The Rabbinical Court in Netanya recently issued an extensive, in-depth halachic ruling warning spouses and their lawyers against the frivolous use of police complaints to get leverage in disputed divorces, Maariv reported on Sunday.
The ruling by Rabbinical Judges Rabbi Shlomo Shapira, Rabbi Avraham Meizels, and Rabbi Raphael Ben Shimon was issued in a case of a couple from Netanya, the parents of three children, who fell into a murky relationship and have been separated for three years, but also meet intermittently. The husband filed for divorce and since then his wife has filed a series of false complaints with the police, claiming that the husband imprisoned her in the study and used violence against her. The husband was arrested and removed from his home, but the wife persisted in repeatedly filing complaints with the police, causing the husband to be permanently restricted from entering his home and his children, and even from his place of business, which denied him his livelihood.
Nevertheless, when the husband asked the rabbinical court for a divorce, the wife refused and demanded that the court enforce “shalom bayit” – lit. peace in the home, meaning an attempt to impose domestic tranquility.
The rabbinical panel wrote: “One cannot say too much about the humiliation involved in actually removing one of the spouses from his home when he is escorted by the police in front of the neighbors when he is put in a police car. One cannot exaggerate the dubious experience of staying in a detention cell, especially for a normal person. At the end of the investigation, the person who was arrested is removed for a few days, having committed no crime, only for tactical purposes.”
The court granted the divorce citing several halachic reasons for compelling the wife to agree to end the marriage. The same rabbinical court also attacked the tactical exercises by spouses who request that “shalom bayit” be imposed when in practice they are not interested in it at all.
The court warned the public to avoid filing false complaints with the police.