There are no binding child support guidelines in Israel. The amount of child support is determined on a case by case basis. The law governing the personal status of the parent determines the extent of his or her child support obligations. Personal status in Israel is a function of the religious community with which a individual is identified, regardless of ones religious convictions or lack thereof. An Israeli Jew is subject to Jewish Law, an Israeli Muslim to Sharia Law and Christans are subject to the law of those denominations recognized by statute. All others are subject to civil child support law.
Under Jewish Law, the father is solely responsible for meeting the child’s needs. Today the courts define that basic amount as equal to 1,400.NIS. In addition, the father is charged with paying a percent of the overhead costs of the child. For one child it’s 33%, for two children, 40% and for three or more, 50%.
When a child reaches the age of 15, the father is responsible only for basic needs, while the mother shares responsibility for non-basics, such as extra-circular activities and trips. At the age of 18, child support is reduced to 1/3 if the child serves in the defense forces or is a matriculated student. The obligation ceases when the child reaches 21.
While the father’s income is considered, the determining factor is the needs of the child. Thus, even an unemployed father who makes a good faith effort to find a job will not pay less than the minimum amount which courts have ruled are required for the child’s basic needs. Some recent case law has obligated mother’s to contribute to the child’s support where there is no acceptable to reason for them not to work.
Fathers who reside abroad will be required to pay child support in accordance with the laws of his country. Foreign law must be proven by legal opinion rendered by a qualified lawyer.