Jewish Divorce



About the Jewish Divorce

Just as halakha, Jewish Law has established a formal procedure or ceremony for the creation of a marriage, it has established a formal procedure for the ending of a marriage. It is one of the most ancient of Jewish rituals, and is described in the Torah (Deut. 24, verses 1-4). While as US citizens, we first and foremost abide by the jurisdiction of the state courts with respect to divorce, in addition we follow our religious tradition by obtaining a GET. In Jewish Law, the marriage must be formally ended by a ghett before remarriage for either party can lawfully take place. Thus, Jews who have been married and are undergoing, or have completed, a civil action for divorce, annulment, or dissolution, should have a ghett. If the marriage ceremony was civil or non-traditional, the gett should nevertheless be obtained.

Generally, the ghett is done after the civil decree is final; if the parties wish to arrange for the ghett before the civil decree, they may do so with the understanding that the ghett will not be final until the civil decree becomes final.

How to initiate a Ghett?

While in the traditional ghett the male spouse must initiate the ghett, the process with the rabbi can begin by submitting this application.

This will inform the rabbi that one or the other party wishes to begin the procedure, and will supply the basic information necessary for the rabbi to advise the parties on the best way to proceed. Once the application is submitted, the rabbi will advise the applicant on what each party may be required to do; this may vary with individual circumstances, and the Rabbi will be able to give specific advice only after the individual situation is made clear by submitting the application. Taking this first step is a meaningful and important move towards obtaining your Jewish divorce. Please be advised it might take 4-6 months until the process is complete.