A Single Mother’s Rights

Bringing up children is a difficult task. Our children accompany us from the moment they are born and till we grow old. In most cases, the burden of bringing the children up is shared between both parents, when the family unit is whole. The task is so much harder when only one parent brings up the children. In the short article below I’ll review the rights of a single mother.

Which law regulated most of the single parent’s rights?

The Act of Assistance of households headed by an independent parents, 5752-1992 regulates most of the single parent’s rights, be it a single mother or single father. The legal term is “independent parent”. The law names a range of rights, I’ll elaborate on some. There are a number of extra rights, which are not established in the same law.

What is the definition for a single parent?

As mentioned, the legal definition to a single parent is: “independent parent”. In order to be considered as an independent parent one has to fulfill certain conditions set by law:

An independent parent has to be a resident of Israel who is responsible for a child or a number of children. This is a basic condition. In addition, the independent parent is not married and does not have a partner known as “common-law-partner”. This being said, an independent parent can be married as long as he/she is loving apart from his/her/ spouse for over two years and has started divorce procedures. Other variations of an independent parent are: an abandoned wife (Aguna) or a man whose wife is refusing to divorce him, a woman living apart from her partner for over three months, in a shelter for battered women and has filed for divorce. An independent parent, in some cases, is also an immigrant (New Oleh) who has been in Israel for over a year and under two years and his/her spouse and not made Aliya, and he/she do not have a different spouse.

What are the independent parent’s right, according to the law?

The law grants the independent parent a variety of right and privileges. This is because of the will to aid the single parent in raising his/her children while understanding the difficulties in bringing them up without the help of a partner. The rights according to the law are:

Vocational training: The law stipulates that an independent parent is entitled to preference in receiving vocational training by the Ministry of Industry. For example, people who are applying for professional training in certain areas and are eligible to receive training at the expense of the state, in jobs such as tinsmiths, ternary, etching, carving, engraving, woodworking etc.

The right to day care centers: The law states that the independent parent will receive priority in registering his children to daycare. The legislature’s will is to enable the independent parent to work and to this end it is necessary to enable the acceptance of the children at day care centers. Note that an independent parent may receive a discount in the price of the day care, but the rate varies depending on the height of the independent parent’s income.

Housing loan eligibility: The law provides that an independent parent is entitled to increased loans from the state for the purpose of housing. This eligibility varies with the level of income, i.e. depending on the independent parent’s earning capacity.

What other rights are granted to a single mother?

A single mother is entitled to additional rights, which are not fixed by this specific law, but by other laws:

Income tax eligibility: a single mother is entitled to benefits in income tax. In some cases, she is also entitled to receive an “employment grant”, if her income is very low.

Social Security eligibility: a single mother is eligible for income support, in cases where her income is low. Even in cases where the mother is not entitled to child alimony from the father, she is entitled to receive alimony from the National Insurance Institute (eligibility does depend on the income level).

Housing assistance: a single mother is entitled to discounts in municipal taxes, electricity bills, assistance in rental fees, and in some cases to public housing too. It should be noted that some of these entitlements are dependent on the local authority. Each case should be examined individually and you should find out what discounts and entitlements each authority provides regarding compulsory payments.

In conclusion:

A single mother has many rights. Unfortunately, single mothers are not always aware of the rights available to them. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a lawyer to clarify your lawful rights.