Israeli Family-Law Forum - Marriage

Below are readers' questions about 'Marriage', which we have chosen to answer. Further , and more detailed information on the issue is found on our main site, Family Law in Israel , at:

 Yes – 18 –the age of maturity, but a male or female minor, who has reached the age of 16 at least, can obtain permission to marry earlier, if there are special reasons justifying this. The family court will not decide on an application for permission to marry early unless it has received a report from a social worker if the potential bride or groom is between 16-17 years old.


Yes, if the local rabbinical court gives the couple permission to remarry, after it is satisfied that the wife had only been acting on advice, to speed up her divorce, and there was no independent evidence of adultery. In similar circumstances, in September 2017, Ashdod Rabbinical Court (File ‏ 1072852/1) granted such a request from a divorced couple who had cohabited after their divorce , and even had children together after the divorce.

Yes! You can file a joint application for a civil court order against the Ministry of Interior, to issue a specific order obliging it to register your marriage, to either the family court or a special administrative court, depending on the circumstances.

Further details are needed, so that individual and personal legal counselling can be given, It may be worthwhile considering drawing up a family life agreement in the meantime, and getting it authorized at the family court, in order to support and strengthen an application, which you need to file anyway, to regulate and secure your status in Israel, as the partner of an Israeli citizen.

Firstly, the Israeli divorce judgment should bear the 'Apostille seal' to show that it was a genuine document. Both the United States and Israel recognize each other’s documents as being genuine if they bear this seal, according to a Hague Convention on the issue. Secondly, assuming that the divorce judgment was given by an Israeli court with jurisdiction, according to law, and that it is final (i.e. no longer appealable), then, because Israel and the United States recognise one another's judgments, it should be recognisable in the United States. However, whether it would be sufficient for you to be married there, without the need for a civil divorce, or a judicial process of recognition, depends upon the laws of the state where you intend to marry, and you would be advised to check this out in the state where you wish to remarry.

A civil marriage ceremony in Paraguay - where only one party need be present. The Israeli partner can travel out there for the wedding,and the non-Israeli partner can remain in Israel,and give a special power of attorney allowing someone else to represent/him her at the ceremony. The necessary arrangements and proper documentation must be arranged beforehand,and co-ordinated between lawyers experienced in handling such matters in Israel and Paraguay,for the ceremony to be fully legal and valid, and be recognised in Israel, and registered at the Israeli Ministry of Interior upon the couple's return. 

Many years ago 'postal marriages' were frequently carried out for couples in Israel,neither of whom would leave Israeli soil. These were later held to be invalid in Israel - and it was made clear that only civil ceremonies carried out in accordance with the laws of Paraguay , and where one side actually travelled out there for the wedding and can prove it, will be recognised.

Single sex marriage (between Lesbians or Homosexuals) does not exist in Israel.However, it is possible for single-sex couples who wish to marry to do so in a ceremony abroad, in a country where such a union is legal,and then register the marriage at the Ministry of Interior in Israel. At least one of the two sides to the marriage should be a resident or citizen of Israel.

Most probably Cyprus - where both parties are Israeli citizens or residents,the couple is heterosexual (comprises a man and a woman) and neither of them have complications regarding re-entry into Irsael. The marriage can be registered at the Ministry of Interior in Israel upon the married couple's return to Israel.

No ! Under as Israeli law stands today, there is no framework for allowing  you to marry in Israel. The simplest option is to get married in a civil ceremony abroad, with Cyprus being the nearest option, providing that you do  not have visa problems.

Yes, you can marry in Israel according to Islamic law if she is a member of a religion that believes in one God, such as Judaism or Christianity.

He means that under Jewish law he is forbidden from marrying  you because as a descendant of the priestly tribe 'Cohen', he cannot marry a convert to Judaism. If he is religiously observant this is what he means by saying you have no future together. If he is not religiously observant,  he could well be open to considering other options, such as marriage in a civil ceremony overseas, or living together, without being married at all.

Under Jewish law as a descendant of the priestly Cohen tribe, you are forbidden from marrying a divorce woman. You have two options - one is marrying her in a civil ceremony abroad, and the second is just cohabiting with her, without marriage at all.

Under Israeli civil law, which incorporates Jewish religious law regarding Jews, the only ltruly legally valid option is an Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony.  In practice, many Jewish couples in Israel who do not want to get married via the rabbinical court, or who are  not eligible to marry under Jewish law (e.g. a Cohen and a divorced woman) choose to marry in a civil ceremony, abroad.

In Paraguay, in a civil weddng ceremony, where only one party need be present . The Israeli partner can travel to Paraguay and the non-Israeli partner can remain in Israel, and can be represented at the ceremony by someone with a power of attorney. All relevant  documentation , translations and authorisations must be arranged beforehand. Our legal practice can do so, in conjunction with lawyers in Paraguay.

Although Cyprus is the nearest civil marriage option, it is not recommended because of the risks associated with the foreigner's expired visa, and the risk that re-entry into Israel could be refused.