The personal law in the State of Israel is a law based on ancient Jewish law. That is, all the laws that developed during life in ancient times are relevant to us today as well. In light of this fact, many believe that the law is not appropriate today, since progress and liberalism have brought with them new and more appropriate things. In accordance with the law, there are two courts that deal with the conduct of judicial proceedings, with regard to personal law. The first is the Rabbinical Court, which operates according to Jewish-religious law. The second is the Family Court, which in its rulings combines Jewish and secular law, together. Any issue related to personal law, is recognized as a complex and painful issue for the parties, mainly due to the fact that it is the law of persons, which affects the whole family cell. Personal law contains a set of different and varied issues, which at the end of the day concern us all: wills and inheritances, divorce, child support, permitting marriage, paternity testing and more.
In the article before you, we will deal with choosing a lawyer when filing for divorce, who is also known as a divorce lawyer. We will first discuss a little about the divorce process in our country, and later we will look at the issues relevant to this lawsuit, and review why choosing a divorce lawyer is of such high importance.
Divorce Procedure – How?
As noted above, personal law is based on ancient Jewish law, and it is clear that conceptions of Jewish law exist and apply even today. In order to understand the divorce process in depth, we must make a clear distinction between religious divorce and civil divorce. We must make this distinction, because the State of Israel does not recognize civil marriages, and thus the management of the legal process varies from religious to secular. Civil marriage serves as an alternative for spouses who are interested in institutionalizing the relationship regardless of religion and halakhah, and accordingly, the divorce proceedings between them will change. In the following lines we will distinguish between the two:
Religious aspect – In the Jewish religion, authority is given to the rabbinical courts, by virtue of the Rabbinical Courts (Marriage and Divorce) Judgment Law, 1953 (hereinafter: “Rabbinical Courts Law“).
This law gives the rabbinical court exclusive authority to hear marriages and divorces between Jewish spouses who have married according to religious law. This means that a parallel tribunal of the Rabbinical Court is not authorized to deal with the aforesaid matter, and that any couple who marries subject to religious law will have to go through the door of the Rabbinical Court. The same is true of divorce.
Religious law sees the institution of marriage as a supreme value between the spouses, as a mitzvah of establishing a home and a family unit. In ancient times, the divorce process was not known and accepted at all, but over the years, this has come to mind and in recent years has become a ‘legitimate’ and acceptable matter. But this is not how the rabbinical court sees things, and accordingly, when receiving a divorce claim, the rabbinical court acts vigorously, in order to bridge the gap between the couple and prevent them from reaching the point of divorce. The tribunal has a number of alternatives, which it uses during a dispute between spouses. For example, the requirement to present a cause of divorce makes it difficult for spouses who quickly decide to divorce. Therefore, the rabbinical court will be quick to refer the two to a peace of mind, a fairly familiar and lengthy procedure, in which the spouses reach agreements between them, and even commit a trial period between them, in accordance with the agreements.
Additional matters in divorce:
Divorce proceedings include not only the divorce, but other material matters, such as the division of joint property between the spouses, child custody matters and alimony matters. Therefore, it is very important to get help from a divorce lawyer during a divorce proceeding that involves many layers.
Choosing a Divorce Lawyer:
Choosing the lawyer who will handle your case can be the most important choice that will affect the outcome of the procedure. There are lawsuits that are perceived as “standard” lawsuits, the filing and outcome of which are usually clear in advance. Alongside this, there are claims that require sophistication, knowledge and strategic planning, in order to bring about the best results. Remember that a good lawyer is a lawyer who will represent your interests in the best and most honest way, and that the procedure will be led by an ethical and honest person, since integrity leads to good and decent ways. With an emphasis on divorce lawyers, our recommendation is to choose a lawyer who is familiar with the conduct of the proceedings before the two courts together, this is of course due to the fact that the divorce lawsuit will be conducted before the rabbinical court, in most cases.
For more information: Adv. Yaakov Balas