Divorcing couples forced to wait

The growing number of couples wanting divorces is leading to longer queues at rabbinical courts around the country, and the rabbinical court in Netanya is feeling the pressure, reports www.local.co.il. Despite Netanya's rabbinical court being considered one of the quickest and most efficient in Israel, couples seeking a divorce there are being told they must wait at least five months before they can have their first appearance. According to the report, one resident said it was "unfair" that after she and her husband separated six months ago, they would now have to wait a further five months for their first hearing, at which "I know they will try to reconcile us." The report said a source at the Netanya rabbinical court confirmed the problem, saying the court had understood three years ago that the number of divorces was growing and that it would need more rabbinical judges (dayanim) to deal with the cases. But the source said the court's requests for extra judges had been refused, and that this was unlikely to change in the future. The source said that if there were more judges, the waiting time could be shortened from the current five months to one-and-a-half to two months. No response was reported from the Ministry for Religious Services.