Judge urges clarity for unmarried couples

A Haifa District Court judge is making waves by declaring that the term "yeduim ba'tsibur" ("publicly known") to denote unmarried couples who live together is archaic and should be replaced, reports www.mynet.co.il. Judge Yael Vilner said the term "shutafut zugit," or "joint partnership" would better reflect the real relationship of such couples and their status under the law. According to the report, the judge made her comments while ruling on a case in which a woman claimed that a man was her "yadua ba'tsibur" de facto husband and that after he died she was entitled to inherit his property. The man's children claimed, however, that the pair were not a couple and the woman was merely their father's care-giver and not entitled to inherit from him. The local Court for Family Matters ruled in the children's favor, but the woman appealed to the District Court. Judge Vilner overturned the lower court's decision and ruled in the woman's favor, saying that the time had come to replace the concept with a term that would better reflect the intentions and real relationship of a couple and indicate their legal status.