A wealthy member of New York’s Hasidic community who is accused of helping his son refuse to grant his wife a divorce has been barred from leaving Israel after rabbinical authorities in the country seized his passport.
In its first ruling of its kind, Israel’s rabbinical court system has punished a parent for a son’s actions — in an attempt to solve the lengthy, rancorous divorce dispute, The Associated Press reported.
An ancient Jewish law mandates that a woman requires her husband’s approval to dissolve a marriage – leaving thousands of women in limbo when their husbands refuse to grant a gett, or divorce document.
The rabbinical courts have cracked down against recalcitrant husbands in recent decades, but the case involving the businessman is the first in which the courts have gone after a husband’s parent.
The husband splits his time between a home in Brooklyn and a luxury Trump residence near Miami, both of which are owned by his parents – while his wife is left hanging.
The names of the parties have been barred from publication.
The court system said the case in question is “one of the most difficult” it has faced because the wife suffered a stroke during a visit to Israel with her husband in 2005.
She became partially paralyzed shortly before requesting the divorce a decade ago, according to court documents. She and their two children stayed in Israel, where she acquired citizenship.
Her husband has ignored her request and a court ruling for a divorce as well as another ruling demanding he pay alimony. He has told Israeli Channel 2 TV that he would approve the divorce if his children returned to the US.
The father, who runs a real estate company, was in Israel last year when he was ordered to hand in his and his wife’s passports and barred from leaving the country. He also was sentenced later to 30 days in prison for contempt of court.
In Israel, where there are no civil marriages, couples must marry or divorce according to religious law — or travel abroad for a civil ceremony. Women who are not granted divorces are often forced to give up their child custody rights or alimony payments to persuade their uncooperative husbands to grant a get.
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