Preparing for a divorce for anyone can be a complicated and stressful time, but if the couple are of the Jewish faith it can be a thorny road navigating between the state laws and the religious procedures of a Get.
Jewish Marriage and Divorce
Under Jewish law, for both marriage and divorce, the power lies with the man to first establish and then end the relationship. This starts traditionally with the man giving his wife a ring and repeating an ancient text in front of two witnesses to found the marriage. In the same way, a Jewish couple are not divorced until the husband has provided a Get to the wife.
A Get is a religious procedure which does not replace a civil divorce but is provided in addition to the civil process. The Torah or the Talmud sets out the Get process and it may be requested by Orthodox or Conservative members of the Jewish faith.
Although it may appear that the two processes are separate, a Get can become a point of negotiation during a Jewish divorce. Having an attorney that fully understands the Get procedure and all the intricacies of divorce within a Jewish context can be extremely helpful in order to ensure that both the legal and religious steps have been followed.
What Is a Get?
A Get is a Jewish bill of divorce which states that the wife is free to marry another man. This means that husbands have an enormous amount of power over their wives during the divorce as they can potentially try to obtain concessions from their wife in exchange for the Get. This is why receiving the Get becomes a strong negotiating point during the divorce which the husband can use to get a larger share of the marital assets.
If a husband refuses to give his wife a Get, she becomes an ‘agunah’, or a chained wife, and she cannot remarry. The husband, however, will be free to remarry. In some communities Rabis or other influential members will ask the husband to grant the Get and there have been a few cases where the courts have intervened. However, Jewish laws prevent any type of coercion by civil courts and will find a Get invalid where the courts have forced a divorce.
Not being able to obtain a Get can have lifelong consequences for the wife and any children that she may have with another partner. Without a Get, no matter how long the couple is separated, and no matter if they have successfully obtained a civil divorce, in the eyes of the Jewish law the couple is still 100% married.
How We Can Help
Our attorneys are highly skilled and experienced within the Jewish divorce practice area. Whether you are seeking a Get from your husband or wishing to start the divorce process, the attorneys at Anton Legal Group can help you with your case.
We invite you to call us today to arrange for a free consultation and discuss your case at (813) 443-5249.