Below are readers' questions about 'Bailiff's', which we have chosen to answer. More detailed information on 'Bailiff's' can be found on our main website, Family Law in Israel.
Yes, legal proceedings could be initiated against you at the Bailiff’s to enforce your obligation under the divorce agreement. If this happens, you will be required to respond, and if you object, it is likely that the Registrar there will order you to obtain a declaration from the family court cancelling this obligation , by bringing legal action there, relating to the substantial change in your circumstances. This is the likely scenario, according to the chronology of events described by the Israeli Supreme Court (Leave of Family Appeal 1480-16) in August 2016, in a case concerning proceedings brought against an ex-husband/father at the Bailiff’s by his ex-wife/the mother, to enforce his undertaking in their divorce agreement . There, he undertook to pay half of the tuition fees and living costs for each of their children, at first-degree level. Although he started doing this, when the eldest child began studying in England, he refused to continue doing so, after the middle child announced her plans to study for a degree there, too. Clearly the outcome will depend on the particular details /circumstances of the case, and whether the court ruling/s are appealed.
Declaration of a person as bankrupt protects him against creditors and prevents them from being able to get all or part of the debt. In contrast, an order for paying a debt/debts in installments, as part of combining files against a debtor at the bailiff's, does provide certain protection from creditors but does not relieve the debtor of the obligation to pay the debt. He still has to pay it back - but just a little at a time, over a long period . Furthermore, the debtor is not protected from changes in the order that may be made if his situation improves , or if new facts ,unknown at the time, are discovered concerning his financial situation.