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What is a Joint Life Agreement

Anat Levi
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I have been receiving services from this Law Firm for several years now and I want to say THANK YOU to the team, especially Joshua Pex. They are doing outstanding work. The services I have received for both our Israeli non profit association but also our social business have helped us solve many issues at hand and provided solutions in complicated situations. Personally, I am grateful for support in visa issues as a foreigner living now in Israel for many years.

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We came to Mr. Joshua with so many questions (and most of all, with so many concerns and worries) …

When we explained our case to him, first of all, he calmed us down and helped us to see the big picture, which took away our fears;

Then he presented us with a detailed explanation and a few options to explore, and a timeline, how things work and necessary steps to undertake on our part,

We thank and highly recommend Mr. Joshua for showing us so much empathy, care and professionalism (!)

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Josh has been helping me on and off for a few years now. I have needed legal advice and assistance with immigration due to a complex situation of mine, and he has been extremely available and responsive, honest and clear about my route and how to proceed. Very much recommended!

Stuart Safft

I am delighted to report that my wife and I have just obtained our Israeli citizenship. We will be forever grateful for all of the help, guidance and support which Ariel Galili of Decker, Pex & Co. provided through this process.
I am a Jewish, 80-year-old American, and my wife is not Jewish. We had started the process on our own back in November 2020 via the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh, but soon became entangled in the delays and often-changing regulations due to Covid-19. The pandemic also caused delays in obtaining the required apostilles for various documents from various state agencies and the US State Department.
We found Decker, Pex & Co. On the internet and began working with Ariel in late November 2021. Ariel did a superb job of leading us through the process, helping us to understand which documents were essential, which would most likely be required, and which, though included on the list of required documents, were rarely required. He helped us several times to understand what was likely and unlikely to occur as “the next step.” Helping us manage our expectations was extremely useful to us.
Besides his knowing the laws, regulations and procedures, Ariel also made us feel that he was truly interested in helping us to successfully work through this process in as smooth, timely, and frustration-free manner as possible.
My wife and I strongly recommend anyone planning to go through this process seriously consider hiring Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. and, specifically, Ariel Galili.

Paul Prince

The team of lawyers and assistants are incredibly professional. Aiming to give their clients the advice possible regarding the normative and the law of Israel. With well trained and professional secretary at the front desk to the lawyers team, I could say that I had one of the most professional services possible. I'm super glad of choosing Joshua Pex of Law office for immigration solution, lawyers to advise in my case, to me, it is remarkable.

Jacob Newberry

A really excellent firm. They knew exactly how to handle my situation effectively and efficiently, and we got the result I needed without much fuss. Adi Berger was a wonderful advocate for me and I am deeply grateful for her help!

Michael Soffer

I would like to recommend Attorney Yehuda Elcharar. He assisted both me and my company in a complex lawsuit. He handled negotiations that led to a favorable outcome much quicker than expected.

I am extremely pleased with choosing Attorney Elcharar. Many thanks also to the office team, Oz and Chaya, for their assistance throughout the entire process.

Thanks again ????

Michael and Ariellah Waizman

For Advocate Joshua Pex.

We were in a devastating situation when my wife received an order from the immigration office to leave Israel within 30 days, without any explanation, after we have been married and in the process for six and a half years. We heard of Advocate Pex through a friend of a friend. We contacted Mr. Pex and he was ready to help us when he heard of our situation.

The service is amazing! Always ready to assist without regard to the time it takes. The advice Mr. Pex gave us was great, such as what to do, he gave useful links, and advice about which officials to contact. The price for the service was great!

The process until we received the extension for another year for my wife was not long (3 months). Things started moving once Mr. Pex came into the picture.

We highly recommend Advocate Joshua Pex! We achieved our goal and the fear of deportation has been lifted!

Eden Weiss

Extrmely friendly, professional and helpful. A big thank you to Irina especially from the Jerusalem office. Highly Recommended.

Yossi Montrose

Very knowledgeable and professional

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Great Team. With no doubt, this office is actually thee best-leading office in Israel. Simply put, if you want your case to win, just join them, hand in your documents, and celebrate the victory.

Kindest regards,
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Greg Olson

We highly recommend Adv. Mike Decker and have know him for many years. He has helped our family with many battles over the years. We recently received our permanent residency after 23 years in Israel. We so much appreciate Mike’s representation of us.

