A Jerusalem Family Court judge has set a legal precent, according to Yisrael Hayom, in a ruling that frees a divorced father of the obligation to pay any child support for two children who are not under his custody.
According to Jewish law, only fathers have to pay child support. The law in Israel sets no limit to how much of a father's earnings can be taken for child support, and family courts are known to garnish fathers' entire salaries and even disability stipends to this end.
Therefore, the ruling by Judge Nimrod Flax comes as a surprise.
Both the father and the mother in the divorce case live off limited means. The mother has custody of the couple's two girls and lives off a National Insurance Institute stipend and government child allowances.
The father has custody of three boys.
"There is no real dispute,” wrote Judge Flax in his verdict, “that the sides are lacking in means and lived meagerly, before the separation, and to say that they do not possess bountiful resources now, either – would be an understatement.
"In addition,” the judge determined, “it should be remembered that any sum that the father is made to pay the mother for the support of the minor girls will limit his resources and harm his ability to satisfy the needs of the minors who are under his custody.”