issues, we have resources and advice for you. Please reach out for help.
Contact me at 0733743094 or jay.hait@orcheidin.co.il.
On my website you can find free Ebooks on divorce, wills, prenups and more

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