|Court Orders Man to Pay Compensation for Persuading Brother Not to Divorce Wife|
|Written by Ruby Ong|
In a precedent-setting decision, the Jerusalem Family Affairs Court ordered a man to pay over $10,000 in compensation to his sister-in-law because he persuaded his brother not to grant her a divorce. The woman was represented by NIF grantee Mavoi Satum (Dead End), which is a member of the International Coalition for Agunah Rights (ICAR), also supported by NIF. According to Jewish, and thus Israeli law, a woman who does not receive a religious divorce from her husband is known as an agunah, or chained woman, and cannot remarry.
The court heard testimony on the methods by which the man assisted, counseled and convinced his brother to refuse to grant his wife a divorce, including his efforts to extort money from his sister-in-law. Said Judge Menachem Cohen, "It is a fine line between a family member supporting his relatives during divorce proceedings and when that support becomes illegitimate and incitement."While courts have frequently handed down fines in recent years to recalcitrant husbands, in part due to the work of the NIF family, this is the first time that a third party has been penalized.