Arielle Bosch

Incredibly knowledgeable, approachable, accessible, and evident across the board that they truly care about the people they are helping. They are quick to respond, engaged, and obviously top-notch lawyers. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Thank you, Joshua and Itamar for your help with our Joint Life Application. You were a calming energy during a storm - always breathed a sigh of relief after speaking with you. It is so difficult to get straight answers from the Misrad Hapnim, but you guys are straight shooters. I appreciate your candor and evident integrity. Hope to work with you in the future, and will send everyone I know in need of legal aid your way. Thank you for your guidance and support.

Priscilla Moses

competent consulting, fast processing, reliable, warm & good team. highly recommended

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I received a recommendation from friends about the firm, and indeed every word is correct, a service team, professional, welcoming, a fair price for the work I requested, I am satisfied

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Oded Ger did an excellent job by reviewing a modeling contract I was offered. Explained the bad clauses in the contract, and their possible consequences. Thank you for your amazing job, your professionalism, your consultation and honesty. You showed me from your experience how it can be done differently. It was the best decision choosing you as my lawyer.
I highly recommend this firm, especially Oded Ger.

Kfir Cohen

We were searching for a law firm that will be honest with us and really work hard for a satisfying result, it wasn't an easy task
We found them online; they were the only law firm from all of our searchings which were completely honest and NOT gave us just what we wanted to hear
Using them guaranteed honesty above all. A legal team that is friendly and cares for a superb result
They really care about helping their customers without any other interest
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We definitely recommend using them

Alexander P Gutterman

EU PASSPORT ! Big news! Thanks to Michael Decker and the other good people at the law office, as well as to the virtue of my ancestors, the cruelty of the Inquisition, reparations issued in the Iberian Peninsula, and etc, I am delighted to be on track for Portuguese and European Union Citizenship! A truly incredible development and one which brings me deep joy.

Morgan Jones

The team at Decker, Pex & Co have been awesome to work with in helping our US company establish banking in Israel and in providing counsel for legal needs in Israel. I highly recommend!

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We have been working with Decker, Pex & Co - Law Firm in Tel Aviv for many years very well. Because we appreciated their lawyers services, we recommended businesses and individuals again and again to go there as well.

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If you need to solve any complicated legal issue in Israel, don't hesitate to contact them. Otherwise you will loose hours/days/weeks with things that they can solve in minutes. They helped me to obtain my expert working visa in Israel and even after that they responded further questions and gave me advices related to administrative issues in Israel which saved me a lot of time. Irena Rosenberg and Michael Decker worked on my case, they are very professional and helpful. They will not let you down, feel free to contact them.

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We were very satisfied with the service of Nehama. She was very professional in all her dealings and kept us informed all the way.
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Shaltiel Devorah

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We are very happy with the services. Somehow they managed to translate the law lingo into language we actually understand 😉 and their outstanding YouTube videos helped us to have a better grasp of what process we had to go through. Their patience, clear explanation and experience are very valuable. It's also very nice to know that you will receive response promptly; it made us feel we can really trust their services. We recommend all those looking for immigration lawyers to get in touch.

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We had a pleasure of working with Irena Rosenberg who assisted in getting our two U.S. born children registered in Israel and supported visa process for my wife in 2021. During the pandemic, my wife and I decided to move to Israel where I am originally from after living in the U.S. for over 20 years, but we had no idea how to go about securing visas before and after arriving in Israel. Irena is knowledgeable, reliable and competent lawyer who always had answers to all our questions which made us feel confident that everything would be fine with her assistance. We are now happily living in Israel and are so grateful to have Irena who is a genuinely nice person as our lawyer.

Genaan Abdelall

I cannot recommend Nechama enough! Her expertise, professionalism, and dedication to her clients is unparalleled. From the moment I reached out to her, she provided clear and concise communication, and helped me navigate through a complex legal issue with ease.

Throughout the entire process, Nechama went above and beyond to ensure that I was informed and comfortable with every decision. She demonstrated a deep knowledge of the law, and was able to offer sound advice that ultimately led to a positive outcome.

What sets Nechama apart is her compassionate and empathetic approach to her clients. She truly cares about the well-being of her clients, and it shows in the way she handles every case.

If you are in need of a lawyer, I highly recommend Nechama.

