Women staying in our shelters are represented by lawyers from Bat Melech’s Legal Aid Department.
Upon arriving at the shelter, a Bat Melech attorney assesses each woman’s situation and recommends legal options available for child custody, alimony, partnership dissolution and divorce. Orders of protection are filed as needed.
Our professional staff works together with each woman and maintains regular communication as events develop.
Department of Legal Aid
We believe that proper representation in the family legal system is not a privilege of men or women of economic ability, but is a right for every woman, regardless of her financial situation.
The Legal Aid Department currently operates in the Jerusalem area, but handles requests from all over the country.
Legal assistance is provided to women in matters related to family, including:
* Child support *Alimony * Child custody and custody orders * Divorce * Protection / restraining orders * Injunction orders * Foreclosure orders * Exit delay orders * Distribution of common property
Consultation sessions with the attorneys are held in our Jerusalem.office.
To schedule a consultation meeting, please call 02-6338929
It should be noted that submission of claims involves studying the facts of each case, making a decision in cooperation with each woman, preparing all necessary documents, having the woman sign affidavits, and submitting all material to both Rabbinic and secular courts.
(Most of the time the application is accepted by the courts, but sometimes there is a ruling that the woman must pay a fee to the Rabbinical Court or secular court. If she can not afford to pay, we try to help)
Court hearings on submitted claims will often cover several issues at once and sometimes focus on a single issue.
Each claim is processed in several stages:
1. Hearing the arguments of both parties.
2. Submitting proof of claims by summoning witnesses, questioning them, and bringing documents.
4. Getting a decision from the court and examining the possibility of appeal to a higher court.
Each stage is usually handled in separate discussions.
Our attorneys travel around the country, representing the women in the rabbinic and /or secular courts closest to their residence.
From the time a claim is filed until the case is finalized, there are various requests that must be submitted to the rabbinic and secular courts in order to properly handle and manage the case. These requests cover a variety of issues in dispute, and we often ask the court for immediate and temporary relief.
Examples of such requests include allowing a woman who fled to the shelter to retrieve property from her home without her husband being there; or dealing with the violation of visitation agreements as determined by the legal system handling the case.
Of course, the opposing side often has its own requests and we are required to respond to each of these as well.
It is widely accepted that lawyers representing both sides are trying to bridge the gaps and reach an agreement on the disputed issues between the spouses. We negotiate only with the consent of the women we represent.
We devote a great deal of thought and energy into obtaining divorce agreements for those women who request it. Our lawyers have many creative solutions when it comes to the very difficult problem of husbands who refuse to grant a Jewish divorce. (‘Get’ refusal)
In some cases, the attorneys succeed in bridging the gaps and reaching an agreement between the parties after negotiations or lengthy litigation in the rabbinic and secular courts. Those agreements are signed in the opposing side’s attorney’s office. We submit them for approval in the rabbinic or secular court.
Conflicts between spouses are very dynamic and depend on many different factors, such as shared children, family, jealousy, fear of the future, etc. This is why in many cases despite the anger, and sometimes despite the violence, some women prefer to return to their husband and try to renew their life together as a couple. In these cases, we recommend that they renew the relationship only after an agreement is signed by both parties.
Any request to the attorneys will be answered by an initial telephone consultation
Some of the women who suffer from high-risk violence are referred to shelters we run for religious women and their children.
The court proceedings are often so traumatic that in desperation, some women will return to their violent spouses.
Continuing divorce proceedings or custody struggles can undermine a woman’s resolve, especially if she has no support during this difficult period. That is why, in addition to our attorneys, we employ a team of social workers, psychologists and professional volunteers to help each woman overcome the emotional challenges she may be facing and help her.find the strength to move forward
Read an interview with Bat Melech attorney Malka Igra.