For many Jewish women the prospect of getting divorced not only makes them worry about how their children will cope, raises fear for their future financial security but makes them question whether they will end up in limbo, with a civil law decree absolute of divorce from the Manchester divorce court but no religious Get. A new case may bring hope to those worried about securing a Get after their separation and civil divorce.
Manchester divorce solicitors
If you are divorcing and are worried about securing a Get or about negotiating the childcare arrangements for your children or your divorce financial settlement then the Manchester divorce solicitors at Evolve Family Law in Whitefield can help you. Call us on 0345 222 8 222, complete our online enquiry form or email [email protected]
Whitefield based Evolve Family Law solicitors are approachable and friendly, providing pragmatic expert divorce advice, financial settlement solutions and children law resolutions. Call us on 0345 222 8 222 and let the Whitefield divorce solicitors help you.
Obtaining a Get
The law has tried to help those trapped having secured separation or a civil divorce but unable to move on with their lives because they are not able to secure a religious divorce or Get. In what is being described as a landmark case, a woman has used legislation designed to protect victims of domestic violence to secure her Get. In this blog we look at how she achieved her Get and the alternatives to her course of action.
Obtaining a Get by private prosecution
An unnamed women from London obtained her Get after launching a private criminal prosecution against her husband for coercive control.
The case is thought to be the first time that the UK criminal justice system has been used as a means to secure a Get to enable the London woman to be able to remarry according to Jewish law.
If you are wondering about what the judge and jury said, this is a case where the private prosecution of the husband was withdrawn when he agreed to give his wife a Get. That meant his crown court trial didn’t take place and therefore the jury did not have to assess whether the man was guilty or innocent of the law against ‘coercive control’.
The wife used Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 to bring the private prosecution. The 2015 Act created a new offence of coercive or controlling behaviour in an intimate or family relationship. An offence is committed if:
- A person repeatedly or continuously engages in behaviour towards another person that is controlling or coercive and the two people are personally connected
- The person committing the behaviour knows or ought to know that their behaviour will have a serious impact and the behaviour does have a serious impact on the person subjected to the behaviour.
To be charged with an offence under the 2015 Act you must have committed controlling or coercive behaviour towards a ‘personally connected’ person. The law says you are personally connected if:
- You are in an intimate personal relationship or
- You live together and are family members or
- You lived together and were in an intimate personal relationship with one another.
Had the husband been found guilty of the criminal charge then he could have faced a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison. That was probably a very powerful motive to agree to give the wife a Get. However, some may argue that the Get was not freely given by the husband as he felt under pressure to provide the Get rather than offering it of his own free will.
Obtaining a Get through injunction proceedings
In the London case a private criminal prosecution was launched but the case is making Manchester divorce solicitors question whether a Jewish woman could apply for a civil or family court order alleging coercive control as a means to try and secure co-operation and the granting of the Get.
Many women assume that they cannot apply for a family court injunction order because their husband has not been violent towards them, or if he has it was ‘just a push or a slap’. The law on domestic violence is clear, domestic abuse includes emotional and psychological abuse as well as coercive and controlling behaviour. In addition, any form of domestic violence is unacceptable.
Accordingly, some women may want to consider if injunction proceedings would help provide leverage to secure their Get, in the same way that the wife used her private criminal prosecution to achieve her goal of freedom and an end to her being in legal limbo.
Obtaining a Get through UK divorce law
For a wife who wants to secure a Get but their husband is not co-operating the most widely known legal option is to use Section 10A of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, amended by the Divorce (Religious Marriages) Act 2002).
Under this legislation either a husband or wife is entitled to apply to the divorce court for an order stopping the decree absolute of divorce from being pronounced until the Get is obtained.
In another recent court case, spousal maintenance law was used as a means to achieve a Get. A Manchester businessman appealed against a financial court order made in divorce court proceedings. The court had ordered him to pay spousal maintenance at the rate of £1,850 a month until he gave his wife a Get.
The husband, Mr Moher, appealed saying it was wrong to order him to pay spousal maintenance until he gave his wife a Get because it introduced compulsion and, under Jewish law, a Get should be given of your own free will. The court of appeal disagreed and upheld the spousal maintenance order.
Talk to your divorce solicitor
If you need a Get then it is important that you tell your Manchester divorce solicitor this so that they know, in any negotiations, just how important the Get is to you and to your future happiness.
Once your Manchester divorce solicitor understands that you need the Get to re-marry under Jewish law and to have more children then this should be a priority for them. Even if your husband says he will cooperate and give you a Get or you do not contemplate re-marriage, it is still important to record the agreement on securing a Get in case your husband decides not to co-operate.
Robin Charrot, divorce and financial settlement solicitor at Evolve Family Law based in Whitefield, Manchester says:
‘’ Obtaining a Get can sometimes be hard work when a husband refuses to cooperate or prevaricates. It is vital that your divorce solicitor understands the importance of the Get to you. I have had solicitors question why it is significant to obtain a Get if a wife has achieved a civil UK law divorce as well as sorted out a child arrangements order and her divorce financial settlement. From my perspective, if a client wants Get it means the difference between a wife being able to get over her divorce and move on with her life feeling positive about her future and feeling trapped and forever controlled by her former husband. That is why the Get is so important and why the London landmark private prosecution will generate a lot of interest in Whitefield and North Manchester. It is another option to explore to secure your Get.’’
Manchester Divorce solicitors
If you are contemplating a separation or starting civil divorce proceedings but are worried about obtaining a Get then Manchester divorce solicitors at Evolve Family Law in Whitefield can help you. Call the Whitefield divorce solicitor us on 0345 222 8 222, complete our online enquiry form or email [email protected]
Whitefield based Evolve Family Law solicitors are approachable and friendly, providing pragmatic expert divorce, children and financial settlement law advice. Call Evolve Family Law on 0345 222 8 222 and let us help you.
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