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Orthodox Jewish father jailed for encouraging divorce refusal

An Orthodox father must serve time in prison after encouraging his son to refuse a divorce, a senior Israeli court has ruled.

The man, a member of the Haredi  community, was sentenced to 30 days in prison earlier this year. He was also fined $23,600, half of which will get to son’s stranded wife.

Under Israeli law, Jewish men must grant their wife a traditional religious divorce document called a get. Until they do so, the couple remain legally married, no matter how estranged, and cannot marry anyone else. Civil marriage is not available in the Middle Eastern nation.

The High Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem has now confirmed the sentence following an appeal. The ruling is said to be one of the very first to punish a third party involved in a dispute between a husband refusing a get and an agunah (‘chained wife’).

Following an investigation by officials from the Regional Rabbinical Court of Tel Aviv, they concluded that the father had played a major role in persuading his son to refuse the get over a period of several years.

The couple in question lived in the United States. During a family visit to Israel a decade ago, the wife suffered a serious stroke. The husband then returned to the United States without her, leaving the couple’s children with her. Since then , reports say, he has continued to refuse a get.

The father has now appealed to the High Court of Israel, the highest judicial authority in the country.

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. JamesB says:

    Just saw the following.

    It seems there is confusion in this community. I’m not for Burkas or anything but I think media influence upon peoples marriages has been negative. Whether it be desperate housewives as on here or Eastenders where everyone splits up.

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