Israelis to Receive Free Sessions to Hash Out Divorce Disputes

At first, no lawyers will be present in the process designed to avoid court proceedings.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
Noam Moscowitz

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and the bar association have agreed on regulations to solve divorce disputes amicably in a process in which couples get up to four free sessions to hash out their differences.

A law passed last year stipulates that couples who want a divorce will hold the sessions in an attempt to avoid court proceedings.

Under the agreement, a couple’s first meeting will be held in a so-called therapeutic environment: No lawyers will be present. But if the meeting becomes rancorous, the spouses’ lawyers may attend if the spouses request it.

The participants at the next three sessions will be determined based on the progress of the first meeting and the decision of the officials accompanying the couple through the process.

The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee is currently drafting further regulations for this so-called bridging process.

Shaked said Wednesday that the agreement “will significantly minimize the family rift caused by divorce disputes.” She said divorce disputes caused damage mainly to the children, “and it’s our duty to protect them.”