Introduction to Jewish marriage and divorce
Marriage is very important in Judaism because family and the home are thought to be great blessings. A Jewish marriage takes place under a canopy (a chupah), which represents the home that the new couple will share. The ceremony itself begins with the signing of the Ketubah – the Jewish marriage contract which sets out the legal terms of the marriage. This is accompanied by a ceremony known as Bedecken (veiling), in which the bridegroom places the veil over the bride’s face. This symbolises the groom’s intent to clothe and protect his wife.
If the marriage breaks down, the parties can get a religious divorce by the husband giving his wife a get. This is a document of divorce and has to be presented at a rabbinical court (Bet Din). Under Jewish law a civil divorce will not bring the parties’ religious marriage to an end; the get is required. Similarly, the religious divorce will not bring the civil marriage to an end, and a party must apply for a decree of divorce. These two processes should be done in tandem. For more information, please see our guide to divorce and our guide to Jewish marriage and divorce.
Under Jewish law, once the divorce takes place there is no obligation to support the weaker party with maintenance. If the divorce takes place in England, the weaker party can make a financial claim based on the civil divorce. If the divorce takes place abroad, there is also a possibility of bringing a claim in England based on an overseas divorce. For more details, please refer to our guide to Jewish marriage and divorce.
How Vardags can help with your Jewish marriage and divorce
While all marriages and divorces in England must comply with the formalities required by English law, at Vardage we recognise the importance of a client’s religious beliefs, and how that may impact upon the advice to be given. Not only may it guide practical advice, but it may also have implications for the proceedings. At Vardags we take into account the significance of the religious divorce, alongside the civil divorce, and are able to establish a strategy that incorporates both elements, in order to best protect our clients.
The first step is to arrange a meeting with one of our solicitors. Therefore, please call us on 020 7404 9390 or email us to make an appointment to come and see us.