Is cheating wife entitled to half of her husband's home?

Supreme Court grants additional hearing after women's groups protest ruling denying unfaithful wife half of husband's previously-owned home.

Shlomo Pyutrikovsky,

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Israel's Supreme Court will hold an additional hearing after rejecting in November an appeal to grant a woman who cheated on her husband half of his home.

Nine justices will be present at the hearing, which will review a case ruled on by Israel's Supreme Rabbinical Court.

The ruling, which evoked public outcry, allowed a husband whose wife cheated on him to divorce her without granting her half of his home. The home had been built on land owned by the husband prior to the couple's marriage, and none of the couple's shared money went into building it.

The unfaithful wife claimed that the intentions of partnership entitled her to half the apartment's worth, while the husband claimed that since his wife cheated on him, there is no intention of partnership for an apartment which was not built or bought with shared finances.

The rabbinical courts accepted the husband's argument, and the woman's appeal to the Supreme was rejected by Justices Alex Stein and David Mintz, while Justice Isaac Amit argued in her favor.

Stein and Mintz noted that even though the act of cheating is not a reason to strip a woman of her rights, it does influence the husband's intention to share his properties with her. Amit, on the other hand, claimed that the ruling was in contradiction to the rule that cheating is not a reason to revoke rights in case of divorce.

Among those who requested to join the next hearing as "friends of the court" are a list of women's organizations, including Na'amat, Mavoi Satum, Kolech, and The Israel Women's Network, which protested the original ruling.