Shurouq Hajyassin

We were very satisfied with the consultation we had.
You were very straightforward with us , You tried to help us in every way you could . we really appreciate that.
And of course the fast reply we got from you on our emails and the appointment you gave us .
You deserve more than 5 stars????

Josh W-S

The firm had a quick response to my last-minute needs, they were helpful in communicating with me in English, and they fulfilled my needs in a timely fashion.

Marce Ruth St. Rey

Party time in the heart, my beloved husband received his residence after so much time of battles and faith. Gratitude, God has blessed us with wonderful beings who have accompanied us, including a "precious angel" who touched our hearts, our excellent and fantastic lawyer: Maria Chernin Dekel, sweet and wonderful human being, who has guided us and stayed On our side. side in this intense legal transit whom we bless on every occasion. God bless you dear Maria, you have exceeded your professional duty by containing us and collaborating with us in hard times, very hard, for that we want to thank you publicly, you are unique!!!
We bless and thank the entire team at Decker Pex Tal Ofir Law Firm.

Amir Abt

The best lawyer firm I’ve had dealt with. I would like to thank Anat Levi and Ariel Galili from the Jerusalem branch for all of their efforts and patience, we could not have been Able to reach to where we are now without them

lynn vonne

Excellent service, very friendly and helpful, fast responding and very patient. Highly recommend. I will choose them again next time if needed.

Dumitrascu Cristina

Best lawyer house from Israel! I couldn’t dealt with my situation without their professionalism and effectiveness. Their dedication to every legal aspect and their drive it’s how a true lawyer house can be!
Working in European market and international now, I couldn’t dare to let myself wide my wings on countries unknown to me. Definitely they’ll be the lawyers representing me, my business at every international aspect and on personal development.
When you hear Decker,Pex,Ofir &Co, you hear 10+ class services, luxurious professionals, confidentiality and exclusive attention to your needs.

Sveta Vashkevich

We (myself and my husband) came to Mr. Joshua Pex – for his professional advice – and we received such human warmth and caring attitude, that our hearts melted …

His attention to our details and our situation peculiarities, combined with his professionalism and knowledge, helped us to map out what needs to be done on our part: we appreciate and recommend You, Mr. Joshua!

Joshua Pex was both an amazing human being and an inspiring human rights attorney. I reported directly to him for various activities I performed as in intern. I was impressed with his incredibly solid character. He is trustworthy, fair, and goes above and beyond to advocate for the vulnerable. He is completely trustworthy and high caliber in his work. His partners and employees are very blessed to work with him. I am honored to know them.

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Lilian Granovsky

I can highly recommend these services!
Every time we turned to Joshua we always got a professional quick and helpful respond.

A Joint Life Agreement (hereinafter: ‘Agreement’) is an Agreement between a couple, that settles the various issues that have arisen from their relationship. In this article we will explain in detail what a Joint Life Agreement is, and why it is important to draft one with the help of a family lawyer who is certified as a mediator.

The topics the article will discuss:

  • The circumstances that may lead to the necessity of an Agreement;
  • Who is advised to make an Agreement;
  • The dangers of not drafting an Agreement;
  • The content within an Agreement;
  • The approval of an Agreement;
  • The cancellation /violation of an Agreement.

The circumstances that may lead to the necessity of drawing up a Joint Life Agreement

?What is a Joint Life Agreement

In the State of Israel, there are many couples who do not establish a marital relationship. The reasons vary: the couple may not want to form a marital relation at all, the couple may not be able to marry in Israel (for example; same-sex couples, intermarriage, a divorced Cohen etc.).

The Prenuptial Relations Law, 1973, which only applies to married couples from January 1st 1974, allows any married couple to draft a prenuptial/financial agreement.

What can those unmarried couples, who want to arrange their property issues, do? What can married/unmarried couples do if they  want to solve other issues (besides property) between them?

The solution for all these couples would be to make a Joint Life Agreement.

Who is advised to make a Joint Life Agreement?

A Joint Life Agreement is recommended to various types of relationships, for example:

  • Unmarried, but authentic, couples: These are couples who have not married. These couples have rights to each other, after a certain amount of time of being together, hence the need for those couples to draft an agreement and regulate the issues that may arise from their relationship. Failure to do so may result in different results that they do not want at all.
  • Same-sex couples: These couples can’t marry in Israel. If they wish to settle their relationship, they can only do so within the framework of the agreement.
  • Couples married since January 1st 1974: These couples can draft a prenuptial agreement according to Sections 1 and 2 of the Prenuptial Relations Act, 1973. A Joint Life Agreement gives them the opportunity to regulate any other issues that may arise from their marriage.
  • Couples married before 1974: If these couples don’t form a Prenuptial Agreement, then the “Sharing Practice” (as will be explained below) will be applied to them, regarding their property. In relation to any other issues they may have, other than property, they must do so under an Agreement.

