Courts can employ all kinds of tricks to ensure that parents pay their child support on time. First, they can take the money straight from a parent’s paycheck each month. If that does not work, they can take the money out of their tax return. If the parent still is not getting the message, courts can take away their driver’s license, their medical license, or any other professional license they might hold. Finally, courts even have the authority to throw parents in prison for not paying their child support.
Israel seems to have taken a slightly more… creative approach. According to a new report, an Australian man has been barred from leaving the nation until he pays $3 million in child support. Funnily enough, Israel was kind enough to set an expiry date for this ruling. The man will eventually have the chance to leave the nation without paying his child support – but only in the year 9999.
Stuck in Israel Since 2012
The man in question is 44-year-old Naom Huppert, who has been stuck in Israel since 2012. That year, he moved to the nation in order to be closer to his two children. By this point, his marriage was already over, and his former wife actually took the children away from his home nation of Australia in order to live in her native Israel. Faced with no other option, the man also relocated to Israel in order to be closer to his kids. Huppert is probably regretting this decision, as he has been barred from leaving the nation for any reason whatsoever.
Huppert owes about $3 million in unpaid child support. He could choose to pay this as a lump sum and leave the nation, but it is more likely that he will pay 5,000 shekels per month instead. Either way, he will be unable to leave the nation until the entire amount is paid off.
Huppert Speaks Out
Huppert claims that he has been persecuted by an unfair Israeli justice system that targets men who marry Israeli women. Israel’s divorce laws have come under scrutiny over the years, and these laws are the subject of a documentary called No Exit Order which has yet to be released. Israel is one of the only nations in the world that allows mothers to pursue a travel ban for fathers who have yet to pay child support. Some claim that these laws allow fathers to be imprisoned regardless of whether they are able to pay the child support or not. Some even say that fathers can be forced to pay up to 100% of their income to their children.
Other Notable Divorce Laws in Israel
In Israel, fathers are unlikely to ever put themselves in this situation. This is because technically speaking, a divorce can only be granted with the husband’s permission if you live in a Jewish family (which is common in Israel). Basically, the husband needs to put something called a “get” into the hands of a wife in a special ceremony. But if the husband refuses to do this, the divorce cannot move forward. Because Huppert and his wife obtained a divorce outside of Israel, he is caught in a unique situation. His wife was able to benefit from the ease of a divorce outside of the nation, and she is also benefiting from Israel’s child support laws. It is a win-win for her – but Huppert is clearly at a disadvantage.