Support-Paying Father Banned from Leaving Israel for Nearly 8,000 Years
As was reported in a recent news article a divorced Australian father has been barred from leaving Israel for a period of nearly 8,000 years, after a local court adjudged him as owing a large “future debt” for child support.
The mother had obtained the child support order in Israel after she moved back there and filed for divorce, taking their two young children with her. The 44-year-old father relocated to that country in 2012 to be closer to his children. Under the governing divorce statute, he was ordered to pay 5,000 Israeli shekels per month, until both children turn 18. (In Canadian dollars, that cumulatively amounts to about $2.7 million in future child support payments).
But in 2013, under “stay-of-exit” order issued pursuant to a little-known local law, the father was barred from leaving that country until he pays up, or until December 31, 9999 – whichever comes first. The order precludes him from leaving Israel even for work or a vacation, until the child support debt is paid.
According to sources quoted in the article, under the civil and religious laws of Israel all fathers are expected to pay 100 percent of their income – or more – to financially support their children. Those who cannot come up with the required monthly child support can face this type of judicially-imposed travel ban, or might even face court-ordered stints in prison lasting up to 21 days for each infraction, regardless of their financial ability to pay. In some cases, fathers who have merely visited Israel to see their children have become unwittingly trapped in that country under this kind of stay-of-exit order which prevents them from leaving.
Importantly, these orders can apply to citizens and non-residents alike, in cases involving marriage, divorce, child custody and child support. They can even apply to those whose marriage took place in a country other than Israel, and even if the other parent is not currently present in that country.
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