Reconciliation claim?

Most people are familiar with the term divorce and possibly with the term divorce claim, too. It is safe to assume that there is hardly anyone in Israel who has not come across these two terms. This article will discuss a different subject which is inseparably linked to the divorce procedures. This subject is less known commonly; it is named reconciliation claim.

Reconciliation claim – what do you mean?

In Israel, marriage and divorce is conducted according to the personal-religion of the couple, by force of the Law of Rabbinical Courts Jurisdiction “(Marriage and Divorce) 5713- 1953. This means that if both partners are Jewish and they wish to marry or divorce, they will have to do so according to the Jewish law. The court that has jurisdiction regarding divorce and marriage (for Jews) is the Rabbinic court. Marriage and divorce enfold within them other claims which are related to the divorce, according to the Jewish law. Some of these claims are: reconciliation, child alimony, wife alimony, Ktuba etc.

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When a couple want to divorce they can, together or each one separately, file a claim to the Rabbinic court for divorce. On the other hand, they might claim for reconciliation. The purpose of this claim is to determine an interim period, where the couple continue living together without getting a divorce, in order to improve their relationship.

A claim for reconciliation is a legal claim which should be submitted in writing, detail the relevant facts and pay a fee of 250NIS (as of the date of publication of this article).

What is the advantage of claiming for reconciliation?

Theoretically, a claim for reconciliation is not a bad solution, if the couple (or one of them) request, out of sincere will and honesty, to maintain their relationship. If in fact the couple do get in this procedure with good faith then they might be able to prevent the divorce and the dismantling of the family unit.

What is the disadvantage of claiming for reconciliation?

Despite the advantage mentioned above, real life shows that these claims are “like flogging a dead horse” i.e., they are submitted with the intent to complicate and extend the divorce procedure so as one of the parties can get leverage in future negotiations.

Moreover, reconciliation claims are not operative. The court might rule for an interim period but there is no financial fine or other sanction so if one of the parties refuses to try for reconciliation, the court has no actual power to force the one party and change his/her behavior.

What is a reconciliation agreement?

As opposed to a reconciliation claim, the couple can sign a reconciliation agreement. This differs from the claim where the couple is forced to live together for a period of time. Here the couple sign out of their own free will, in order to heal their relationship. To make this agreement binding the couple have to go to the Rabbinic court to have it approved and give it a status of a verdict.
Is it advisable to claim for reconciliation?
The answer to this question depends on the specific case. There are cases where the couple has a true desire to improve their relationship. In these cases it could be advisable to claim for reconciliation. That being said, if one of the parties does not want to, it is better to avoid this procedure. In any case, it is best to consult and act according to the recommendations of an experienced family lawyer.

To sum:

A reconciliation claim is meant to bring bridging and healing to the couple’s relationship. However, although it is a legal claim the court has no real power in enforcing it so if one of the parties is not willing to try to reconcile, this claim has a slim chance in changing his/her mind. However, if there is still the possibility to appease and bridge the relationship, it would be advisable to consider filing such a claim. As mentioned, it is best to get legal consultation before filing such a claim.

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