Dear Rabbi, my ex wife and I married in Israel over 17 years ago under jewish law. we moved to the US about 10 years ago and we got an official divorce by the state of california about 2 years ago. I have asked my ex wife to also do a jewish "gett" but she keeps refusing. she is willing to go to court on that. we are both stating in the US. what are my options? can I force here? we do not have any language about that in our settlement agreement even though we verbally discussed doing a gett when we negotiated the final settlement. Thanks!
I'm very sorry to hear of your situation, and will do my best to help.
If the civil agreement has been finalized, and contains no language related to religious divorce, I cannot see any way to compel your wife to participate in a get process. However, rabbinic courts do have a variety of methods for releasing husbands to remarry even if the wife refuses to participate. I think your best option at this point is to begin exploring whether those methods could be used in your case. Please be aware that in any such process, the rabbinic court involved would also seek the best means of establishing contact with your ex in the hope that a neutral party could be more effectively persuasive.
If you'd like, we can set up a call next week to discuss the details of your case, and perhaps lead toward a recommendation as to which Rabbinic Court to approach Please tell me if that makes sense to you, and if yes, when you might be available.