The dangers of not drafting a Joint Life Agreement

Couples who do not draft an agreement, which regulates their relationship status and the various issues that may arise within their relationship, may find themselves (usually when separated) subject to the court’s determination as to the nature of their relationship which can have significant implications. The following are a number of decisions set out in Israeli courts that illustrate the dangers of not making an Agreement and hence, the need for such an Agreement:

  • In the absence of an Agreement between unmarried couples, it is for the court to determine by various indications whether the couple will be formally recognized with a public status. (Isaiah Shahar v. Mendel Friedman).
  • Even if one of the spouses is still married, the couple can still be regarded as having a public status (CA 384/61 State of Israel v. Ruth Sophia Pessler).
  • Courts apply the “Sharing Practice” rule to couples with a public staus (Isaiah Shachar v. Mendel Friedman). The “Sharing Practice”, grants the couple equal rights in common property when the spouse claiming it proves the necessary conditions.

The “sharing practice” applies to Same-Sex Couples as well (Falon v. Falonon)

Publicly recognized couples and inheritance

  • Inheritance: in the event that one spouse dies and the remaining spouse was publically recognized as their spouse, that same person has rights to the deceased’s estate, pursuant to Section 55 of the Inheritance Law, 1965.
  • There may be items the deceased did not want their spouse to inherit yet, because they did not settle/acknowledge their relationship status in a Joint Life Agreement, the living spouse can be formally recognized as their partner and will receive parts of those items.
  • The reversed situation could occur: the deceased may have wanted to share their assets with their spouse, but the couple did not form a Joint Life Agreement. In this case, the court could decide that the couple did not have a public status and thus, the remaining spouse would be left with nothing.

Alimony between unmarried, but publicly recognized spouses

Unmarried, but formally recognized spouses have no legal right to alimony. In order to qualify for alimony during the Joint Life period, an agreement is required (Rachel Jaeger (Flink), also known as Flavitz v. Zeev Flavitz). Eligibility for alimony after separation requires an explicit agreement (Zimbol Vesno v. Isaac Cohen).

In summary: We recognize the importance of making a Joint Life Agreement – failing to make an agreement can have dire consequences. For married couples, the agreement will also be of great help if they divorce and need to make a divorce agreement.

It is important to make the agreement with the help of a family lawyer (preferably one also qualified as a mediator), who will be able to help the parties form a comprehensive and complete agreement leaving no gaps.

Content of a joint life agreement

In a Joint Life Agreement, the couple can include any subject they wish to settle. Here are the essential clauses to be included in the agreement:

  • Relationship status

This is the section where the couple declares themselves as spouses who maintain a joint household. This is a reference to the state authorities that they are a couple and they can receive various benefits (such as Social Security, etc.).

  • The property clause

This regulates the rights of both the joint property of the couple and the separate property of each spouse.

  • Child/spouse alimony clause.
  • Parental Responsibility and Child Care Clause.
  • A section providing a separation mechanism.

Approval of a Joint Life Agreement

A Joint Life Agreement does not need to be approved by any court in order to be valid. Both spouses signature on the Agreement is enough for it to be valid and binding. However, the couple is advised to approve the agreement with one of the following:

These bodies will approve the Agreement, after the couple have signed it, and seeing that the couple understand its contents, implications and consequences, and that their signature has been made voluntarily. It is highly advisable for the couple to approve the Agreement at the Family Court, in order to receive a judgment. Receiving a judgment for the Agreement will allow the couple to exercise and enforce the various clauses more easily when needed.

Cancellation/violation of a Joint Life Agreement

A Joint Life Agreement is a contract for all intents and purposes, which is why Contracts Law applies to it.

Interested in drafting a Joint Life Agreement? OUR LAW-FIRM  ARE HERE TO HELP!

Here at our Law Offices we have attorneys qualified as mediators. Our attorneys will guide you through drawing up a comprehensive Joint Life Agreement that will meet all of your needs.

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