If a Jewish woman and man who are residents or citizens of Israel marry in a civil ceremony abroad is she entitled to maintenance ?By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 16 May, 2022
Yes, in principle, according to a ground-breaking Supreme Court Precedent of December 2003. In a unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court Precedent panel of 3 judges unanimously accepted an appeal by a woman against a judgment by the District Court rejecting her right to maintenance from her husband whom she had married by ‘proxy’ in a civil marriage conducted in Paraguay. Both parties were Jewish. Until this precedent, a Jewish woman who married a Jewish man in a civil ceremony abroad was not entitled to maintenance because such a marriage was invalid according to Jewish law. This ruling, however, held that such a woman was entitled to maintenance – basing the obligation on contract law. When a man and a woman who are Jewish and both citizens/residents of Israel marry in a civil ceremony abroad, they enter into a contract which gives rise to mutual rights and obligations , including maintenance.