Agreements

Below are readers' questions about 'Agreements', which we have chosen to answer. More detailed information on 'Agreements' can be found on our main website, Family Law in Israel.

No! When the marriage ends via divorce the couple’s financial partnership under the agreement ends, and the jurisdictional condition in it will also cease to be valid. The agreement, and the jurisdictional condition in it, will not be relevant anymore and a different legal situation will apply to any property accrued during the period of cohabitation following the marriage.

So stated Tel Aviv Family Court in January 2015, in File 523324-10-14, when it accepted an application by the former female partner (represented by our law practice) to throw out proceedings filed by her former partner for an injunction preventing her from continuing with legal proceedings she had filed against him overseas concerning property acquired during the period of cohabitation , based on the claim that a jurisdictional condition in their pre-marital agreement still applied.

The couple were Israelis , an ex-husband and wife, who had relocated overseas , to Canada, and then to the U.S.A,as a cohabiting couple, after their divorce, and separated overseas, in the USA, after acquiring property abroad, following their relocation. They had entered into a pre-marital agreement before a notary, in Israel, giving Israeli courts exclusive jurisdiction over their financial affairs, had married and divorced one another in Israel, but had not made a new agreement to cover the period of cohabitation after their divorce. The court accepted the woman’s arguments that the USA, and not Israel, was the appropriate forum for dealing with their financial affairs.

Yes, property relations agreements can be made before marriage, when they are called 'pre-marital' or 'pre-nuptial agreements', or during the course of the marriage. If you make one when you are already married you must get it authorised in court, for it to have full legal force.

Firstly, under Israeli law property acquired by one party before the marriage is not generally regarded as joint property, that can be balanced out between spouses. This principle is so, even if a pre-marital agreement which would make this even clearer, and erase any doubt, is not signed. Secondly, your son would be advised to keep this money separate, in a bank account in his name only, and not put it in a joint account.

Firstly, if you have not yet had he US judgment "mirrored" in Israel, then you should take action to do so, under the 1958 Recognition of Foreign Judgments Act. Once the settlement is recognized in Israel, it will then become enforceable, and you can take action to enforce it, both in relation to your visitation rights, and to the financial guarantee. Another option, once the settlement agreement is recognized in Israel, is to file for contempt of court, of the Israeli judgment.

In June 2014 . representing the father, our law practice filed to enforce a "Mirror Order" obtained in Israel, of a South African settlement agreement, from 2013, which had been recognized by Tel Aviv Family Court ,concerning the relocation of a 5 year old boy, to Israel. The mother had relocated to Israel, with the minor , as agreed, but had failed to provide the $100.000 bank guarantee which she had undertaken to produce. The proceedings, which also included an application for contempt of court ,ended with a compromise whereby the $100,000 was provided by a combination of a bank guarantee and a lien on a relative’s apartment in Israel, with the court exercising its discretion regarding costs, separately, which it did, ruling in favour of the father.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can either apply to cancel the agreement due to a fundamental breach of its terms, or you can apply to enforce it, at the Bailiff's Office.

Yes! It is within an Israeli court's powers to authorize an agreement in English,as an exception, but it can request a Hebrew version or a translation.

This depends on the wording of the agreement you made, and whether, for example, it relates to the possibility of marriage. If it does, then, on the face of it, there would be no need to make an additional, property relations agreement. If your original agreement is silent on the subject, then it is preferable to make another agreement, to clarify the situation, especially if your wish anything other than the normal 50:50 principle, that applies to married couples under Israeli law, to apply.

There are several options, but it is recommended to make obtaining a "Mirror Order" of the U.S. settlement /court-authorized judgment in Israel, before the children leave American soil, a condition for relocation, plus up-front financial guarantees, depending on the circumstances. Our law practice advises foreign counsel representing parents overseas in negotiations for agreements which include relocation of children to Israel.

Not necessarily! The Supreme Court has held that agreements made by parents about their child maintenance are not binding on them. Where there has been a substantial change of circumstances agreements on child maintenance can be opened up,even if the parent with custody undertook not to file for an increase. Children have rights of their own,independent of deals made by their parents about them,and these cannot be compromised. They can act,via the parental parent,as their natural guardian, and file for an increase in child maintenance from the non-custodial parent.

