Will an Israeli court automatically enforce a foreign divorce judgment covering dissolution of marriage, custody, maintenance and property, given by a civil court where the parties are Jewish citizens of Israel , living abroad , and one also has foreign nationality ?By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 10 May, 2022
No ! An Israeli court dealing with an application to enforce a foreign judgment will only recognize it if it complies with the strict requirements of the 1958 Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. One of the main requirements of this is that the foreign court had jurisdiction to give the judgment. Where one of the parties is domiciled in Israel , and not abroad, then, according to Israeli rules of private international law, the foreign court does not have jurisdiction to give the judgment on issues other than the civil divorce itself . If the couple are only abroad temporarily because the one with Israeli citizenship is only studying there or on a work posting, and ,for example, they have property in Israel, then that party will still have Israeli domicile.
Where both parties are Israelis who have been living abroad for many years , and the centre of their lives is abroad, then the foreign court will have jurisdiction over issues associated with their civil divorce, as well as the civil divorce itself. However, the appropriate rabbinical court in Israel will retain jurisdiction over their divorce according to Jewish law.