Man 'spends six years on the run to avoid divorce with wife'

·2-min read

An Israeli man has been arrested for allegedly refusing to give his wife a divorce for 13 years, which included spending the last six years reportedly on the run to avoid a court appearance.

Under Israeli law, divorce is exclusively in the hands of the rabbinical courts and when a couple want to divorce, the man has to give the woman a document called a "get".

But in some cases the husband refuses unless the wife agrees to sign over all the property or make a financial payment to the man and his family.

If a man refuses to give his wife a "get", there are various measures that can be taken against the "recalcitrant" by the religious authorities, including banning him from leaving the country or ordering his employment be terminated.

Orly Vital (left) wants to divorce from husband Ronen (right) in Israel.
Orly Vital (left) has been seeking a divorce from her husband, Ronen (right). He allegedly went on the run for six years. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

But in this case Ronen Vital allegedly disappeared from the rabbinical courtroom where divorce proceedings had been taking place back in 2015 between him and his wife, Orly. 

At the time, they had already been in the process of getting divorced for six years.

Since then, the mother of four had been left in legal limbo as she could not divorce her husband unless he gave her a "get" and he had always refused to do, she told local newspaper The Times of Israel.

Private investigators tracks down on-the-run husband

Ronen was tracked down after allegedly six years on the run when a legal aid organisation called Yad La'isha received a tip-off about his whereabouts.

They put private investigators on the case, resulting in his arrest.

According to the organisation's director, Pnina Omer, the husband is still refusing to divorce his wife even after his arrest last week.

Orly, 42, claims their marriage went south when both their families started arguing about money. 

She says he would quietly whisper in her ear: "You'll never be given a get until you give my mother money."

Orly claimed he would whisper to her quietly because he was afraid she would record him because this was what he would always do to her.

It is currently unclear what steps the authorities plan to take to resolve the situation, but Orly says her predicament has not stopped her from carrying on with her life, whereas he has spent his in hiding for the last six years.

– Australscope

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