Divorce is a traumatic experience
for all involved. It is a private and personal affair, and at the same
time an event that has significant public and legal ramifications. When
a Jewish couple marries, they participate in both a religious and a
civil ceremony, marking both a change in their legal status and
recognition of the spiritual dimension of the bond between husband and
wife. When the marriage bond is broken, it is important that both of
these aspects of marriage are taken into consideration.
Together with many the arrangements
you will be making at the time of your divorce, it is important that you
make sure that you have taken all the necessary steps to terminate your
marriage under Jewish law. This will help avoid complications for
yourself - if you wish to remarry in the future - and for any children
you may have in the future. Just as a beautiful huppah (wedding
ceremony) adds an important spiritual dimension to marriage, people
going through divorce find that the ritual of Jewish divorce gives a
proper sense of closure to their marriage, and allows them to move on
with their lives.
You may approach us at any time to
discuss the requirements of Jewish Divorce to make sure that everything
is done properly and will proceed smoothly. We advise you to contact us
as soon as possible to avoid needless complications. We are able to
arrange a GET any time after civil divorce proceedings have commenced.
Who should consider a Masorti
The politics of the Jewish world have greater consequences in the
realm of Divorce than in any other area of Jewish law. We advise those
who intend to marry under Orthodox auspices, or in the future may have
children who will marry under Orthodox auspices, to seek an Orthodox
divorce. Our proceedings are appropriate for those who have previously
used our services, for a marriage or conversion, or who intend to
remarry in a Masorti synagogue.
What should I expect?
The basic ritual of Jewish divorce involves a man giving his wife
the formal document of divorce known as a GET. The GET is written in a
precise manner by a specially trained scribe. The essence of the GET is
the statement that the wife is ‘free to marry any man she chooses’.
To be valid the GET needs to be
perfect in everyway, without mistakes or corrections. There is also a
precise ritual for the delivery of a GET. For this reason, the GET is
written by a specially trained scribe, and the delivery of a GET takes
place in the presence of a specially trained Bet Din.
Typically, arranging a GET through
our Bet Din requires two meetings. In the first meeting the husband
meets with the Bet Din or its representatives to discuss the divorce. At
this time he will be asked to sign documents appointing our scribe as
his agent to write the ‘get’ on his behalf. The Bet Din will also speak
with the wife to make sure that she is aware that Jewish divorce
proceedings have commenced and that she gives her consent. Consent of
both parties is an absolute requirement of Jewish Divorce law. The
couple will be asked to provide the Bet Din with details of their Hebrew
and English names, details of their original wedding and of their civil
divorce proceedings. These details are then sent to our scribe, and the
GET is prepared and written. If available, the couple’s Ketuba is
returned to the Bet Din at the time of the delivery of the GET.
In the second meeting the wife
receives her GET. The husband may deliver the GET in person, or appoint
an agent to deliver the GET on his behalf. There is a special ritual for
the delivery of the GET. After the ceremony the GET is returned to the
Bet Din for safekeeping and a certificate of divorce is issued to the
In some cases, where you have
special concerns or here there are additional complications, you are
advised to discuss your circumstances with us. We will do whatever is
possible within the boundaries of Jewish law to help make the delivery
of a GET possible.
We understand that a divorce is a
particularly difficult time in your life. We aim to support you wherever
possible. You are welcome to bring a friend or relative with you to the
Bet Din if this will make you feel more at ease.
The cost of preparing and delivering a GET is £380.00. The couple
will need to decide how they will share this cost. The bulk of this cost
is for the scribe to prepare the GET.
If you are interested in learning more about Divorce under the auspices
of the European Masorti Bet Din, you should in the first instance speak
to your local Masorti Rabbi or contact the Bet Din directly. For contact
details, click here.