14-year-old girl becomes Israel’s youngest divorcee

February 26th, 2009 - 6:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Jerusalem, Feb 26 (DPA) In what has been described as “the most unusual divorce on record”, the Jerusalem Rabbinic Court has expedited divorce proceedings for a 17-year-old groom and his 14-year-old bride who married recently in an unauthorised, makeshift ceremony.
Israeli media reported Thursday that the court had to issue the divorce after it was found that the ceremony the couple held conformed to Jewish religious law, even though Israeli civil law forbids minors under the age of 18 from marrying.

The couple, who both come from religious families in Jerusalem, had recited the wedding vows in front of witnesses, exchanged an item of value in the form of a ring, and had also consummated their union, the three requirements for marriage under Jewish religious law.

But when the groom’s parents heard about the ceremony, they insisted the couple get a divorce. The bride originally refused, but changed her mind after she was paid 10,000 shekels ($2,400).

The divorce proceedings took place earlier this week. The Rabbinic Court was quoted as saying it was the “most unusual divorce on record, and certainly the one involving the youngest (party).”

When the girl receives her identity card at age 16, it will list her status as “divorced”.

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