New Jersey Jewish Divorce Attorney
If you are planning to get divorced, a New Jersey Jewish divorce attorney could help you work through both the secular and the religious aspects of your separation, as well as learn more about your legal options. Working with an accomplished divorce attorney who understands their language and culture could be helpful for Jewish families who need legal assistance with family matters. Call today and schedule your consultation.
The Difference Between Religious and Secular Divorce
Couples married in the Jewish faith remain religiously married until they receive a faith document called a Get, which ends their religious union. A husband must grant a Get to release his wife from the relationship. Typically, this process should be overseen by a rabbi or by the beit din, which is a court of Jewish law made up of three rabbis.
If the husband approves the Get, the wife is released from her responsibilities in the marriage and is free to remarry within the faith. If a husband refuses to grant a Get to his wife, she would remain married in the eyes of the faith.
A Get does not impact the ability of a spouse to file for civil divorce in New Jersey, and state law does not require a Jewish wife to obtain a Get. Once the parties finalize their divorce, they are free to remarry whomever they want. A divorce attorney could help you with the requirements of a Jewish or secular divorce in New Jersey.
A wife whose husband refuses to grant her a Get is known as an agunah, or “chained woman.” She is unable to remarry within the Jewish faith until she has a Get. If she gets remarried or has children without one, neither would be recognized as legitimate by her rabbis. For observant Jewish women, a Get may be the most important part of a divorce.
Convincing a civil court to order a husband to make a religious decision and grant his wife a Get is difficult. While there is some case law in New Jersey supporting an order to issue a Get, these cases are rare and depend almost entirely on any prenuptial agreements the couple have.
A wife could insist on a prenuptial agreement that requires her husband to give her a Get. The couples may also create a ketubah, which is a sort of religious marital agreement that also requires a Get. Whether a judge will enforce a ketubah depends on the presiding judge and the circumstances of a case.
Outside of the religious issues discussed above, divorces involving Jewish couples function similar to every other divorce case. The parties would be required to divide their assets, create a custody plan for their children, and determine if support or maintenance payments are necessary. A Jewish divorce lawyer in New Jersey could provide the information a person needs to move forward with the legal aspects of their divorce.
Married couples who are divorcing must divide the property they gained during the marriage in an equitable or fair manner. A judge who is dividing property would look at the economic situation of each spouse, the length of their marriage, and the contributions of each person to their relationship and family home.
If a divorcing couple has children, they must decide if they would share joint physical custody or if one parent would have primary custody. Depending on the custody and visitation arrangement, one parent would likely be required to pay child support to the other.
Either spouse could be ordered to make alimony or maintenance payments to the other on a temporary or permanent basis. Any such alimony award would also depend on each spouse’s financial circumstances and ability to earn a living after the divorce.
Divorce can be difficult no matter what faith you practice. If you would feel more comfortable working with a lawyer who understands your religious and cultural background, contact a New Jersey Jewish divorce attorney today. A well-practiced lawyer could provide the legal and religious guidance you may need.