U.K. court confirms Jewish man must pay wife millions until he gives 'get'

In his appeal, Alan Moher tried to claim that imposing a financial sanction on him would prevent him from granting the get and therefore leaving him unable to dissolve the marriage.

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August 25, 2019 14:52
2 minute read.
Gavel

Gavel [Illustrative]. (photo credit: INIMAGE)

A Jewish businessman lost his appeal against a UK Court ruling that forces him to pay his wife £22,000 ($27,000) a year until he accepts to give her a religious divorce, The Jewish Chronicle reported on Friday.

Last year, Alan Moher, 54, was ordered by a court to pay alimony to his wife, Caroline, as well as a £1.4 million lump sum pending his refusal to grant her a get (divorce bill).

According to a March report by The Times, Moher owns numerous rental properties.

He and Caroline married in 1995 and have three children. They separated in 2016. Part of the money allowed Caroline to relocate from Manchester, where her husband lives, to London.

In his appeal, Moher tried to claim that imposing a financial sanction on him would prevent him from granting the get and therefore leaving him unable to dissolve the marriage.

“The imposition of a financial sanction on a party, in a bid to force them to grant a get, invalidates the get under religious law,” Moher’s lawyers argued.

“It is wrong for the wife to receive a financial benefit and the husband a financial penalty by virtue of their religious beliefs,” they added.

According to Jewish law, in order to divorce, both members of a couple have to give their consent.

However, if a wife does not agree to give her consent, loopholes are often found. When men refuse to give a get, women are left bound to their failed marriages, sometimes for years. For this reason, they are known as “agunot” (chained).

Moreover, whereas men indeed have to consent to grant a get, Jewish religious leaders, including the Israeli chief rabbinate, allow very severe measures to force recalcitrant husbands to free their estranged wives. These measures sometimes include imprisonment, public shaming and fines.

On Thursday, Chief Rabbi David Lau backed a ruling preventing a man from burying his mother until he gave his wife the divorce. The attempt eventually failed after Meir Kin went back on his word and refused to terminate the marriage.

The UK Court of Appeal rejected Moher’s claims that the financial sanction would prevent him from giving a get.

“The court order provides only that until he grants a get, he has to pay periodical payments to his wife,” Lord Justice Moylan stated, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

Moyal also recalled that, under the 2002 Divorce Act, “a husband can be prevented from obtaining a civil divorce until he has done what is required to provide a religious divorce.”


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