The Get in a Jewish Divorce: From Paper Scrolls to Divorce Decree
A “Get” Is a Legal Document That Serves As a Religious Divorce Order Under Jewish Law That Allows a Jewish Couple to Dissolve Their Marriage. The Requirements Under New Jersey Law are Distinct from a “Get” in a Divorce Case.
In Judaism, marriages come to an end by way of a Jewish divorce. A “Get” is a Jewish decree of divorce that must be requested by the husband. The husband requests that the decree is written, and once the decree is written, the divorce goes into effect when the decree is handed to the wife.
A Get as a Requirement to End a Jewish Marriage in NJ
A “Get” is an absolute necessity for those Jewish marriages looking for the marriage to come to an end. It is a sacred obligation referred to in the Old Testament, stating that it is the only way for Jewish marriages to be ended. A “Get” could be required even for domestic partnerships or those living together for a long period of time.
Basic Information Included in the “Get”
The “Get” will contain language expressing that the husband of the marriage unconditionally releases his wife from the marriage. The language of the divorce and the intent of divorce will also be included.
The Step-by-Step to Obtaining a “Get”
If you want a divorce, and you need a “Get”, the first step would be to contact your rabbi. Your rabbi would then connect you to a group of certified experts known as the Mesadderei Gittin. The Mesadderei Gittin will walk you through the process of a Jewish divorce depending on the particular circumstances of your situation. They will then handwrite a “Get” that is specific to your circumstances, and then they will ensure that the ”Get” is properly served to the other party. The Mesadderei Gitten will also make sure that the equivalent of a notice of service, or a “Ptor”, is completed and retained for proper recordkeeping. The “Ptor” will then be given to each party notifying them of service.
What if One of the Spouses is Unwilling to Accept the “Get”?
There are different ways of going about getting a divorce if either party is unwilling. If the husband is unwilling to give a “Get” to his wife (the party requesting the divorce), then the relevant rabbi, along with the Mesadderei Gittin, will personally get in touch with the husband in order to persuade him to give the “Get” to his wife.
If a wife is unwilling to accept the “Get,” and she is unable to be persuaded by her local rabbi or the Mesadderei Gittin, then a rabbinical court may accept the “Get” instead of her, which would have the same effect as her accepting the “Get” herself. As you can see, unwillingness to participate can be dealt with depending on which party is unwilling.
Legal Divorce and Jewish Divorce Requirements in NJ
Since the main element of a Jewish divorce is a handwritten “Get,” the Mesadderei Gittin will usually wait until an actual Judgment of Divorce has been filed by the court and an order has been signed by the family court Judge. However, the process of obtaining a “Get” can be started if three conditions are satisfied. The couple must have the intent of following through with their court proceeding to obtain a judgment of divorce, they must be living separately, and they must no longer be in a marital relationship.
The Concept of a “Get” in Jewish Divorce and its Relationship to New Jersey Law
After telling your rabbi that you intend to get a divorce, the rabbi will put you in touch with the certified expert, or the Mesadderei Gittin, who will then begin writing the “Get” by hand (which is typically in the form of a scroll). Both parties will then be required to appear before a rabbinical court or the Bet Din (or Joint Bet Din) for a formal religious proceeding. It is in this proceeding that the husband will supervise the service of the “Get” by the Mesadderei Gittin to the wife.
As previously mentioned, however, this process may be started with certain requirements met, but it will not be completed unless there has been a completion of the couples’ formal civil proceeding for divorce in a court of law. This typically requires an attorney to file a complaint for divorce. This can be a lengthy process depending on the situation. For example, if there are children, if the divorce is contested, if there is property to be equitably distributed, are all some of the reasons that a divorce may take longer than usual.
Discuss Your Jewish Divorce in Northern New Jersey with the Attorneys at Montanari Law Group
An attorney who has been through the process before with success is key for several reasons. This is a complicated process because there are two timelines to be followed. A civil divorce requires a lot of attention, perseverance, and communication between parties and the court. Throw on top of that the proper representation of your legal interests and it can be overwhelming for an inexperienced attorney. Even more so, add the process of a Jewish divorce, and your attorney (if they are inexperienced) will have their head spinning. Ensuring that your attorney has a proven track record and a successful experience with both civil divorce and Jewish divorce will guarantee your peace of mind during this tough period of your life.
Contact Montanari Law Group to speak with an accomplished divorce lawyer who has been through the legal complexities of Jewish divorces and will respect the religious, personal, and legal priorities of your life while handling your case with great care. Our firm serves the entirety of Northern New Jersey, including individuals in Verona, Wyckoff, Ridgewood, Fort Lee, Wayne, Paramus, or other Passaic County and North New Jersey neighboring towns. Call (973) 233-4396 for a free consultation.