An Australian man has been reportedly subjected to an 8,000-year exit ban and will not be allowed to leave Israel until the year 9999 due to unpaid child support, NewsAU reports.
Noam Huppert, a 44-year-old foreign national of Australia, has had a “stay-of-exit” order against him since 2013 and cannot lift the order until he makes an outstanding $3.34 million in child support payments.
“The total in the year 2013 was roughly ₪7.5 million ($3.34 million),” Mr. Huppert, who works as an analytical chemist for a pharmaceutical company, told NewsAU. Israeli courts had ruled Huppert owed NIS 5,000 per month for each child until they turned 18.
“Since 2013, I am locked in Israel,” Huppert explained, adding that he was one of many Australian citizens that have been “persecuted by the Israeli justice system only because they were married to Israeli women.”
The laws regarding child support are unclear, though it seems that the year 9999 was set because it was the highest possible date that fit in the field.
Israel’s laws regarding divorce and child support have faced previous criticism for being vague and unjust. Director Sorin Luca, who is creating a documentary about Israel’s divorce laws called “No Exit Order”, purports that “A woman can easily put a travel ban on the father, with a demand for child support which can extend to the entire duration of the childhood.”
“Once a father has the order, he can be imprisoned for up to 21 days, whether he has the ability to pay or not – without any investigation of his finances. Men are expected to pay 100% or even more of their income to pay for their children,” Luca continues.
The US State Department includes a warning about Israel’s child support issues with non-citizens, saying that civil and religious courts in Israel “actively exercise their authority to bar certain individuals, including nonresidents, from leaving the country until debts or other legal claims against them are resolved”, further warning that The US Embassy “is unable to cancel the debt of a US citizen or guarantee their departure from Israel when they face a bar from leaving the country until debts are resolved.”