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Florida bill seeks to ban ‘foreign’ family law

A draft bill currently proceeding through the Florida Senate could prohibit the application of foreign law in family cases across the state.

If passed into statute, Senate Bill 58Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases – would make legal rulings by foreign bodies “void and unenforceable” in Florida if they did not “grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges guaranteed by the State Constitution or the United States Constitution.”

Under the bill, Israeli law would become unenforceable because it does not maintain a strict separation between church and state. Jewish divorces and related family law rulings would no longer be legally recognised, potentially preventing second marriages, court cases regarding alimony (maintenance) and similar measures.

State officials would be required to inform Israeli couples living in Florida that they cannot rely on any legal provisions made in their home country.

Foreign couples living in the ‘Sunshine State’ would also not be able to rely on prenuptial agreements agreed under foreign jurisdictions if they decided to divorce, the Sun Sentinel reports.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Andrew says:

    I know from professional experience that the Beth Din (the Jewish ecclesiastical body) in this country will not process a “get” (a religious divorce) unless there is a civil divorce. They will not release the paperwork which will allow a second religious wedding until the decree is absolute.

    They will also not marry you unless you go through the civil procedure of giving notice to the Registrar.

    All of which is as it should be.

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