If, after she had actually divorced, it is discovered that a ‘Jewish’ wife’s conversion papers were forged, what implications would that have regarding a one-sided divorce settlement favouring the husband that was authorised at the rabbinical court ?By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 10 May, 2022
In a situation like this the woman would probably be free to file for issues included in the divorce settlement at the family court. She would not be bound by the divorce agreement which was authorised at the rabbinical court because it lacked jurisdiction to authorise it as the wife was not Jewish. The doctrine of continuing jurisdiction at the rabbinical court regarding child custody and maintenance and property would not apply as the judgment had been void due to lack of jurisdiction.
These points emerged from the decision in a case concerning pleas brought at the Tel Aviv Family Court by an ‘ex-wife’ who had discovered that her conversion had been forged . In its decision in March 2002 the court said that although it lacked jurisdiction to decide on the validity of the conversion it could do so indirectly for the purposes of dealing with the pleas brought by the wife. It held that that the conversion had no validity according to Israeli civil law, and the woman was free to file for child custody, maintenance and property at the family court, as the rabbinical court had lacked jurisdiction to authorise the couple’s divorce agreement covering these points as the wife was not Jewish.