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Maintenance / Child Support

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Maintenance / Child Support

Maintenance / Child Support From Abroad

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Does it make any difference what religion each parent is as far as their relative responsibilities for child maintenance is concerned – and does this mean that certain fathers will pay more because of their religion, or that of the mother

Maintenance / Child Support Maintenance / Child Support From Abroad
Yes , it can do, and very much so ! Because of the unique family law system in Israel, which is a blend of religious and civil law inherited from the days of the Ottoman rule and the British Mandate, a non-custodial father’s obligation may vary very much depending on his religion and that of the mother, and whether they were ever married or not!
Under Israeli law where a father who is the non-custodial parent has a personal or religious law (e.g. if he is Jewish, Moslem, and certain Christian sects), then his maintenance obligation towards his minor children will be governed by it. This could be a sole obligation e.g. under Jewish law a father bears sole responsibility to support  children born to him of a Jewish mother, until they are 15. From then until the age of 15, it is shared equally between both parents, until the age of 18.
If, however, under his personal law, a father is not obliged to support his minor child/ren (e.g. under Islamic law where he is not married to the mother), or if he has no personal law applying to him (e.g. if he belongs to a faith unrecognized in Israel e.g. Anglican Christian, or has no religion ), then he will be obliged to support his minor children according to civil law. Under this, the Family Law Amendment (Maintenance) Act of 1959, both parents are liable to support their minor children, according to their relative incomes.
One can get the absurd situation whereby a Jewish father of Jewish children may be solely liable under Jewish law for supporting his child’s basic needs until the age of 15, with the mother only having to contribute between the ages of 15-18, whereas an Anglican  Christian father , or a father with no religion, with a child born to a Jewish mother, will be jointly liable with her, to support their minor, according to their relative incomes, until the age of 18. The Jewish father could be paying double what the Christian father pays…even if they both have young children of similar age!

How can a mother living in Israel take legal action to get child maintenance from the father, if he lives abroad permanently at a known address , and does not understand Hebrew ?

Maintenance / Child Support Maintenance / Child Support From Abroad
A minor child has a right to maintenance from his biological father even if he lives abroad permanently, and is not a citizen or resident of Israel . His mother , who is his natural guardian, can file the plea on his behalf, in Israel, at the family court . When the plea is made application must also be made and obtained for the plea to be served (delivered) overseas. Once the court gives permission for service overseas, then it gains jurisdiction in relation to the defendant abroad and allows it to hear the case in Israel. If the father does not know Hebrew then there is a legal obligation to provide him with a properly authorised translation of the documents – from Hebrew into a language he understands.


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