Businessman loses appeal to avoid having to pay maintenance to wife until he gives a get

Court of Appeal rules that Alan Moher must make periodic payments to wife amounting to £22,000 a year until he gives the get


A Manchester businessman who contested a court order to pay his wife maintenance until he gave her a get has lost his appeal.

Alan Moher challenged the payments along with a £1.4 million lump sum he was told by a deputy High Court judge last year he must hand over to his wife by the date which had been set for the completion of their civil divorce in May 2018.

Mr Moher was told he would be liable to pay interest on any of the sum left outstanding by that date, as well as to make periodic payments amounting to £22,000 a year until he gave the get.

But at a Court of Appeal this spring, Mr Moher said the judge had been wrong to order him to make payments until his wife received her get.

He also argued the judge last year had failed to assess his resources when awarding his wife the  £1.4 million lump sum or make a reasoned case for the amount.

Mr Moher’s barrister raised the issue of whether the order for periodic payments had amounted to compulsion - under Jewish law, a get has to be freely given by the husband.

But the Appeal Court unanimously rejected his claims.

Lord Justice Moylan, the presiding judge, said he did not consider the financial order could be assumed “to prevent the husband from granting a get”.

He took the view that a court “does have jurisdiction expressly to order periodical payments to continue until the husband has taken the steps necessary to grant a get”.

Under the 2002 Divorce Act, Lord Justice Moylan noted, “a husband can be prevented from obtaining a civil divorce until he has done what is required to provide a religious divorce”.

The law “must have been based on Parliament being satisfied that its implementation would not make any consequent get invalid”, he said.

The husband was not being compelled to give the get, he said. “The court order provides only that until he grants a get, he has to pay periodical payments to his wife.”


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