In developing news which is rocking the entire frum community, a woman remarried this week despite multiple Rabbonim disputing the validity of her get.

The parties got married on November 5, 2013. There is one child of the marriage, who is now 6 years old.

The wife first filed in court for a divorce from her estranged husband back in August 2017.

After several months of negotiations, in January 2018, she agreed to arbitrate the divorce in bais din.

On May 3, 2018, Bais Din Ohr Halacha, which is led by Rabbi Pinchos Rabinowitz, issued a final psak establishing a visitation schedule as well as child support of $100 per week, to be increased to $150 per week the following year, and then to $200 per week the following year, and thereafter there shall be a 3.5% increase added to the amount paid the previous year. Additionally, the Father shall pay an additional $750 for Pesach and Sukkos, increasing to $1,000 when the child is 6 years old. This set up was too remain until their child reached 24 years old or gets married, with wedding support for the child "to be determined at a later time." This child support award is in addition to tuition and similar charges, which currently comes to approximately $24,000 per year.

Bais Din acknowledged that based on the State's Child Support guidelines and a review of the parties tax returns, the father's child support obligation should presumptively be $25 per week. Yet, they increased this obligation significantly "a) because the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved; b) the great financial resources available to the father from sources other than employment, including, but not limited to the financial access of the father to their marital home; c) the father is soon graduating law school and is eligible for a decent income.

According to a psak issued by the Bais Din one year later, "the wife has not been compliant in many ways. For example, throughout the length of the case she has refused visitation and more recently she is demanding only supervised visitation." Eventually, the father was forced to seek judicial intervention to be able to see his child.

Over the course of 4½ years, the divorce became highly contentious, both in civil court and bais din, with the parties litigatin both the financial and custody issues, filing 38 motions, and appearing before five different jurists. Additionally, temporary orders of protection were sought and received.

On August 8, 2019, the court modified the psak to end the requirement to pay child support until the child reaches the age of 21 years old, however, the court court also vacated the portions of the psak that decided custody and visitation (because New York law does not permit arbitration panels to issue rulings regarding custody and visitation).

On November 4, 2019, the court directed the parties to attend a parent education course and appointed a forensic evaluator to assist the court in dealing with the parties.

Throughout all this time, the man did not give his wife a get.

At one point, on a Monday in March 2021, a campaign website was launched in an attempt to urge the man to give a get. Things immediately spiraled downwards from there. Demonstrations were held outside his place of residence and his father's place of employment. Simultaneously, riots with eggs and rocks being thrown were held outside the homes of other community members who did not give their wives a get. At the time the rioters stated that they were planning to riot outside the man's home the next night.

He got really nervous about the prospects of a riot happening outside his own house.

Heavy protests were held outside his fathers place of employment to pressure him to urge his son to give a get. The father caved in and physically beat up his son, causing him to reluctantly give a get.

Community leaders told the man that once he gives a get, his estranged wife will stop litigation in court.

Alas, this turned out to be patently false.

She pressed on in court and went for trial.

The court held a trial over 11 days between May and November 2022. Ultimately, on March 31, 2023, Judge Joanne D. Quinones issued a written 73 page ruling, granting sole legal and sole residential custody to the mother, subject to the father having parenting time. The judge found that "this is in the best interest of the Child because it will reduce conflict in this highly acrimonious and high-conflict relationship, encourage collaboration where appropriate, and set a clear mechanism by which final decisions can be made."

The mother shall have sole decision-making authority on all medical, health, welfare, and educational decisions. However, she shall first consult with the father before making any final major decision regarding medical, health, welfare and educational issues. Additionally, routine day-to-day issues concerning the child shall be decided by the parent who is caring for the child at the relevant time, without the need for joint consultation or consent.

The Court-ordered forensic evaluator recommended that the father have supervised visitation based on wild accusations that "the father's behavior towards the mother is overbearing, uncontrolled, hostile, aggressive, without regard to her feelings." Curiously, the evaluator expressed the following concerns: Even if the father claims that he'll be nothing but the kindest father to the child, his manner of addressing and dealing with the mother is unfortunately likely to wear her down and to possibly push her into feelings of depression, hopelessness, helplessness, and trapped, and that would harm the child of an exuberant, emotionally effusive, loving parent to the extent that the mother is currently.

The judge rejected this wild recommendation, explaining that "supervised visitation is appropriately required only where it is established that unsupervised visitation would be detrimental to the child" (Griffin v. Danzy) and the potential harm to the child by the continuation of father's unsupervised parenting time, as articulated by the forensic evaluator, appeared speculative.

Due to her continued litigation as well as the coercive circumstances leading up to the giving of the get, multiple Rabbonim, including the Badatz Mishpatei Yisroel and Rabbi Leib Landesman issued psakim disputing the validity of her get.

Shockingly, despite these psakim, just this week, she got remarried!

The county court proceedings continue with him seeking judicial intervention for the return of the jewelry and her demanding to receive the Kesubah money.

In the meantime, the man has filed a Notice of Appeal to the Appellate Division, seeking to overturn the county court's affirmation of Bais Din's high child support award.

Of note is that the other 2 community members who endured demonstrations outside their homes after not giving their wives a get also agreed to give a get due to the coercion. Subsequently, Rabbonim have signed psakim calling into question the validity of the get due to the wives not upholding their part of the deal.

The husband has pending lawsuits against the organizers of these riots. Since the filing of these lawsuits, no big riots have been launched against any other community member for refusing to give a get.

Finally, this story highlights the importance of choosing which Bais Din to grant jurisdiction over deciding the amount for child support as based on the father's tax returns he would be required to give only $25 per week.

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Anonymous said...

Leave FAA news for government politics not Jewish Halacha please

Anonymous said...

"Rocking the entire frum community"?! Who are you referring to? Leaders of the frum community are eerily silent.I would be curious how they understand the פסוק of ארור אשר לא יקום.

Anonymous said...

If there aer no names this piece is worthless. Just convincing the readers not to look at your site.
I have nothing say - dont say it.

Anonymous said...

Below is a letter from Rabbi Landesman who is recognized as an expert in גיטין

Anonymous said...

Mazel tov! Wishing the new couple happiness and joy forever.

Anonymous said...

Are these Syrians?
They're all of a sudden active in threatening husbands.

Anonymous said...

Stay in your lane. This has nothing to do with anything

Anonymous said...