The facts of the case were the following:
- a divorced father earned 13,000 shekels (approximately $3600) per month and lived in a rental apartment
- a divorced mother earned 18,000 shekels (approximately $5000) per month and owned a house
- “the children spend more than half of their time with the father,” said the judge
Israeli law has a built-in gender bias, with divorced fathers who lose custody responsible for 100 percent of the cost of their children and 75 percent of the cost where the kids’ time is divided between parents. A divorced mother with a job, however, may have to pay a share of “extras” such as vacations for children.
With these facts, the mother sought to have approximately 100% of the father’s after-tax salary transferred to her as child support (“she had sued for over 13,000 shekels a month”). The judge concluded that the mother was entitled to just 2% of what she was seeking (300 shekels per month; roughly $83) and that it wasn’t worth ordering that this small amount of money be paid from one former spouse to the other.
Israeli readers: How does it work over there? What typically happens when middle/upper income couples with kids split up? Can a parent make a substantial profit on child support payments? Would you have been surprised if this mother had succeeded in collecting 100% of her ex-husband’s income?