In Israel, the sole authority for all marriages and divorces of Jewish Israeli citizens are the rabbinical courts. These courts are obliged to abide by the laws of Halacha. Since the rabbis cannot force husbands to divorce their wives and cannot force wives to return to their estranged husbands, they ask that the couples reach an agreement on their own. The situation lends itself to the extortion of wives by their husbands, and many women – having no alternative – give up their property, savings, and sometimes custody of their children in order to obtain a get.
ICAR has established a legal committee whose members are lawyers and legal experts in the field of Family Law. The goals of the Legal Committee are to initiate and draft legislative reforms that will assist Agunot and Mesuravot Get
ICAR has initiated the following legislative reforms:
- Ending the Race for Jurisdiction between the Rabbinical Courts and the Civil Courts;
- Legislation to match the fees in the Rabbinical Courts and Civil Courts
- Legislation requiring adequate representation for women in the Committee for appointing Rabbinical Court Judges;
ICAR is also working towards excluding child support from the divorce proceedings, against the cancellation of the young child custody presumption and for opening up positions within the Rabbinate and the Rabbinical Courts for women as well as supporting the new International Beit Din in the USA.