Divorce law in Israel is a composite of each individual's religious laws (based on his religion and ethnicity) and the civil-territorial law that applies to all citizens and residents of the State of Israel. The Rabbinical Court Jurisdiction law of 1953 grants the rabbinical courts authority to decide personal status matters related to marriage and divorce of Jews in Israel and establishes Jewish law as the basis for their decisions.
In addition to their commitment to Jewish law, the rabbinic courts are also bound by the basic rights both sides have to human dignity and freedom and by the related civil laws. Thus, for example, the Financial Relations between Spouses Act - 1973 legislates the equal division of property that was jointly earned and saved. This law applies, by virtue of a Supreme Court ruling from 1994, even on couples who were married before the 1973 law was passed. Civil courts, empowered by the family court Law of 1995, deal with divorce related issues, when the divorcing individuals (or individual) turn to them and authorize them to do so.
About ten years ago, guided by the objective of providing the rabbinical courts with the necessary tools to contend with unjustified recalcitrance (with regard to the get) by one of the divorcing sides, the rabbinical courts Law of 1995 was passed. This law, enforceable once a rabbinical court has officially ruled obligating a couple to divorce, allows the bet din to implement various civil sanctions against the recalcitrant side. Thus, for example, the bet din can prevent the recalcitrant spouse from leaving the country, from acquiring, renewing, or holding a driver's license, passport, or credit card, from receiving full bank services and from working in a government position or in a job that requires a permit or license. If the court ruling called for 'get coercion', the bet din can even imprison the recalcitrant side for up to five (and in special cases - up to 10) years, and in the case that he is already imprisoned - worsen the terms of his imprisonment and have him placed him in solitary confinement for periods of time.
Matters that are tied to divorce such as property division, alimony, and child custody can be resolved and included in the divorce agreement that is jointly written by both divorcing sides, with the assistance of an arbitrator or legal expert, or alternatively, left for the divorce hearing. The divorce hearing can be held either in a family court or in a rabbinical court, depending on the preferences of the sides involved, on condition that the various claims were attached, as required, to the divorce suit. According to the 1973 Financial Relations Between Spouses Act, assets accrued in the course of a marriage are divided between the husband and wife only after the marriage has been terminated. Thus, in the absence of an agreement between the sides, one would not be able to turn to the Repossession Bureau for the implementation of a ruling regarding financial settlements before that point, except in the case of property that is registered in both sides' names, or a marriage that took place before 1974 (the year the law came into effect).
For legal concepts regarding divorce, click here.