My husband and I met in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where we were both born, and got married before coming to live in Israel many years ago . We made a premarital agreement there, like many couples. According to the agreement a debt made by one of us was to be personal, and not shared. We also agreed that any property rights registered in just one of our names’ would not belong to the other. He is due to retire in a few years from a lecturing post he has had for many years and get a good pension . He has also been in business but has run up heavy debts and he owes money to several banks. We have an apartment registered in both our names. Our relationship has broken down and divorce is inevitable. How will the agreement we made before our marriage influence my property rights, if we divorce ?By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 10 May, 2022
Assuming that the pre-marital agreement was valid where and when it was made, and defined the substance of your property relations during your marriage, then should divorce be operative, the conditions of the agreement will hold, unless a separate mechanism was agreed upon should you get divorced. Thus, where the parties agree , as you did, that debts made by one of them will be his/her own personal ‘negative’ property and will not oblige the other, then this will hold if they divorce. Furthermore, if the agreement states that ‘positive’ property will belong solely to the party in whose name it is registered, then this will hold, too, if they divorce. Thus, according to what you state, you will not share responsibility for your husband’s business debts, but you will not be entitled to part of his pension. You will be entitled to half of the rights in the apartment which was registered in joint names.