Two New York men were sentenced in early December to more than three years in prison for their role in a strong-arm Jewish Divorce scheme.
Simcha Bulmash and David Hellman both plead guilty to attempting to force a Jewish man to grant his wife a religious divorce, or Get. The two men are the most recent members of an area cabal lead by a local rabbi who accepted cash payment in exchange for acquiring divorce papers. However, court papers have indicated just how unorthodox the cabal’s methods were, with evidence confirming abductions, handcuffs, cattle prods, and bags over the heads of spouses.
Court documents have further revealed testimony by another member of the so-called “divorce gang”, confirming that the group had kidnapped a noncompliant husband periodically – typically every 12 to 18 months.
The gang was eventually exposed following an FBI sting operation. Bulmash and Hellman would later confirm in court proceedings that they had assaulted another reluctant husband in Brooklyn, in the hopes of securing a Get.
Many cases related to the operation are still being decided.
While the ringleader in the group awaits sentencing, four other members have plead guilty to, and three were convicted of, related charges.
Handling Jewish Divorce in Florida
Jewish divorce, otherwise known as a Get, is not like a typical divorce. Rather, it is a religious process that is often used in addition to civil divorce. The main difference between traditional divorce and Jewish divorce is that there are no state statutes regarding a Get, which is governed by Jewish law.
The procedure of obtaining a Get is described in the religious texts of the Talmud and Torah, and is typically performed by a religious leader, like a rabbi. While not entirely common in the United States, a Get is more common in the Orthodox or conservative circles of the Jewish faith.
Although legal representation is not required in order to obtain a Get, it is important to remember that you must request a formal divorce in the state of Florida before finalizing the Jewish divorce process. As a result, a Get can easily become a pivotal issue in the dissolution of marriage.
If you or someone you love is going through a divorce in Florida, and are interested in obtaining a formal Get, it is best to consult with an attorney who not only understands divorce laws at the state level, but also in Jewish law as well.
At the Anton Legal Group, our attorneys handles all facets of divorce, including Jewish divorce – a rare area of practice in the state of Florida. Our founder, David Anton, is Jewish, and our firm has a deep understanding of Jewish law as it pertains to divorce. We are also proud to have a great relationship with the local Jewish community, and are committed to helping make sure that you reach a full and fair settlement in your divorce, including the granting of a Get.
We understand that your faith is important, and we are here to help you. To schedule your initial consultation with one of our Jewish divorce attorneys, call our office today at (813) 443-5249.