Four Shalom Bayis Sessions Required Before Divorce

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A new regulation introduced by Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked will require couples to have four shalom bayis sessions before getting down to the business of divorce.

“The new situation will serve as an effective alternative to litigation in court in the delicate and complex issue of family quarrels,” Shaked said. “This will benefit citizens, ease the system and encourage compromises and decisions accepted in advance by all parties. Conflict between parents causes damage, especially to children, and it is our duty to protect them.”

David Steger-Matzav.com Israel

22 COMMENTS

  1. This is a well-intentioned bad idea. In many (most?) cases where divorce has mutually been agreed upon there have already been attempts at reconciliation. Mandating additional counseling would just prolong the agony by in effect saying the clock doesn’t start ticking on this new legal requirement until the state-decreed sessions begin. Additionally, what about cases of domestic violence, infidelity, mental illness or other severe issues? Is forcing a physically abused spouse and the abuser to attend counseling a good idea?

    This proposed law, which has no halachik basis, is based on the assumption that a divorcing couple hasn’t yet considered every possible road to reconciliation. How can anyone make such an assumption?

      • Why would it need a halachic basis?
        Because there are halachik parameters concerning the requirements for marriage and divorce. As much as something may sound like a good idea at first glance, adding to those requirements is something that shouldn’t be done.
        Among things that have been tried are:
        -Not allowing no-fault divorce (several states didn’t allow it, now all 50 permit it)
        -Requiring a waiting period before a divorce is granted (several states)
        -Divorce not allowed, period (several religions, most notably Catholicism)

        If an individual rov or bais din believes that a particular couple should try additional steps to reconcile before divorcing, that makes sense. For the government to mandate that everyone do so is an overreach and a bad idea.

        • It doesn’t effect the process of divorce. You just don’t like the fact that the tzioni came up with it be honest with yourself!

    • “This proposed law, which has no halachik basis, is based on the assumption that a divorcing couple hasn’t yet considered every possible road to reconciliation. How can anyone make such an assumption?”

      Hundreds old cases of anecdotal evidence!!

      On the contrary,

      it’s wonderful
      it would slow many from pulling the trigger

      • it would slow many from pulling the trigger
        So would adding a two-year waiting period or a $100,000 fine.

        Don’t you think the overwhelming number of divorcees in the Jewish (especially frum) community already tried everything they could and agonized over their decision? If we start adding roadblocks to every single case of divorce, regardless of its circumstances, do you think that’s a good idea?

        I’ve had friends and relatives go through divorce. The causes were varied, including mental illness, physical abuse, emotional abuse, dishonesty and infidelity. In almost all of theses cases extreme effort was made to save the marriage. For the state to then step in and mandate four more counseling sessions would simply prolong the agony. In a couple of cases it would quite possibly have created agunos, since the husband was an exceptionally cruel person who later expressed regret at having freed his ex.

        I believe Ayelet Shaked and those who agree with her mean well. It still is a bad idea.

        • “Don’t you think the overwhelming number of divorcees in the Jewish (especially frum) community already tried everything they could and agonized over their decision?”

          IN a word, NO

          • Because of “hundreds of anecdotal cases”. You couldn’t be more wrong. Try speaking with those involved in actual cases and you may learn something.

        • ” If we start adding roadblocks to every single case of divorce, regardless of its circumstances, do you think that’s a good idea?”.

          For 85+% ,YES

          Nice red herring ,As you people are wont to do

          Because of
          “In a couple of cases it would quite possibly have created agunos, since the husband was an exceptionally cruel person who later expressed regret at having freed his ex.”

          somehow you got

          I’ve had friends and relatives go through divorce. The causes were varied, including mental illness, physical abuse, emotional abuse, dishonesty and infidelity. In almost all of theses cases extreme effort was made to save the marriage. For the state to then step in and mandate four more counseling sessions would simply prolong the agony

          Has anyone gotten divorced, and admitted their spouse was good/normal and they were the problem?

          • As you people are wont to do” Ah – an ad-hominem by someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Just out of curiosity, what/who are “You people”?

            Secondly, you somehow misunderstood a couple of pretty straightforward points. The listed possible causes of divorce (abuse, etc) and a possible terrible consequence of not allowing a divorce to proceed (agunos) aren’t derived one from one another – you just made that up.

            Has anyone gotten divorced, and admitted their spouse was good/normal and they were the problem?
            What a poorly constructed strawman! That has nothing to do with the cases I’m familiar with. In those, I know the facts, not that one side told me their perspective and I accepted it.

            You are making up facts, making up numbers, misinterpreting what I said and throwing in a personal insult or two while you’re at it. Grow up. If you have facts to present, present them – If I think you’re wrong I’ll say so and explain why. If you have an opinion to express, express it – if I think it’s invalid I’ll say why. What you are now doing is simply showing ignorance and immaturity, and at top volume, too.

            Another “Out of curiosity” question – where in the world are you getting your facts and statistics from? Are you just making things up? They have no basis in reality, certainly within the realm of frum divorce cases.

