Common-Law (Cohabiting) Couples
The issue of common-law couples is a complex and multifaceted issue, and in recent years has been evolving and subject to many changes.
In the past, the Courts approach regarding the definition of common-law couples was inflexible, and it was necessary to prove that the couple in question lived under one roof. With time, as part of the trend, to consider the essence rather than the form, the iron rules have blurred, and the definition of common-law couples broadened to the extent that cohabitation under one roof is no longer necessarily required and the common-law couple may even reside in completely separate home.
The growth and flexibility of the institute of common-law couples, have occurred, among others, due to increase a number of e couples that are unable and/or do not wish to marry according to the law and the absence of an appropriate alternative of a civil marriage in Israel. These couples include the situation where the man is a Jewish Cohen (priest) Cohen) and the woman is divorced, or couples of the same sex, or couples that ideologically are not interested in a religious wedding.
In order for the couple to be able to prove that they had the relationship which entitles them the recognition of a common-law couple, they must meet certain criteria, when each case will be examine on its merits and according to the substance of matters rather than according to the title or the external appearance.
Recognition of the term common-law couple is extremely important since it involves many rights of the couple, among them, property rights, entitlement to future assets such as pension and various funds, rights for a wife's alimony under certain circumstances, child support and additional rights.
Gila Barzili Law Office specialized in the issue of common-law couples and has been representing successfully both plaintiffs wishing to obtain recognition as a common-law spouse and the relevant rights, as well as the defendants who have suddenly received a claim from a past spouse asserting recognition as a common-law spouse. Gila Barzili Office assists its clients in coping with such claims, professionally and successfully.