Divorced Aussie dad Noam Huppert banned from leaving Israel for 8,000 years over child support payments
- Australian father of two travelled to Israel to see his kids
- Court trapped him there until 9999 to pay child support
- READ MORE: Dad paid $350,000 child support at airport
The perfect life of an Australian father suddenly collapsed following the birth of his daughter. Now he is trapped in Israel until the year 9999 and caught in a nightmare.
‘I just wanted to see my children,’ pharmaceutical chemist Noam Huppert, 46, told Daily Mail Australia. ‘But now I am banned from ever leaving.’
An Israeli court has imposed a travel ban on Mr Huppert for almost 8000 years to ensure he stays in the country to pay his child support after his divorce turned nasty.
And even though he’s paying AU$3,000 a month to his ex-wife – who can’t be identified for legal reasons – he still doesn’t even get to see his children.
‘They’re alienated from me now,’ he said. ‘And my ex-wife has even taken out a restraining order against me. I’m stuck here paying – and I can’t even see them.’
The perfect life of Australian father Noam Hubbert (pictured with his son) collapsed after the birth of his daughter. Now he is trapped in Israel until the year 9999 and caught in a nightmare
The Israeli-born father-of-two and his wife moved to Australia with their two-year-old toddler son for a new start in 2007
The family set up home in a three-bedroom bungalow on a leafy street in Ryde, in Sydney’s north-west, and quickly settled into the Aussie way of life
The Israeli-born father-of-two and his wife moved to Australia with their two-year-old toddler son for a new start in 2007.
They set up home in a three-bedroom bungalow on a leafy street in Ryde, in Sydney’s north-west, and quickly settled into the Aussie way of life.
‘We wanted to go to Australia to get away from Israel,’ he admitted. ‘I realised Israel was not a good place to live and we chose to come to Australia.
‘We had just the best life in Sydney – weekends at the beach, having brunch and enjoying the sport. It was an absolute dream.
‘We’d go on trips around the country and loved Australia’s unique nature. It was so much fun. It was just amazing.’
But their idyllic life suddenly came crashing down soon after they celebrated the birth of their daughter in 2010 and his wife was hit by postpartum baby blues.
After struggling to cope with depression and juggling two young children, Mr Huppert’s wife decided to return to Israel to be closer to her family for support.
Mr Huppert initially thought the move was temporary and remained in Australia waiting for his family to return, until he realised: ‘She had abducted my children.
‘She originally didn’t even say she wanted a divorce – she just said she wanted me to come to Israel. I said I wasn’t going there – I wanted her to come back with the kids.’
He eventually launched an unsuccessful legal fight under the Hague Convention to try to force them to return to Australia where Mr Huppert was now an Australian citizen, as is his Sydney-born daughter.
‘But the Israeli court refused,’ he said. ‘That was to be expected though, as the courts rarely side with the father over the mother.
‘So I travelled to Israel to try to see my kids, but even then my wife made life difficult for me and wouldn’t let me see them.’
Noam and his young family left Israel in 2007 after realising ‘it was not a good place to live’ to create a better life in Australia where he and his daughter became citizens. (Pictured: Protesters and Israeli police officers clash during a demonstration on July 24 in Jerusalem)
He has now been trapped in Israel since 2013 and unable to leave, even on holiday
He returned to court in Israel and secured fortnightly weekend access of about four days a month.
But it came at the price of never being able to leave the country, even to go on holiday, under a stay-of-exit order to prevent him running out on his child support payments.
‘She got a motion for child support which was equal to 50 per cent of my salary,’ he revealed from his home in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv.
‘The institution that handles child support did their sums and said I owed 1.8 million shekels (about A$700,000).
‘I can never leave the country until that is paid in full, or the year 9999.’
The ban has kept him stuck in Israel for the last 10 years without any escape, and he still faces years more trapped behind Israel’s borders by the ruling.
He added: ‘I’m actually trapped here for an infinite length of time according to the court ruling but their computer system only goes up to 9999, so almost 8000 years.’
He admits he knew there was a risk he could be trapped in the country by the Israeli legal system, but says: ‘I wanted to be next to my kids.
‘The travel ban is not the default though – I knew my wife would have to file a motion to get it enacted but I didn’t think that would be a problem when I left Australia.
‘I didn’t think she would do it – but she did.’
His life has since become a living hell, trapped in a country where he had already decided he didn’t want to live and cut off from his family and happy life in Australia.
He desperately wants to be able to return to the idyllic life he enjoyed in Sydney
Noam Huppert says as soon as his $700,000 child support payments are finally paid off he will be straight back on a plane to Australia
The ban prohibits him from even owning a passport, and if he misses even a single child support payment, he will be instantly thrown in jail for three weeks every time.
The courts will also deduct any sums outstanding from his salary direct from his employer, once taking his entire pay packet and more, leaving Mr Huppert owing his bosses hundreds.
‘I want to go on vacation,’ he said. ‘I want to feel free to come and go as I please.
‘I only came here to see my kids but now I don’t even get to see them – and I’m just forced to live here and never leave.
‘I’m being held here like a prisoner just to pay my child support.’
His son has now turned 18 and no longer qualifies for the child support payments but Mr Huppert still faces another five years of paying for the daughter he never meets, even thought they only live 25 minutes away from him.
‘My wife turned them against seeing me but they don’t say I am a bad dad or anything like that,’ he added.
At the moment, he still owes about $200,000 in outstanding child support until his daughter is 18 in 2028
‘They just say they have no reason to meet me any more.
‘But I still have to pay for them.’
He now hopes to save up enough cash to pay off the outstanding amount within three years to finally set him free from Israel and return to Sydney.
At the moment, he still owes about $200,000 in outstanding child support until his daughter is 18 in 2028.
He said he had previously tried to do an online fundraiser to raise the cash without success.
‘People understandably weren’t too keen to pay my child support for me!’ he said. ‘But that’s fine – I hope to be able to pay what’s left in a lump sum in a few years.
‘In three years, it will be under $100,000 and I hope to be able to finally pay that off and get out of here at last.
‘Then I will jump straight on a flight to Australia, try to get a job there – and start to put my life back together again.’
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