10 insightful tips during the divorce procedure

1. “one who signs his wife on a prenup- does not love her, one who doesn’t sign his wife- loves her too much…”

Although this may sound like an unsuccessful joke, many times this reflects reality. The reverse is also true as a woman of means and assets accumulated by her before the marriage – hence it is better to make a prenuptial agreement that will prevent harsh disputes in the case of separation.

A prenuptial agreement should be conducted by an experienced Attorney to regulate ahead of time the financial and property relationship in case of a separation.

Such an agreement may spare the parties from difficult and complex litigation on the matter of property In the case of a divorce proceeding.

It is never too late- a prenuptial agreement can be reached after the marriage.

2. There is no going back- do not make a move before you get legal counseling!

The sages say that a thousand geniuses will not remove one coin that a fool threw… this is also true during the divorce proceeding. Before making a move we recommend that you seek professional legal advice. Often a precipitous actions that may seem correct under the circumstances, may turn out later to be a mistake that will determine the fate of the legal process down the line.

Case by case basis- it is better if Aunt Berta, who divorced Uncle Sam in 1986 would  spare you her advice.

3. The divorce procedure in Israel is over complicated simply because of the mixture of civil and rabbinic law.  It is more complicated due to the fact that divorce can be processed through civil law in the family court or rabbinical law in the rabbinic court.  

This practice requires professional advice to help reach the desired outcome with the least anguish in the shortest time.

Let's not forget that the parties going through the divorce also go through emotional turmoil.  A professional, attentive and sensitive attorney helps ease going through this hard period.

4. The male goes to the Rabbinical Court – The female goes to the family affairs court…?

This is not always the case. Sometimes the woman’s legal position is actually better at the Rabbinical court as well as cases that the man’s legal position is preferable at the Family Affairs court.  Again the circumstances and matters change from case to case! Therefore it is better to contact an attorney that deals with personal status cases that has the knowledge to support and guide you through the necessary steps.

5. Loose lips sink ships !

Be sure to keep silent, especially before you turn to legal advice. You will not be sorry for the things you didn’t say, but things that you said may be used against you and harm you harm.

Avoid talking about your intent to initiate divorce proceedings, and avoid unnecessary waste of words after the proceedings begin, especially during conversations with your partner, which might be recorded without your knowledge. 

6. Knowledge is power – do not forget your paperwork

Begin collecting documents of all types that can shed light on you and your partner's financial situation. All paperwork is acceptable if it pertains to property, financial rights and others including: bank statements, pension funds,  education funds, managers insurance, pay slips, receipts of existing safes, land registry forms, securities etc…

Equip your self with confirmations and receipts for various payments that show the family’s living standard’s such as: property taxes, electricity, water, cable, telecommunications, printouts of credit card bills, receipts for various purchases that were not done with a credit card for clothing, footwear, pharmaceuticals etc. 

7. No Violence!

Taking the law into your hands is illegal and immoral; additionally it can be detrimental to the party that uses it. This is especially true for men who may find themselves sent away from their homes, after being pulled into provocations by the woman, and by this fall into her trap to get what she wants.

8. You are divorcing your spouse, not your children… be sure to keep your children as far as possible from the conflict.  

Inciting children against a parent might be quite tempting and easy to do, especially when one side feels betrayed or feels that he suffers injustice, but the result may be more difficult since children are the main casualties of the divorce process. 

9. Divorce Agreement- the convenient and easy way to the family unit dissolution…

Although divorce is not a “picnic”… reaching a fair divorce agreement may turn out to be the lesser evil, especially over exhaustion of a court proceeding.  A divorce agreement should include all disputed matters between the parties such as: property, child custody, visitation and alimony. The agreement is subjected to legal approval, of the Family Affairs Court or the regional Rabbinical Court.  The Divorce Agreement is considered an effective tool when there is good communication between the parties.

10. Alertness prevents disaster (financial one …)!

It is always good and correct to be alert to the financial situation, bank account balances, savings etc… It is even more true when a divorce proceeding has already begun or when you already informed your partner about your intent to separate. If you have even the slightest concern that your partner may take a one sided step such as a large withdrawal of funds from the joint account or from any savings, then it is better to contact the bank ahead of time and condition the performance of any significant actions to the joint account with a mutual agreement of both of the parties. 

This avoids unnecessary complications in the future. Remember that debt on the joint account applies to both parties.