Roni came to me with a statement of claim from his wife Ophira who had left the house. "For no reason at all" according to Roni. "The plaintiff does not work and the defendant has a high salary" according to the claim. "The plaintiff is used to a high standard of living and she can no longer support herself". Roni appeared calm: "I will claim that since she left the house unjustifiably she is not entitled to alimony"
Indeed this is the ruling in Hebrew law, and it is the law that is used in both in the rabbinical court and the civil court.
Two weeks before the hearing, Ophira returned home. But she did not return with pure intentions. Her lawyer advised her to remove the basic tenet of Roni's argument.
The judge ruled in Ophira's favor for alimony since she did not work and she was now living in the house.
The judge's decision summarized the basic laws pertaining to alimony to a wife:
A husband has no right to demand from his wife to go out to work. (I note here that some judges have ruled that he can demand this – I.D.)
Usually the husband is required to give alimony according to the local customs of the area in which she lives and according to the standard to which she is accustomed.
When making a ruling the judge will take into account the husband's income, standard of living, and the ability to make a living.
The term alimony includes, food, clothing, medical and cultural entertainment.
Aside from living expenses the husband is required to supply his wife with money for housing.
Alimony applies when a woman lives with her husband or left because of her husband's harsh behavior towards her.
If she left of her own free will and without "cause" that justifies her leaving, she cannot receive alimony.
The woman's income from her place of work will be taken into account and will be included in the amount of alimony her husband is required to pay.
The woman has the right to say "I do not want alimony" which means that I prefer to leave my salary under my control and in return I waive my right to alimony from my husband. This right is reserved only for the woman.
Ophira returned home. Is this a case of "non-pure intentions" that will lead to "pure intentions"? Reality will be the judge here.