My husband and I are Israelis living in the States with dual Israeli and American nationality . We married in 1986. Our marriage is in pieces and I am trying to negotiate a divorce settlement over here. We have property (real estate and savings) in Israel which we acquired after getting married. It is in my husband’s name only. How can the property settlement be worked out regarding the Israeli property ?By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 12 May, 2022
Firstly, the option exists for you to reach a comprehensive divorce agreement in the States which covers the Israeli property. If this agreement is authorised in a foreign court, then an application can be made in the Israeli family court for the recognition of the foreign judgment and for the implementation of the terms of the agreement.
An alternative is for a separate agreement to be made regarding the Israeli property and for it to be submitted to the family court for authorisation here under the Spouses’Property Relations’ Act of 1973 which applies to couples marrying after 1974. This, however, requires physical presence in Israel as the court is obliged under the act to identify the parties and verify that they signed the agreement of their own free will with an understanding of its contents and its implications. The agreement will then have the binding value of a judgment and the property itself may be divided according to the terms agreed upon.
If, however, your husband will not co-operate in coming to an agreement regarding the Israeli property, then you can file at the family court to protect your rights in the property under the above act. Such proceedings can be started from abroad without flying to Israel , by signing a power of attorney and any affidavits at the Israeli Consulate in relation to the action and permission can be obtained to serve your husband with documents in the States. This itself may force him into coming to an agreement.