Our Firm places gregrgreat emphasis on the preparation of individual agreements. No two agreements are completely the same, just as there are no two identical families.Each family, each couple, is a whole universe, and the agreement required for each and every one of them has to “fit like a glove.” We are constantly striving to find unique and creative solutions.
While preparing an agreement, there is constant and extensive collaboration and interaction with the client, in order to ensure complete satisfaction.The client benefits from close legal advice and support by the Firm’s staff, beginning with the initial outlining of the principles of the agreement through the signing, and through, ratification and validation of the agreement by the competent judicial body (the Family or Rabbinical Court).
The Law – The Property Relations Between Spouses Law, 1973, governing couples who were married as of January 1, 1974, calls for the balancing of resources between the parties, deferred to the date of the termination of the marriage. Namely, the sharing of the rights between the parties is obligatory only, while the actual date of distributing the rights is upon the divorce of the parties or upon the death of either of them, at which time the possessions of each of the spouses is examined and balancing is carried out.
Property Settlement Agreement – a forward-looking document, the purpose of which is to formalize the property relations between the spouses.Such an agreement will take precedence over the provisions of the Property Relations Between Spouses Law. An agreement should be prepared in writing and ratified by either the Family or Rabbinical Court.A prenuptual agreement entered into before the marriage may be ratified by a notary.
A couple seeking to deviate from the balancing of resources provisions laid down in the Property Relations Between Spouses Law should do so in the manner provided under the law.Nonetheless, the Property Relations Between Spouses Law specifies various assets which are not to be balanced between the spouses.Thus, the law excludes from the arrangement for balancing of resources, assets whose value the couple had agreed in writing would not be balanced between them.This consent to exclude an asset from the balancing of resources arrangement, does not have to be ratified by a judicial body in the manner provided for the ratification of a property settlement agreement under the Property Relations Between Spouses Law.
Ratification Of The Agreement – The unique nature of the Property Relations Between Spouses Law stems from the special requirements, dealing with a legal proceeding, within the framework of which the court not only examines the identity of the contracting party and his/her free will, but also ensures that each of the spouses has understood the significance of the agreement and the outcome thereof.Namely, the court should explain to the parties the content of the agreement, clarify the extent of each party’s free will and be convinced that the parties do indeed understand the content of the agreement and the outcome arising thereof.As a result, ratified property settlement agreements enjoy a special status.
It should be noted that after the enactment of the Family Court Law, the Family Court was granted jurisdiction to ratify an agreement as a judgment, even where no pending action preceded it.
A Non-Ratified Agreement – An agreement entered into between spouses that has not been submitted for the ratification of any judicial body whatsoever does not have the same weight as a “property settlement” within the meaning of the Property Relations Between Spouses Law,and the property relations between these parties will be governed by the balancing of resources arrangement laid down in the law.However, as part of this arrangement, evidentiary weight may be granted to such non-ratified agreements with respect to the parties’ intentions in connection with the property relations between them.
Modification Of Agreement – Pursuant to the Property Relations Between Spouses Law, a property settlement agreement which has been approved by a competent judicial body and validated as a judgment is considered to be a valid agreement.Accordingly, any change to the agreement must be approved by the judicial body that ratified it.
Cohabitation Agreement – See also “common law partners”.
The authority of the Family Court to ratify an agreement between common-law partners and to validate it as a judgment, without there being a dispute and without an action being pending between the parties, arises from section 3(c) of the Family Courts Law.
Divorce Agreement – A divorce agreement between spouses constitutes in effect an agreed upon and comprehensive arrangement reflecting the parties understandings regarding the issues in dispute between them.
A divorce agreement reflects all issues including child support and custody (such as: who will have custody; what are the visiting rights between the non-custodian parent and the children; the amount of child support and the manner of payment thereof; additional expenses relating to the children, if any, and who will be responsible for them; see also the section dealing with child support and the section dealing with custody) as well as the property and financial relations between the spouses (including the distribution of the property and the manner of dissolving the joint ownership thereof including the residential apartment and the contents therein; balance of funds and resources accumulated by each of the spouses; distribution of social benefits; business property and such other rights accumulated by the parties during the years of their marriage; see also the section dealing with property).