  2. Some people, it seems , like this trigger divorce era

    My neighbor,( a very secular female married israeli who votes probably left),is all for this

  3. Anonymous ,

    you have an agenda,it’s rather obvious (what’s your story?)

    Come out of the closet and say so

    Does anyone [besides yourself] disagree that too often we have divorces that ought to have been slowed and possibly stopped?

    Anyone who is honest,
    even a little involved ,
    alert to the present reality ,and less subjective than you seem to be,will attest to this

    Is your needing of stats is anything other than a ploy?

    Or are you like the economists in 2007 waiting for stats to prove the economic base was unstable?They got them-after the economy collapsed already.

    (eh..in response to one caustic line which plausibly might have been ad hominem -or on target, you write ad hominem for a whole post?)

    • you have an agenda,it’s rather obvious (what’s your story?)
      No, and as I already explained, the “story” – actually stories – are the several cases where such a law would’ve harmed, not helped.

      Come out of the closet and say so
      If you want to be taken seriously, grow up.

      Does anyone [besides yourself] disagree that too often we have divorces that ought to have been slowed and possibly stopped?
      NOBODY disagrees that even one divorce that could’ve been avoided is one too many. The disagreement is over adding a new “Four counseling sessions” requirement to each and every divorce case.

      Anyone who is honest, even a little involved , alert to the present reality ,and less subjective than you seem to be,will attest to this
      Ah, the royal “Anyone”. This goes together with the “Hundreds of anecdotal cases” and “85%” that should have roadblocks added?

      Is your needing of stats is anything other than a ploy?
      Do you even know what a “ploy” is? If you bring something that you claim as fact, I’d like to see some proof – especially if (as in this case) I suspect it’s 100% fabricated (just as you’re completely wrong about my motivation).

      Or are you like the economists in 2007 waiting for stats to prove the economic base was unstable?They got them-after the economy collapsed already.
      Your making things up has nothing to do with the economy in any given year. Trying to bring in an unrelated subject to make yourself look smart… doesn’t.

  4. The collective Klal gains when divorces are slowed
    It would be better if there were fewer couples wanting divorces. It would not be better if those couples were all made to undergo this new requirement.
    Forcing couples who have already decided to divorce, regardless of reason, are forced to attend four counseling sessions? Who says that it helps the Klal? Does it help the victims (spouse and children) of an abuser, drug-user, etc? Does it help the couple who’ve already spent tens of thousands attempting counseling and reconciliation?
    You truly don’t know what you’re talking about.

    The Klal counts more than any individual
    1) I disagree that this idea would help the klal, due to several cases I’ve seen firsthand (as detailed exhaustively, above).
    2) More importantly, that’s an incredible statement. You’ve now given a rationale for removing many, many personal freedoms, such as:
    -The right to smoke.
    -The right to overeat
    -The right to get drunk
    -The right to eat garlic or not wear deodorant
    -The right to own a large motor vehicle
    -The right to pretty much anything and everything where the group as a whole would benefit by prohibiting you individually from doing something. In other words, absolute tyranny. Maybe rethink your statement?

  5. On top of all this ,

    What are the worst repercussions that could come possibly from by attending four shalom bayis sessions?!

    Goodness!!
    Some couples might give it a second chance?

  6. Beyond the immediate perceived need to alleviate or resolve a problem,all legislation
    (and/or
    Cabinet edicts)
    are bound to
    have societal ripple effects down the road.

    It will hopefully have a good/settling one ,in this case.
    (besides the couples it also might potentially help)

    “Does it help the couple who’ve already spent tens of thousands attempting counseling and reconciliation?”

    Eh..if they already attended sessions ,how does this apply to them?
    Do you bother to read the draft?Do yourself a favor,and do so

  7. Do you bother to read the draft?Do yourself a favor,and do so
    Actually, I hadn’t. Based on all the comments above, neither did anyone else. Here’s a key point in the regulation:
    It is important to note that the meetings are not set up to provide couple’s therapy, and that their purpose is not to have the couple reconcile, but rather to help them respectfully reach a breakup that is concensual [sic], fair and built upon conditions that both parties can meet over time.

    I had two main objections to the proposed regulation:
    1) Why schlep the couple through additional counseling when a decision had already been reached, presumably after much agonizing and soul-searching?
    2) Why compel the couple to work with each other when there may be serious and even criminal issues causing the split and one spouse may be in danger from the other?

    The first issue is moot. The “Shalom bayis” suggested isn’t for reconciliation, rather for a civil and less damaging (for all, especially the children) divorce. This makes sense in many (most?) cases, i.e. “Divorce for Dummies”. Let the parents have guidance of how to conduct themselves in the way least damaging to their finances, themselves and especially their children.

    With the second issue, my opinion is unchanged. The fact that divorce all too often is due to abuse, addiction, infidelity and other terrible causes is a reason not to make this a blanket requirement.

  8. ‘ men [all the more so women-Ed] who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct (economist). Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.’

    Lord Maynard Keynes

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