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Jewish Prenuptial Agreements for Mutual Respect

In Judaism, like in many religions, marriage is not only a union between two partners, but it is the intertwining of two souls.  However, according to Chabad.org, just as G-d prescribes a way to fuse two souls, G-d has also provided detailed instructions on how the souls can be reverted to the state of independence.

A divorce in Jewish law is formalized by a get, which is a dated and witnessed document within which the husband states his unqualified intention to divorce his wife.  If a husband does not provide his wife with a get, then the couple is not considered divorce, and so the wife cannot get remarried.

According to ITIM, an organization that helps people navigate the religious authorities’ bureaucracy in Israel, “Unfortunately, the get has become a tool for expressing anger and revenge and is a weapon in the hands of the one member of the couple who refuses to grant or receive the get and locks in (‘anchors’) the other party.  Such anchoring is especially problematic for a woman since it prevents her remarriage.”

To prevent the problems that come with a man refusing to provide his wife with a get, in May 2006, the Rabbinical Council of America reiterated a previous resolution that “no rabbi should officiate at a wedding where a proper prenuptial agreement on get has not been executed.”  Further, as a deterrent to get-refusal, the International Young Israel Movement, Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel, and the Beth Din of America suggest the use of a Prenuptial Agreement for Mutual Respect.

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