This depends on the wording of the agreement you made, and whether, for example, it relates to the possibility of marriage. If it does,then ,on the face of it, there would be no need to make an additional , property relations agreement. If your original agreement is silent on the subject, then it is preferable to make another agreement, to clarify the situation, especially if your wish anything other than the normal 50:50 principle , that applies to married couples under Israeli law, to apply.

Yes, possibly, depending the particular circumstances, and what you can prove. Although it is rare for a divorce agreement that has been authorized in court to be cancelled or the financial settlement under it to be opened up later, if you can prove that your ‘ex’ knew of the pending merger, but deliberately concealed this from you, during mediation and negotiation, and that you would have acted differently, had you known, then you have a chance of seeing some of this money.

 

In April 2015, Petach Tikva family court in Israel accepted the plea of an ex-wife, to readjust the settlement made under their court-authorized divorce agreement, after it was proved that her former husband knew information relating to the impending merger of the company employing him, but had deliberately hidden it from her. As a result, the value of his shares in the company ( joint property acquired during the marriage, even though registered in his name only), shot up from c-50,000 NIS, to c-950,000 NIS. The court held that if the wife known of the impending merger, and that the value of the shares would rise as a result, she would not have agreed to the terms of the settlement in their divorce agreement. It cancelled the terms agreed upon , on the basis of mistake, deceit, and lack of good faith.

Until a divorce agreement has been authorised by court it has no full, binding legal value. You can inform him in writing that you are cancelling it and refrain from getting court authorisation.

Yes, although the court may also request a translation or a parallel version in Hebrew, for reference, even if it only authorizes the agreement in English, which the parties sign.
This was the case in proceedings before Haifa Family Court in September 2016, where our law practice drafted a settlement agreement signed by the parents, and authorized at a hearing, bringing to an end custody,relocation and child support proceedings filed by the mother (our client) , and according to which the mother is relocating back to the U.S.A. with the minors.
 

 

No! Under Israel will, a child cannot be forced to see the non-custodial parent against his/her will, by the use of enforcement agencies such as the police or the Bailiff's. Sometimes, however, the court can be involved in giving instructions regarding the involvement of professionals to report on the relationship between a minor and the non-custodial parent, and make recommendations, with the view to improving the situation.

Consent to end the marriage, custody,visitation rights and child maintenance, division of property, including the marital home, pension and other work related benefits, life insurance etc

Not automatically, but it can become valid and enforceable if a "Mirror Order" is obtained in Israel. It is highly recommended to condition relocation upon obtaining a Mirror Order in Israel before the children actually leave Australian soil. Our law practice handles such Mirror Order applications.

While you cannot enforce your ex-husband's obligation to help your daughter prepare homework and revise for exams, at the Bailiff's, you can enforce such an obligation by applying for an increase in child maintenance, due to his omission to help her, and the ensuing increase in educational costs ,relating to private lessons, paid coaching/extra lessons via school etc. However, the cost of bringing such legal action may not be justified.

Definitely - an agreement can be professionally drafted that allows the parties to maneouvre in either direction, towards marital reconciliation or divorce. It can also deal with the terms and mechanisms for either.

The highest form of validity is obtained via court authorization (preferably the family court) where the judge will check that the parties understood the contents of the agreement and its implications, and signed of their own free will, before authorizing the agreement and incorporating it into a binding legal judgment. This will be expressly recorded in protocol, to which the judgment and the authorized agreement are attached. Once court authorization is obtained for a pre-marital agreement, this is like an insurance policy against claims of its invalidity that might be made in years to come, if the relationship sours, and you separate and/or divorce and there are property proceedings.

An alternative to authorization by court is authorization via a Notary, but only if the parties intend to marry soon after signing and actually do marry within a reasonable time afterwards, otherwise the authorization will have no value and the agreement will only have ordinary ,contractual value.

 

No! It would be void and have no legal value,because the girlfriend is a minor, and therefore lacks legal capacity to enter into such an agreement. The fact that a lawyer witnessed the signatures would not give it legal value that it lacks.

Yes, definitely so. Unjustified delay in acting to cancel a divorce agreement can certainly reduce its chances of success .The Supreme Court emphasized this in August 2007, stating that where the cancellation attempt is made by a party who was represented by a lawyer at the time, unjustified delay indicates bad faith , once the divorce has been completed and most of the conditions of the agreement have been executed .