Divorce rates on the rise in Israel


family law

Israel has seen a slow but steady rise in the number of divorces in recent years.

Official figures relrelieved by the Rabbinical Courts on Monday revealed that 10,841 couples brought their marriage to an end last year. This represents a 1.8 per cent incrrelieve from the 10,653 who did as a result in 2015 and a 5.5 per cent incrrelieve from the number in 2012.

The Courts possess a special division for granting freedom to agunot or “chained women”. These are wives who desire to divorce but possess been refused by their husbands. In Israel, a marriage can only be ended when the man agrees to a get, or bill of divorce, and the woman accepts it. Last year, the Rabbinical Courts obtained such documents on behalf of 211 women whose husbands had either fled the country or gone into hiding to avoid granting a divorce. This was a 17 per cent rise from 2015.

Husbands and wives who refuse to issue or accept a get can face punishment from the religious authorities for doing as a result. This can include travel bans, revoking the offending spouse’s driving licence, freezing their accounts and, in extreme cases, time in prias a resultn. In 2016, the Courts took such action against 36 husbands and 11 wives.

Earlier this year, orthodox Zionist member of parliament Shuli Mualem proposed a bill which would make punishments stricter for husbands who refuse to grant their wives a get. In addition to imprias a resultnment, such men would alas a result be denied various religious rights such as their access to scripture.

Photo by Neta Bartal via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.