Private International Law
Below are readers' questions about 'Private International Law', which we have chosen to answer. More detailed information on 'Private International Law' can be found on our main website, Family Law in Israel.
Yes! Even if the centre of the parties’ lives has been outside of Israel for many years, and the foreign forum has jurisdiction over property matters, according to rules of private international law, the law of the country where the marriage was celebrated, is normally still the applicable law.
Israeli legislation sets out a default mechanism governing the ownership and division of marital property, but parties are able to customize their property relations, and make a valid pre-marital agreement via a notary, or a court, which can, in principle, be recognized and enforced within the framework of overseas legal proceedings when the relationship ends. Our law practice can provide legal opinions on Israeli law for legal proceedings in foreign jurisdictions if required.
No! A court in Israel may have jurisdiction to deal with a case, but may have to apply the law of another country to rule on the dispute. For example, in a disputed dissolution of marriage case,where the parties married in a civil ceremony outside of Israel, foreign law will apply. The party wishing to divorce will have to prove to the Israeli family law court that he/she has grounds for divorce according to the foreign law of the country where the couple married. Where both parties consent to end the marriage, the Israeli family law court can grant a civil divorce judgment based on Israeli law - mutual consent, which is sufficient ground for dissolution of marriage under Israeli law.
Israeli law. The 1959 Family Law (Maintenance) Amendment Act specifically states that the law applying to a child maintenance plea is that of the person who is obliged to pay it.
Where you are filing your husband for maintenance, in a family court in Israel, and there is no common place of residence following the marriage, and never was- as in your case - the applicable law will be that of the place where the person owing maintenance (your husband) lives abroad. This is stated very clearly in the 1959 Family Law (Maintenance) Amendment Act.
U.K. divorce law. Although you can file for the dissolution of your marriage at the family court here in Israel, if he contests it, you will have to prove that you have grounds for divorce according to U.K. divorce law. You will have to present a written opinion of an expert on U.K. divorce law and that person may be need to appear in court to face cross examination, and give testimony.
When that person left property in Israel after his/her death, even though the centre of his/her life was abroad,according to the 1965 Inheritance Act.
In the absence of mutual consent, which is sufficient grounds to end the marriage under Israel law, the side wishing to end the union will have to prove that he/she has grounds to divorce, according to the laws of the place where they married. A legal opinion on this will have to be submitted by an 'expert' on foreign law, and that person may need to be available as an expert witness.
You should apply for a Mirror Order of the US Order by Consent at the family court in Israel. This is a judicial not an administrative process, and this way your rights, and those of the children, to meet and have ongoing virtual contact (by phone/Skype etc), will be legally valid and enforceable in both countries. The most efficient and cost effective way to do this is by making a joint application for the Mirror Order under the 1958 Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. Our law practice is experienced in handling such applications.