A Civil Legal Framework for Marriage and Divorce in Israel
The Metzilah Center for Zionist, Jewish, Liberal and Humanist Thought, Ruth Gavison, ed, May 2013
123 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2013
Date Written: May 1, 2013
This paper examines the existing legal and social reality in the area of marriage and divorce in the State of Israel. It argues that the current legal arrangement, which subjects such a central sphere of Israeli civil life to religious monopoly, is both unjustified and ineffective. The paper thus proposes an alternative solution in the form of a civil legal framework for marriage and divorce in Israel.
The first section of the paper (chapters 1-3) discusses the existing legal arrangements and their shortcomings. We argue that changing this legal norm is a social, moral, legal, religious, and cultural necessity.
In the second part of this paper (chapters 4-5) we discuss our proposal for a civil legal framework for marriage and divorce, while comparing it to previously-formulated proposals designed to revise the Israeli marriage and divorce laws.
We argue that the proposed arrangement would directly force the state to develop civil family laws based on widely accepted social values, while at the same time allowing the representation of a broad spectrum of groups, religions, currents, and cultures. It stands to reason that disagreements will arise with respect to these matters, and they should be resolved in the manner in which such disagreements are resolved, through discussion, negotiation, and compromise.
Keywords: marriage, divorce, religion, Jewish law, Islamic law, religious law, Israel, civil marriage, cohabitation, family law
JEL Classification: J12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation