Calls for alimony reform shake up Israeli rabbinical courts
Two recently reported initiatives seeking to amend the long-standing provisions of the Israeli Family Law have sparked a heated debate among women's organizations, men's groups, politicians and rabbis.
One of the initiatives, which failed in the Knesset by a single vote Nov. 3, was yet another attempt to revoke through legislation the custody provision for children under 6. This provision stipulates that children of divorced parents are to automatically stay under the guardianship of the mother up to the age of 6. In practice, if one of the children of divorcing parents is under that age, the mother may be granted full custody over his older brothers and sisters as well. Thus the children remain in the mother's custody as they grow up so as not to change the arrangement they are accustomed to.
The other initiative is a new regulation by the Chief Rabbinate that states that following a divorce, child support shall not be automatically imposed on the father alone — the way it is done today, in accordance with the Jewish law — and that the mother's financial situation shall also be taken into account. Another bill has been submitted by coalition Knesset members calling for child support liability to be determined according to financial considerations, among other factors, rather than on the basis of gender alone....................
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