Israel’s Divorce Revolution

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Agreements on Monday, July 25, 2016.

Israel passed a law that requires divorcing couples to first try to hammer out agreements through mediation before they can file divorce legal proceedings.

The new law is formally referred to as the “Resolution of Family Disputes Law”, and more commonly known as the “Divorce Revolution” and was enacted on Sunday.

Israel’s Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, pushed for the resolution, which aims to settle divorce cases in a peaceful and amicable manner. To this end, both parties will be given four mandatory mediation meetings free of charge.

I’ve written about foreign divorce dispute resolution attempts before. Mediation is another of the methods of alternative dispute resolution available to divorcing couples.

Mediation is essentially a negotiation facilitated by a neutral mediator, to resolve disputes. The mediator supervises, helps find common ground, deal with unrealistic expectations, and offer creative solutions.

Under Israel’s proposal, the first meeting will be held in a therapeutic environment without legal representation. The makeup of the remaining three meetings will be decided based on the initial meeting’s general atmosphere, in accordance with the mediation team’s assessment.

As long as the mediation meetings continue to be carried out amicably, the parties’ lawyers will not be asked to join in. If, however, legal matters arise or if either party requests their presence, they will be asked to take part in them. In cases of involving emergency relief, lawyers will be allowed to participate in all the mediation sessions.

Following the law’s enactment, Justice Minister Shaked issued a statement saying that:

“The new situation will offer an efficient alternative to litigation meetings over such sensitive and complex matters as family disputes. I am confident that this is what parents want most. At the end of the day, they continue to be their parents, even if they are no longer a couple.”

In Florida, most divorces are resolved through the mediation process, and it is usually ordered in most cases filed here. In some counties, it is required.

The Ynet article is available here.