My ex husband and I were granted a civil divorce seven years ago. He has remarried, has a child and is living in ---. I have contacted him, the Rabbi has contacted him and he refuses to grant me a Get. He did not keep the promises within our Ketubah and abandoned our marriage in 2010. In our last conversation he stated that "he didn't see it that way" and sees no reason to give a Get since he destroyed our Ketubah. I would like to know, before I attempt to confront his new wife what else I can do to obtain a Get. We were married conservatively. He will not return any phone calls. What can I do? I am too embarrassed to return to my congregation and have not dated for the last seven years. I am lonely. --- had a vasectomy during our marriage and denied me my right to children. I am now past childbearing age and I do not want to be tied to this man and his wife and child. I would like to retire to Israel with my best friend but I can not leave until I can be divorced. What am I to do? --- is not missing. He refuses out of spite, because I asked for a divorce.

I’m deeply sorry to hear your story, and will do my best to help you move on with your life in freedom, as is your human right and endorsed by the Torah.  There are several avenues to pursue, and I would need your permission to go down any of them.

The first, and simplest, is to see if there is a way someone else can approach your husband.  It sounds to me – correct me if I’m wrong – that --- belongs to a synagogue in the --- area, and/or that he has a relationship with a rabbi?   If that is the case, I would probably try calling the rabbi who previously tried and debriefing him.  I’d also consult with you to see if there are other rabbis he might have relationships with, or other people – possibly including the woman he married – who might be willing to take my call and then be helpful

The more complicated approach would be to see if there were a way to declare that your marriage to --- was not valid under Jewish law, and therefore you don’t need a get to remarry Jewishly, and to have the marriage recognized in Israel.  I would only go down that path if you would find such an outcome sufficient and acceptable, and I want to be clear that such a way cannot always be found.

Either way, I would prefer to set up a phone conversation to enable me to get as much clarity as possible about the facts of your situation.  If that works for you, please reply with whatever you can provide in terms of the questions above and when you might be available over the next two weeks at what phone number, and I’ll try to confirm a time soon.  I apologize that it may take that long owing to my somewhat absurd travel schedule in the near future.

Wishing you all the best, and hoping that I can be helpful.