While the details of the case are not fully known, it appears that a man put in jail for refusing to acquiesce to his wife's demands in a divorce case has jumped to freedom. On Wednesday the man was brought into the Jerusalem Rabbinical court. He escaped by climbing out of the second floor bathroom window. A city-wide manhunt including a police helicopter have been deployed to track the man down. He had been in jail over the issue and prior sessions at the rabbinical court were conducted with the man in handcuffs and shackles. Preliminary reports indicate the man may have not wanted to agree to the child visitation rights, monetary payments, alimony and child support payments as stipulated by the opposing side's lawyers. Details have not been fully released at this time.
Many issues may have led the extreme situation. In Israel all men separated or divorced from a wife are legally required to pay child support. Failure to do so can result in a lien on one's bank account or jail time. The long-standing Tender Years Clause had stipulated that all children under the age of 6 will automatically live with the mother. In Jewish law the man must first issue the certificate of divorce to the woman and then the woman must accept it for the divorce to be halachically valid. This can lead either party to potentially blackmail the other by either refusing to give or accept the divorce papers, or 'get' by using monetary means or withholding child visitation rights. The 'get' must be given and accepted by one's own volition and not by coercion for it to be halachically valid.