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Apr 23, 2017

Interesting Psak: splitting the apartment

A couple getting engaged added a clause to the tennaim regarding the purchasing of an apartment for the couple. The clause stated that the groom's father would give his son 250,000nis towards the purchase of an apartment for the couple, and the bride's father would give 500,000nis towards the purchase, and if necessary the young couple would complete the necessary sum on their own by taking a mortgage on any balance.

The couple got married and the parents each fulfilled their commitment, and the couple were the proud owners of an apartment. The apartment actually cost them 850,000nis, and the couple had taken a mortgage on the balance of 100,000 beyond what the parents had given towards the purchase. The apartment was registered in the names of the young couple.

Two years later, the couple decides to get divorced. The beis din decided that the two sides should each split the value of the apartment equally, despite the fact that the investment into the apartment was not equal. The wife claimed she shoudl walk away with 2/3 of the value, as per her father's investment into the apartment.

Upon appeal to the Higher Court she claimed that she deserves 2/3 because her father put 2/3 of the money in, as per the parents investment, yet the original beis din decided to split it equally because of the extra 100,000 mortgage.

The majority of the rabbonim on the beis din hearing the appeal decided to reject her claim and uphold the original decision, saying that the money given by the parents originally was a gift. As soon as the apartment is registered in the couples own names, it is theirs alone and the percentages originally invested are no longer relevant.

The minority opinion of Rav Igra saying that she keeps her fathers investment was rejected, and they split the apartment 50-50 despite the initial 33.3-66.6 breakdown.
source: Kikar

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