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Divorce in the Jewish Community: What is a GET?

By Sheryl Rentz on February 3, 2012

For those who are members of the Jewish faith, the matter of divorce is slightly different than a standard civil divorce or an annulment. A civil divorce is not sufficient to dissolve a Jewish marriage; Jewish law decrees that a couple remains married until the woman obtains a GET. GET is simply the Hebrew word for “divorce document.” According to Jewish law, a marriage is not dissolved until a GET is exchanged between husband and wife. This particular law has presented some problems for liberal Jews who have a religiously valid marriage, but they do not get a religiously-valid divorce. This can mean that a Rabbi will not officiate at a wedding if either party has been divorced without a GET.

In a Jewish divorce, a divorce contract is drawn up under the supervision of a Rabbi and is signed by witnesses. The husband and wife are not subject to personal questions, and are not required to be present together. The Jewish divorce process typically takes an hour or two, at which time the GET is created and executed. Each party is expected to provide proof of identification, and they will also be asked some formal questions to ensure the GET is being executed on their behalf and without coercion.

The writing and preparing of the GET is a complex matter; therefore, a Jewish divorce should be performed by experts. Based on a religious rule, Rabbis have established that a GET should be handwritten by a scribe for the divorce; as such, the document is handwritten in Aramaic. Also, appropriate witnesses must be present for the writing and delivery of the document.

No matter what your religious affiliation is or what community you are a part of, divorce is a complex matter that should be handled by a knowledgeable Pennsylvania divorce lawyer. If you have made the difficult decision to end your union, Sheryl R. Rentz can assist you with every step of the divorce process and help you efficiently handle the often complicated legal issues that may arise. For a complimentary consultation, please call (610) 645-0100.

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