Draft Bill of Spousal Covenant
5 April 2021
Dear Clients and Colleagues,
We are writing to update you regarding the Draft Bill of Spousal Covenant for Persons Having No Religious Affiliation (Amendment) (Extension of Application and Additional Provisions), 5781- 2021 (the “Draft Bill“).
The Draft Bill proposes that the applicability of the Act on Spousal Covenant for Persons Having No Religious Affiliation (the “Act“), according to which a man and woman with no religious affiliation can enter into a relationship covenant before the Registrar of Couples, shall be extended subject to certain conditions.
According to the Draft Bill the application of the Act should be extended for those who cannot marry in Israel according to their religious law (for example, members of different religion, same-sex couples, couples of the same religion who are disqualified from marriage) or those who are not interested to marry according to their religious law. According to the Draft Bill, the spousal covenant made between the couple will receive official status in Israel, the couple will be registered as those who have entered into a spousal covenant in the Spousal Registry and the Population Registry and generally will be subject to rights and obligations as a married couple.
In order to enter into a spousal covenant, the couple should meet some conditions – they must be over the age of 18, residents of the State of Israel, not family members and not involved in any other relationships.
Couples who wish to enter into a spousal covenant shall declare in the agreement that they do not intend to marry under the religious law and that the Family Court shall have jurisdiction regarding the spousal covenant they entered into. The agreement should be signed before the Registrar.
The Draft Bill does not prejudice the validity of all the laws relating to marriage and divorce in Israel, and the authority in this matter shall remain with the Religious Court.
The Draft Bill has now been circulated for public comment.
We remain at your disposal for any questions or clarifications on the matter.
Private Clients Department
Herzog Fox Neeman