Israeli Court Asked to Recognize Gay Newlyweds' Prenup Agreement

Israel's family courts have already recognized such agreements for common-law same-sex couples. This case is the first to involve a married gay couple.

For the first time, a legally married gay couple on Sunday asked an Israeli court to validate a spousal support agreement signed between them. The men, Elad Aflalo Farber and Roni Farber Aflalo were married 10 months ago in New York. They subsequently registered their marriage with Population, Immigration and Border Authority, which is required to recognize the marital status of gay couples married abroad based on a six-year-old ruling by Israel's High Court of Justice.  After their marriage, the couple signed an ante-nuptial agreement. However by Israeli law, ante-nuptial agreements can only be validated by a family court.

The couple filed a motion with the Ramat Gan Family Court on Sunday with the help of attorney Irit Rosenblum, founder and CEO of the family rights advocacy non-profit New Family, to validate their ante-nuptial agreement. A decade ago an Israeli family court first recognized a spousal support agreement for a same-sex couple, but according to Rosenblum all same-sex spousal support agreements legally recognized until now were for common-law spouses, not for a legally married gay couple. Rosenblum also stated that spousal support agreements for non-married couples do not legally require court approval.

Rosenblum says that official recognition of a spousal support agreement for a married gay couple would be another step forward for gay rights in Israel.

"Unfortunately, the work of gaining recognition of the spousal rights of same-sex couples hasn't ended," said Rosenblum. "Until this form of relationship is set in legislation, same-sex couples will be forced to continue running to the courthouse for assistance.  It would be a good thing if the next elected Knesset began to deal with the status of same-sex couples in the law."