A resident of Haifa who refused to divorce her husband for 14 years will do no jail time and receive 100,000 shekels from her husband in return for granting the divorce, a rabbinical court has ruled.
According to Ynet, the couple parted in 1993 and the husband filed for divorce, while the wife filed for alimony and child support. They moved back together afterward, though, and signed an agreement according to which the husband would cancel the divorce proceedings and would pay the wife alimony and child support despite their living in the same home, for an unlimited period of time.
The couple split up again in 2000, however, and the husband moved out of the apartment. In 2011, he filed for divorce and said that the wife is making him miserable, keeping his children away from him and refusing to divorce him for fear of losing the sum of 3,500 shekels he is paying her every month.
The wife refused to divorce, however, and demanded a process of reconciliation (shlom bayit) between her and her husband. The husband offered her 80,000 shekels in return for agreeing to divorce, but she rejected this, noting that the sum was only equivalent to what she would receive from him in the course of two years, under their current arrangement.
The Rabbinical Court recently decided to end the affair this year and ruled that there is no justification for a process of shlom bayit after so many years of separation. Rabbinical Judges Daniel Adri and Eyal Yoef accepted the husband's claim that the wife is not interested in him, but in his money, and that she is only dragging him out for the purpose of getting more cash from him.
In describing the wife's actions, the court used the verb “le'agen” – from the same root as “aguna,” the term used for women whose husbands refuse to give them divorce decrees.
However, unlike the cases involving “recalcitrant husbands,” who are routinely severely punished, this recalcitrant wife was not jailed for a single day, and was awarded 100,000 shekels in compensation from her husband.