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Divorce & Family Law

Jewish Divorce

Jewish divorce has both a religious and civil element.

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From a religious standpoint, couples are required to obtain a Get, under the council of a beit din (Jewish ecclesiastical court). Jewish divorce requires the consent of both parties. Like other religions, the civil element is governed by UK law.

How Can Austin Kemp’s Divorce Solicitors Help You?

If you need to end your marriage, Austin Kemp Solicitors can help you through the civil and religious process. Our solicitors have years of experience working with members of Orthodox, Masorti, Liberal, and Reform synagogues.

We are fully aware of how to balance the requirements of the halakha and those of the family court system in England and Wales. There are laws and codes of behaviour to follow, both of which require delicacy and discretion. Our team can help you release the bonds of matrimony and offer legal advice that can help protect your assets.

How to Obtain a Jewish Divorce

A Jewish divorce is a divorce under Jewish law or halakha. It is completely separate from a civil divorce, which is a divorce under UK laws. In Orthodox Judaism, a wife can’t issue a divorce – only the husband has the power to give the wife a Get to end the marriage.

Even if the couple got divorced in civil court, they are still married under Jewish law without a Get. You must sign a Get if you want to remarry in a Jewish community, otherwise any children conceived in the future will be considered illegitimate or mamzerim.

There are strict rules for the timing and procedure of applications for Gets. To initiate Jewish divorce, couples need to reach out to a Beit Din and schedule the ceremony. To sign a Get, couples must attend a Get ceremony. The ceremony is often planned at a beit din (Jewish court) or a different location based on the couples’ needs.

The process usually takes a couple of months, depending on the couple’s cooperation and flexibility. The Jewish divorce scan run alongside the civil process.

What You Need to Know About Obtaining a Jewish Divorce

Jewish divorce is different from that of many other religions. In Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, a rabbinical court can dissolve the religious marriage through proceedings. However, compared to civil courts, the rabbinical court can’t declare if the couple is divorced – that power is left in the husband’s hands.

The husband is the one that issues the Get and if the wife were to accept it, then their religious marriage can end.

The Jewish divorce ceremony takes about 1 hour but, the entire process can last a couple of months, depending upon how difficult it is for both parties to resolve their issues.

If the husband doesn’t issue a Get, then the marriage remains intact. Even if you completed the civil proceedings, you are still married under Jewish Law. That’s why it is important to obtain a Get when both parties are firmly determined to terminate their marriage.

If a husband refuses to give his wife a Get, then the wife is referred to as Agunah, which means “chained” in Hebrew. Different communities across the world offer resources to wives who can’t receive a Get. These communities might put social or financial pressure on the husband to urge them to sign the Get.

The Process of Getting a Jewish Divorce

Jewish divorce is a sacred tradition and an obligation of Jewish women and men for dissolving a marriage. Your local Mesadder Gittin or Rabbi will guide you through the Jewish divorce process. They will define a plan that can accommodate your needs as relevant, based on Jewish law.

One of the key components of the entire process is the Get, which is written by hand. If the couple doesn’t wish to meet, an agent or solicitor can deliver the Get to the woman.

Here is a quick look at some of the key facts about Jewish divorce:

Couples must contact a Jewish court of law to start the divorce process.

The husband is the one to grant the Get and the wife can receive it.

Both parties must willingly agree to sign it.

The couple must attend an interview at the Jewish court of law.

The husband initiates the process by instructing a scribe to prepare the Get.

Witnesses must be present during the delivery and writing of the Get.

Both the husband and wife can bring another person to the ceremony for support. They can bring a solicitor, family member, or a friend.

During the ceremony, the couple often stays in the same room. However, if safety is a problem, the Beit Din can prepare a different room to keep the couple separate.

After signing a Get, the former wife and husband can be intimate with other partners or remarry under Jewish law.

The Beit Din cuts the Get to destroy it. This ensures that no one can question its validity.

Former couples obtain a ptur, which is proof of divorce under Jewish law.

How to Dissolve Your Jewish Marriage

To dissolve a Jewish marriage, you need both a Jewish divorce and civil proceedings. The Beit Din schedules formal proceedings, which can get the process started.

Austin Kemp Solicitors can help you make informed decisions when dividing assets and obtaining a civil court order to reflect the agreement or division.

We can help couples find the middle ground that is best for their child’s interest and offer an amicable division that is mutually beneficial. After the matters are resolved, the husband can offer a Get and the ceremony can begin.

Following a civil divorce there were problems in some cases with wives wanting a further Jewish marriage. Section 10A of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 was inserted to ensure that in Jewish marriages, a Get was obtained before the divorce was finalised.

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What Are the Grounds for a Jewish Divorce?

A husband can divorce his wife for any or no reason. But, that doesn’t mean divorce is taken lightly. Many factors can lead to the breakdown of a marriage. If you need help with document application, division of assets, property or children visitation policies, contact Austin Kemp Solicitors today at 0333 311 0925.

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