Family Law in Israel allows dissolution partnership in property (i.e. joint ownership) between spouses: the “presumption of shared property” method or the “balancing resources” method. The shared property presumption applies to all couples who were married or became common-law partners before the Law of Financial Relations Between Spouses – 1973 (“Financial Relations Law”) came into effect. The presumption of sharing is a creation of the Israeli courts. The presumption of sharing states that all assets including business, securities, intellectual property, real estate, etc., belong to both spouses equally. The case-law states that it is sufficient to prove the maintaining of
a shared and common household in order to establish the presumption. It should be emphasized that the law divides property equally even if the husband is the sole breadwinner and the woman is a homemaker. Assets previously accumulated by a spouse prior to the date of commencement of cohabitation or marriage remain privately owned, but under special circumstances the presumption of shared property may apply to such property as well. Note that an action to dissolution of joint ownership under the presumption of shared property may be commenced at any time regardless of whether the couple is separated or divorced. The “balancing resources” method operates in accordance with the provisions of the Financial Relations Law relating to couples whose marriage has ended and/or a religious divorce has been granted. With the resource balancing method, all assets accumulated during the relationship is owned by both spouses equally, except property which is expressly excluded by the provisions of the Financial Relations Law such gifts, inheritances, etc. We emphasize that if one spouse has invested effort or funds in common property, then he will be entitled to reimbursement of expenses incurred by the improvement in a demand for dissolution of the partnership. It should also be noted that couples who have signed a prenuptial agreement tend to believe that you cannot deviate from the provisions of the agreement – but this is not so. Albeit a prenuptial agreement is evidence of the parties’ intentions regarding partnership in particular assets but the court will examine the totality of the circumstances with regard to that particular asset.