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Jewish Divorce Law is Urged Upon England to Check Rising Tide of Marital Troubles

A recommendation that the divorce laws of England be amended so as to follow the Jewish religious divorce law, was submitted today to the Home Secretary by a special committee appointed for “marriage mending.”

The committee was set up six months ago by the Home Office to examine the problem of matrimonial disputes now heard almost every day in the police courts in England. Its duties were to study the divorce laws of different countries and religions with a view to amending the divorce law of England.

Examining the practice of the Beth Din—the Jewish religious court—the committee came to the conclusion that the best way to deal with matrimonial disputes is the Jewish way. It established that a marital dispute between Jews is rarely taken to police courts, simply because it is straightened out by the Beth Din.

The report to the Home Office, the official title of which is “The Report and Recommendations of the Police Court Social Services Committee,” states that the committee has found that once a couple has reached the police court, the chances of reconciliation are remote. The committee therefore recommends in its report a procedure similar to the Beth Din, whereby when a wife takes out a summons, the couple will be privately interviewed by a probation officer.

Should that intervention fail, the magistrates may direct the husband and wife to see them in their private chambers. Only when that fails will the case be brought into court, and even then it may be heard behind closed doors.

This procedure, the committee believes, will greatly decrease the 15,000 separation orders which are being issued by English courts every year. More than 3,000 men in England were sent to prison last year for defaulting payment of alimony.

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