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The Jewish "get" explianed

The effect of the Jewish "get" by the introduction of the 2002 religious marriages act, the act was adopted in to mca s10 in 2003.

Obtaining a Get is considered a very important part of the divorce procedure by the Jewish community.  A Get is a Jewish divorce document that acknowledges that the marriage has been terminated.  The Get only applies to marriages in England and to marriages conducted by synagogues.  Therefore a couple who marry in a register office or marriage outside of England will not be able to make use of it.  It is not possible to remarry in an orthodox synagogue without obtaining a Get.

To obtain a Get, each spouse must be living at different addresses and they both must consent to the Get.  The Get must be obtained from the Court of Jewish Religious Law (Beth Din).

The Beth Din invites both spouses to attend interviews, where specific information is exchanged.  The husband takes a prominent role and instructs the Scribe to write the Get.  The essential text of the Get is: “You are hereby permitted to all men” i.e: the wife is no longer a married woman and the laws of adultery no longer apply.

The Get is approved and signed and witnessed.  In the presence of the witnesses, the wife is then asked whether she is willing to receive the Get.  If she is, the husband recites words which indicate that he has in hands a Get which will be given to the wife, receipt of which will free her from the marriage.  The Get is then placed in the wife’s hand.  The wife then holds the Get above her head.  She then tucks the Get into her pocket and turns away from her husband as a sign that she has asserted her independence from him.  The wife then hands back the Get so that it can be checked again.  The process is then completed.

Both spouses are given certificates written in English and Hebrew, stating that the Get has been duly executed and that they are free to remarry under Jewish law.  However, a period of 92 days must elapse before remarrying.

Where possible, the Jewish divorce should be dealt with within the same time frame as the civil proceedings.

Problems can arise for the wife if she has committed adultery before obtaining a Get.  She and her new partner will not be able to remarry each other in an orthodox synagogue.  This is particularly so where a husband has issued a divorce petition based upon the wife’s adultery as in the event the adultery is admitted this will provide evidence of her sexual relationship before divorce.  It is not unusual for one party to try and use the Get as a tool to make unreasonable demands of each other.

Therefore, it is more common nowadays for a party to rely upon the Divorce (Religious Marriages) Act 2002.  Under this Act, an application can be made to the Court for the civil divorce not to be granted until the Get has been obtained.  The application can only be submitted once Decree Nisi has been granted.  The Court then has discretion to delay the making of the Decree Absolute until the spouses have first obtained the Get.  The Court will make such an Order where it is “satisfied that in all the circumstances of the case it is just and reasonable to do so”.

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