Removal of Religious Barriers to Remarriage: Court Seizes Husband’s Passport As Punishment for Failure to Give a Get

Unless an Orthodox Jewish woman obtains a get from her husband, she cannot re-marry after the civil divorce is granted.  Because of this religious barrier to remarriage, an Orthodox wife can easily find herself imprisoned in her dead marriage, isolated and ostracized from her community.

So important is it for religious women to receive the get that the get often becomes a bargaining chip in the divorce; to obtain it, an Orthodox wife may be coerced into surrendering significant economic and custody rights in exchange for the get.

In fact, to assure that a husband gives his wife a get,  New  York enacted a law which requires a plaintiff in a divorce action to remove all religious barriers to the other parties remarriage as a condition of granting the divorce. But, sometimes, even this statutory requirement is insufficient to assure that the wife receives the get.

Recently, as reported in  the New York Times, an Israeli rabbinical court seized the passport of an American businessman and barred him from leaving the country for more than a year — the tribunal found that the father was responsible for the husband’s refusal to grant his wife a get.  Specifically, the father was abetting the son by financially supporting him; the father was providing the husband and his new girlfriend with money and a place to live. While this punishment may seem draconian, the rabbinical panel was grasping to find some incentive for the Husband to remove the religious barriers to the Wife’s remarriage.   Without the get, even though parties were civilly divorced, the wife was being held captiveby her Husband.

While this punishment may seem draconian, the rabbinical panel was grasping to find some incentive for the Husband to remove the religious barriers to the Wife’s remarriage.   Without the get, even though parties were civilly divorced, the wife was being held captive by her Husband, unable to religiously remarry or have  "legitimate" children.

At Clement Law, we provide you with experienced, effective representation in your divorce and family law matters. We guide our clients through divorce and help them achieve results that protect their family, and their family’s future, after the divorce.

Contact us or call (212) 683-9551 to arrange for a consultation. We look forward to helping you

 

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