Under traditional Jewish law, for a couple to obtain a divorce, the husband must give the wife a bill of divorce, known as a Get or Ghet. The husband must give the Get of his own free will, and the wife must accept it of her own free will, otherwise the Get is not valid. This led to people attempting to extort rights from their spouses to which they would not otherwise be entitled.
Now, there are procedures in both the Divorce Act and in Ontario’s Family Law Act that prevent this from occurring. Under the Divorce Act, if a husband refuses to give a wife a Get, or if the wife refuses to accept it, then the other spouse can be refused the right to bring or defend a motion, the right to ask the court for any order in their favour, or have their pleadings or any court documents struck.
The relief available under Ontario’s Family Law Act is similar to what is available under the Divorce Act. There are simply some minor procedural differences. As well, Ontario’s Family Law Act allows separati agreements or settlements to be invalidated if the granting of a Get was taken into consideration in making the agreement or settlement.
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