Israeli Family-Law Forum - Agreements

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.

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.

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.
 

 

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.

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!  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.

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 include an application for contempt of court are set for a preliminary hearing in November 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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. 

Yes , but it must be authorised by court to have binding legal value.

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.

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, it is that the cost of bringing such legal action may not be justified.

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, 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.

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.

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.  

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.  

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.

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 

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.

Yes, definitely so. Unjustified delay in acting to cancel a divorce agreement can certainly reduce its chances of success  .The Supreme Court emphasised this in August 2007, where one spouse had waited over a year before acting to cancel the divorce agreement. It held that where the cancellation attempt is made by a party who was represented by a lawyer at the time, after  the divorce has been completed and mosts of conditions of the agreement have been executed, is acting in bad faith. It refused to grant a divorced man a second chance to appeal against a Haifa family court ruling rejecting  his attempt to cancel the agreement, when it refused him permission to appeal against the appeal court's rejection of his first appeal.

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.