When “Mixed” Marriages Fall Apart: A Socio-Legal Perspective

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This article sheds light on the socio-legal implications of the dissolution of “mixed” marriages. By analyzing two legal cases decided by Israeli shari‘a and civil courts, the article shows how such dissolution transforms the map of social conflicts and coalitions that was formed when the marital union was established. It illustrates how the ex-spouses’ families and communities are drawn into the custody struggles following the divorce, and how communal/religious courts may side with the spouse of the same community/religion. It argues that ex-spouses who converted to their partners’ religion–more often women than men–might be disadvantaged by this situation, and demonstrates how courts and parties to the postmarital intercommunal conflict infuse the concept of the “child’s best interests” with diverse cultural meanings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-329
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Israeli History
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • High Court of Justice
  • Interfaith marriage
  • Israel
  • custody
  • divorce
  • shari‘a courts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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