Below are readers' questions about 'Christians', which we have chosen to answer. More detailed information on 'Christians' can be found on our main website, Family Law in Israel.
Orthodox ( Eastern); Latin (Roman Catholic); Gregorian – Armenian; Armenian (Catholic); Syrian (Catholic); Greek Catholic; Maronite and Syrian Orthodox. Each of these are regarded as 'recognised religions' in Israel,based on legislation deriving from the British Mandate, and have their own recognised religious courts which have exclusive jurisdiction over matters of marriage and divorce where both parties are members .
Yes, but through the civil process of dissolution of marriage, at the family court, because although you are both Christian, only one of you belongs to a recognised religion in Israel, Roman Catholicism, with a religious court system. The Roman Catholic church court can only gain jurisdiction if both of you are members of its faith.
To start the process, you will have to file an application to the family court to dissolve your marriage, and the vice-president will make a decision about which court has jurisdiction, after receiving any opinions necessary from the relevant religious court. As the Anglican church is not a recognised religious affiliation in Israel, only the Roman Catholic Church court will be approached. Jurisdiction will most likely be granted to the family court.
Only through the rabbinical court system in Israel, even though you are now Christian! You need to obtain a 'get' (Jewish divorce). For the purposes of divorce what counts is your religious affiliation when you married. According to Jewish law, a person who is born Jewish, remains Jewish, even though they convert to another religion.
Parallel jurisdiction exists between the family (civil) court and the Roman Catholic Court, regarding disputes concerning child custody and maintenance and visitation. A jurisdictional race exists - the parent who files first at a particular court causes that one to gain jurisdiction.
No! She can apply to the Israeli family (civil) court for custody of their mutual child, rather than the church or ecclesiastic court,if she wishes, providing that her husband has not already filed for divorce in the religious court first, and bound the issue of child custody to his divorce plea.