Rabbinic courts: only 427 open cases of lengthy divorce proceedings

There are currently about 427 open divorce cases in Israel that have lasted more than two years or in which more than 60 days have passed since a rabbinical court issued a ruling instructing one of the parties to give or agree to a divorce without divorce. . happening, the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee listened on Tuesday.

The hearing was requested as a follow-up to a previous committee hearing on the phenomenon of stubborn divorce and lengthy divorce proceedings that cause misery to those trapped in a marriage they want to end.

The figures were presented to the committee by officials from the Rabbinical Courts Administration.

Of the 427 cases, 382 are those that have taken more than two years to resolve without a divorce. In 45 other cases, more than 60 days have passed since a rabbinical court issued a ruling instructing one of the parties to give or agree to a divorce without the divorce being enacted.

According to the Rabbinical Courts Administration, 25% of the cases opened for more than two years are due to one of the spouses refusing to leave the shared home; another 30% of cases are the result of a spouse refusing to give or accept a divorce and has fled the country; 18% is due to one of the spouses having various difficulties in carrying out the divorce process, and 10% is due to the fact that the rabbinical court hearing the case has not yet issued a ruling.

Data from the rabbinical courts also showed that there are currently only 25 open cases of stubbornness in divorce in the country, while this year another 16 cases of stubbornness in divorce were resolved.

The Division of the Rabbinical Court for Agunot in Jerusalem. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

However, women’s rights organizations are skeptical of this figure, noting that a spouse can only be considered recalcitrant if the rabbinical court has issued a ruling that “compels” or “coerces” divorce.

In cases where the court only “recommends” divorce, a spouse who refuses to divorce cannot be considered a divorce refuser.

According to figures from the rabbinical court, the percentage of rulings that “compel” or “coerce” a divorce in the last three years was only 55%, which means that if a spouse refused to divorce in 45% of the other cases, they would not be considered a person refusing the divorce.

Formal figures show that only 0.07% of divorce cases from 2010 to today involve a divorce-refusal, while only 3.2% of divorce-refusal cases during the same period remain unsolved.

Rabbinical court data also showed that between 2016 and 2020, there were 569 divorce cases in which the rabbinical court initiated sanction proceedings against recalcitrant spouses.

During the hearing, attorney Batya Kahana-Dror, an expert in divorce proceedings, rejected what she called the “artificial differentiation” between lengthy divorce proceedings and stubborn divorce.

Kahana-Dror noted in particular that 10% of cases lasting more than two years are due to the lack of a rabbinical court ruling, while noting the high level of rulings that “recommend” divorce, where a spouse who refusing to divorce cannot be considered a divorce refuser.

‚ÄúDivorce cases that drag on to settle a divorce are also a form of stubborn divorce where extortion is used. I understand that rabbinical courts must make this distinction between having a ruling and not having it, but it is artificial. “

Pnina Omer, director of the Yad L’Isha organization, made a similar objection to the figures.

He noted that in 2019 alone, there were 70 cases in which a woman filed for divorce and the rabbinical court rejected the request. However, the husband shall not be considered as denying divorce to such women, even if in such cases the husband does not consent to the divorce.

A spokesman for the Rabbinical Courts Administration said: “Anyone who rejects divorce is a tragedy … but it can be proven that the rabbinical court system is working very effectively in dealing with divorce proceedings and is working to eliminate the phenomenon of divorce “. -rejection.”


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *