A thank you from Margalit
When I first called the Rackman hotline, it had already been 10 months since my ex-husband abandoned us. I went to a well-known Rabbi in Paris to help me receive my Get but he wouldn’t help and did nothing for me. He asked me to be patient and said, don’t worry, one day you will receive your Get. I did not know who to turn to and thank G-d, someone told me about The Rackman Center and straight away you agreed to help me and filed for my divorce. You gave me hope and because of you I got my self-confidence back!
After just three hearings I received my Get, which in my view is nothing short of a miracle! I thought I would be stuck for years and yet today I am free from that heavy weight of worry. You were hard working and caring – thank you for the hours of work, thank you for everything! I am grateful to know that thanks to you, women do not need to fight this alone.’
Another thank you from Gila
“I wanted to call to thank you for the advice I received via The Rackman Center’s Legal Aid Hotline. I was put in touch with a lawyer who could not have done more for me. She spoke to me almost every day, one day until midnight and then we spoke again the next day. If it wasn’t for her I would have signed the agreement that my husband had put forward and I would have regretted it forever. She added so many clauses to the agreement—she turned one and a half pages into ten and ensured that I was in a far better position in the divorce. She checked over the final draft of the agreement and we were both able to sign it. I cannot thank the Rackman Center enough for this referral. I can now get on with my life with the rights I deserve. Thank you!”
Freedom Finally For Tamar – After a Divorce Refusal for 17 Years!
Tamar and her husband had three children. Nine years into their marriage a conflict began between the couple and the husband filed for divorce at the Rabbinical Court and the court ruled that the husband was obliged to give Tamar the Get. The husband did not come to the hearings and in fact “disappeared “ and left Tamar abandoned and unable to continue her life. Eight years later the court in Petach Tikva ordered to close the file and Tamar, feeling completely helpless, appealed to the Rabbinical Court. The Court tried to bring the husband to tribunal with subpoenas and arrest warrants but there was not success due to the husband's "disappearance". During this time, the husband sent requests and letters presenting requirements and conditions to be met before he was prepared to come to the court. In addition, the husband refused to pay child support which resulted in him being in thousands of shekels of debt to his children. This situation dragged on for 17 years and during all of that time Tamar was left without a divorce – she was a chained women. Tamar then contacted us through our hotline and in January the husband was called again to face the Rabbinical Court. The High Rabbinical Court issued an arrest warrant against him and he was released on bail on condition that he will appear for the hearing. After holding two hearings in the Rabbinical Court the husband finally agreed to give the Get after his alimony debt was offset. Last March – on the eve of the Festival of freedom, Pesach, after years being an Agunah, Tamar was finally freed.
Transatlantic Divorce—Via Virtual Messenger
At the age of 18, Rachel, from the USA, married an Israeli man and moved to Israel. After having two daughters they decided to get a divorce. It was agreed upon that Rachel would move back to America with their daughters but it soon became clear that her husband had no intention of giving Rachel a Get. The husband moved in with another woman and continued his life. Rachel, on the other hand, was unable to remarry and unable to move on with her life for eight long years. Last year, faced with this international battle, Rachel’s lawyer, Adv. Sarah Markovitch sough the help of the Rackman Center. We began to work together in order to resolve this case. We were successful in getting the rabbinical court to impose sanctions on the husband, such as taking away his drivers license and passport. After much discussion the husband agreed that after seeing his children in August this year, he would be willing to give the Get. Rachel traveled to Israel with her children – now ages nine and seven – who had not seen their father for seven years, and they met with him. Despite his promises the mother did not receive a Get.
We appealed to the high rabbinical court citing the husband's unwillingness to give the Get and pay child support. We insisted that the husband be incarcerated as a Get withholder. After a month in jail he agreed to give the Get. We were concerned that the husband may change his mind if the messenger were to travel to USA to handover the Get and therefore we pushed for a special exception to be made. We asked that the Get be given to a ‘virtual’ messenger in Israel and as soon as he was handed the Get it would be considered as if Rachel was receiving it, who was simultaneously with the New Jersey Beit Din on a SKYPE call with us. That is how Rachel received her Get and it was considered legal and final. We hope that this can become an accepted method in cases of extraordinary circumstances like this one.
A Get and Visitation Rights
Maayan and her husband had been married five years and had two children. Their relationship broke down and the couple signed a divorce agreement in court. Six months later her husband left the country before giving her a and fled to Canada, severed ties and could not be found. Maayan was left without a or child support. In addition to all this, the husband's mother filed a lawsuit for visitation rights accusing Maayan of abusing her children. As soon as the Legal Aid Clinic decided to take on this case, our lawyers set out on to help Maayan - dealing with Rabbinical Courts both here in Israel and in Canada. We were persistent and successful – managing to ensure Maayan received her . The court also dealt with the grandmother's claim for visitation rights, granting her to see her grandchildren every two weeks, per arrangement with the mother and on condition she does not bad mouth about Maayan to the children.
This is an example of how our specific expertise and energy solves difficult cases in a unique and effective way. Maayan not only received her Get but we also ensured that fair visitation rights were provided for the grandmother, while also protecting Maayan’s position as the respected mother of her children.
Child Support and Visitation Rights
Pnina called us for help during the divorce process. She and her husband had been separated for ten months. They had a ten month old baby. Her husband filed to the Rabbinical Court to handle the divorce, as well as property, custody and child support. They had started the divorce process with mediation in order to avoid court, but this was on condition that the husband chose the mediator he wanted. Pnina;s main concerns were to do with her child – sorting out the child support and visitation times. Her husband was only prepared to pay her 500 NIS towards child support and in the meantime has not even paid her that. Pnina earns 6,000NIS per month and needs help with child support. In addition the husband has not come to visit his child regularly during the week yet is demanding to take their child for long weekends. Pnina phoned us to find out what is acceptable to accept in terms of child support and visitations.
Our lawyer explained to her that the minimum acceptable child support payment is 1250 NIS per month plus expenses. When she reported this back to the mediator he told her there was no minimum amount. In addition, it is important for the father to look after his child on a regular basis during the week before he should be able to have him for a long weekend. I explained to Pnina that if this can’t be settled with mediation, she should turn to legal aid to appoint a lawyer to petition for child support and custody claims.
After a few weeks, Pnina called us again to tell us that indeed the mediation failed. She said she asked for legal assistance but they said they couldn’t deal with it for another three weeks. In the meantime she still wasn’t receiving any child support for her child. As a result, our lawyer contacted legal aid in order to hurry up the process getting her an appointment the following week. She then told me she didn’t know how to find a good lawyer at an affordable price. We referred her to a great lawyer who we know is willing to take on cases at a reduced rate. After several months she called back to thank us for our help and to say she has been very happy with the lawyer we referred her to.