Why I’m Homeless, Part 2: State of Israel allows deadbeat Dads to leave Israel when mother’s lawyer is from Legal Aid

I have numerous debts I am unable to pay. (See my last blog.) Why don’t I get a free lawyer from the Ministry of Justice? Because I have in the past, and they are the cause of my poverty to begin with.

In 2006, I got divorced and Legal Aid allowed my ex husband to leave the country without asking him for any deposit or co-signors on his child support and Ketubah debts. He then reneged on our agreements just two months after the divorce. They did it again in 2010, when he visited for 2 weeks, even though at that time he already owed me tens of thousands of dollars, they let him leave the country again, with no co-signors, with no deposit. They claimed my lawyer told them I didn’t want it, when in truth, by the time they even spoke to my lawyer, he had left the country three weeks beforehand.

To add insult to injury, the Ministry of Justice scheduled a child support hearing in Houston, Texas, in March, 2015, and then refused to send a lawyer, allowing the court to say I didn’t appear and allowing judge to let my ex husband off.

I have turned to the Ministry of Justice, to the State Ombudsman’s office, and to the Prime Minister’s office, and all my letters, phone calls, and pleas have fallen on deaf ears, and so, now, I am turning to the public.

I have a son serving in the IDF, whom I have never been able to help financially. He will get married next summer outside Israel, and I won’t be able to go because I can’t afford to leave Israel. I have another son going to an Air Force college to learn electrical engineering. My daughter got fed up with the system after watching me struggle for years, and decided to leave Israel. My son in Air Force school wants to leave now as well, because he has no place to come home to for Shabbat.

Please don’t tolerate injustice in our system. It is eating our loyal citizens. and it is destroying families.  Injustice is making mothers and children homeless, even when those children have dedicated their lives to the security of our people.

As a postscript, the real disgusting part of my case is that there are reports in the press of fathers who have not been allowed to leave Israel because of Child Support debt, but the mothers in those cases all had private lawyers representing them.

About the Author
Nofyah Shem Tov moved to Israel in 1989 and currently lives in Jerusalem with her two youngest children. Mother of BlogMyLunch.com and 5 happy humans.