Whether Israeli prenuptial agreements are kosher is a big question in the holy land as Israel’s version of Real Housewives, Nicol Raidman, has filed for divorce from her former oligarch and billionaire industrialist husband Michael Cherney.
Land of Milk and Honey
Nicol Raidman is a businesswoman, socialite and former reality TV celebrity in Israel, who recently announced she is divorcing her billionaire husband in what is shaping up to be the most expensive divorce lawsuit in Israeli history, Channel 12 news reported Monday.
After 11 years of marriage, Raidman and industrialist Michael Cherney are dissolving their union. But Raidman is alleging that Cherney has failed to honor his prenup with her, which promised her $25 million (NIS 86 million) in any settlement.
She is now planning to take Cherney to court and demanding hundreds of millions of shekels under their prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial agreements are generally enforceable in Israel, if authorized before a notary, a marriage registrar, or by the family court or the religious court. In fact, former Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, called on couples getting married to sign prenuptial agreements to ensure that husbands will not withhold a get, or Jewish writ of divorce, from their wives.
In Israel, where all divorces are subject to religious law, the norm has left thousands of women in legal limbo due to husbands who refuse to grant divorces. The phenomenon has received a lot of attention in recent years as rabbis try to battle husbands who are “get-refusers.”
Some Jewish groups mandate its members require couples to sign a prenuptial agreement to avoid such scenarios. The agreement, commonly referred to as a “halachic prenup,” generally penalizes the husband financially for refusing to give the get.
Florida Prenuptial Agreements
I’ve written about prenuptial agreements before. Prenuptial agreements are not just for celebrity sports figures, and they are about much more than just resolving uncertainty in a marriage.
Any couple who brings any personal or business assets to the union can benefit from one. They are also important to have in place before a couple starts investing in businesses, properties and other investments. But prenups are frequently challenged in court.
Florida has both case law and a statute to help lawyers, judges and the parties determine if a prenuptial agreement is enforceable.
For example, Florida courts must consider things such as fraud, duress, coercion, in addition to the unfairness of the agreement, and whether there was any financial disclosure.
Real Housewives of the Holy Land
Cherney’s lawyer told the network that any and all claims would be made to the court rather than the media. Raidman is known to be a close friend of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara.
In 2011-2013 Raidman took part in the Channel 10 reality television show “Me’usharot” based on the US show “The Real Housewives.” She has launched her own luxury clothing and perfume brands.
Cherney, an oligarch who made his fortune in the former Soviet Union, is a close confidant of Yisrael Beyteinu party leader Avigdor Liberman. The couple have two children.
The Times of Israel article is here.