Benjamin v Benjamin [2020] NZFC 3392

Published 01 October 2020

Application for dissolution of marriage — Jewish marriage — rabbanical law — Get — COVID-19 restrictions — Alert Level 2 — Family Proceedings Act 1980. This was an application for the dissolution of marriage. The applicant husband had applied for a dissolution; the wife did not agree with dissolution but requested to be present. The parties disagreed as to the date of separation, and were in the process of resolving relationship property issues. The parties had a Jewish marriage. Under rabbanical law, the groom was required to initiate the process and acquire a "Get" which further required attendance of rabbanical law experts and a senior Rabbi from Australia. Given the current COVID-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions this was not possible. The husband gave an undertaking that he would obtain a Jewish divorce as soon as possible. The sole ground for dissolving a marriage was irreconcilable break-down of the marriage which, given the parties had been living apart for two years, was satisfied. The Judge made an order dissolving the marriage, but declined to make a finding of the actual date of separation. Judgment Date: 20 May 2020.