Gittin (Jewish Divorce) Services
The Tchabe Beth Din arranges Jewish divorces through the Get process. The Beth Din ensures that the Get procedure is carried out in a sensitive and caring manner, respects the dignity of all participants in the process and adheres to the highest standards of Jewish law to ensure the universal acceptance of Gittin administered under its auspices. The Beth Din also takes an active role in resolving cases involving spouses who refuse or are reluctant to deliver or receive a Get.
What is a Get?
A Get is a Jewish divorce. Jewish divorce requires the consent of both the husband and wife; there is no requirement that either party establishes grounds for divorce such as unreasonable behaviour, separation or adultery. All that has to be shown is that both the husband and the wife agree to the Get taking place. The basic laws of the Jewish religious divorce can be found in Shulchan Aruch Even HaEzer.
The Tchabe Beth Din is careful to treat every person with sensitivity and compassion, and tries to make the Get proceeding as smooth and as comfortable as possible for the participating parties. The Beth Din has women on its staff who are available to provide emotional and moral support to women who come to the Beth Din for a Get. Participants are also free to bring a friend to accompany them during the Get proceeding. A standard get procedure is non-adversarial and does not involve litigation. If necessary, the Get process can be arranged in a manner that does not require the husband and wife to appear together.
Why is a Get Necessary?
In order to end a Jewish marriage, halacha (Jewish law) requires a Get. Without the Get (absent the death of one of them), both husband and wife may not remarry under Jewish law.
The Get Process
On receipt of an application for a Get, our Beth Din invites both husband and wife to attend interviews at the Beth Din. The average duration of each interview is approximately fifteen minutes. During the course of this interview, the Dayan will seek to check the relevant data relating to the writing of the Get. Applicants will be asked for details of their father’s English and Hebrew names.
The Dayan will also seek to ascertain if there are any issues which may cause delays at a later stage in the process.
A date for the Get will then be fixed. The Beth Din acknowledges that divorce can be a very difficult time and places enormous importance on dealing with each case sensitively. Where difficulties arise during the Get process, a member of our team will seek to progress towards the Get as proactively as possible with a view to ensuring that the Get is given and received. When a couple have separated, our normal expectation is that both parties will honour their responsibility to ensure that the Get is completed within a few short months of application, regardless of whether all other issues in the divorce have been resolved.
The Writing of the Get
The standard get process is conducted in Hebrew or, English if necessary, or in the spoken language of the parties. It takes approximately 3 hours. The officiating Rabbi asks the parties some standard questions to ascertain their names (since the Get document must accurately identify the parties) and their desire to proceed with the Get process. The Get is written by a scribe and signed by two authorized witnesses. The husband then presents the get to the wife in the presence of the witnesses, thus effecting the divorce under Jewish law. Once the Get has been received by the wife, the Get Document is cut by the supervising rabbi and it is retained in the Beth Din files. The Beth Din issues a certificate to each party, generally after the civil divorce is finalized, indicating that a Get has been given and accepted and that each party is free to remarry.
Contested Get Cases
The Beth Din does everything in its power to avoid agunah cases (i.e. cases involving a spouse who refuses to give a get, notwithstanding the functional end of the marriage), and specializes in the resolution of Get cases involving a recalcitrant spouse who refuses or is reluctant to give or receive a get.
In addition to the Get process, the Beth Din maintains an active practice in matrimonial cases dealing with property division, custody and visitation. The Beth Din will convene a din torah (Jewish arbitration proceeding) in accordance with the requirements of Jewish law, comprised of expert Dayanim (judges) experienced in adjudicating divorce cases. When appropriate, the Beth Din will include a child psychologist on the panel of dayanim or as an expert witness to assist the panel in deciding custody and visitation matters. For more information regarding the din torah process, refer to the Din Torah section.
The cost of a standard Get is £800. Additional fees may apply for special services. Fees may be subsidized or waived based on financial need, or other compelling circumstances. The cost of a Get should not be a factor in deciding whether to arrange a Get, and the Beth Din will never decline to arrange a Get solely because of a party’s inability to pay.
To open a Get file at the Tchabe Beth Din, please call Registrar Din on (020) 8802 1150.
For more information, please contact:
Tchabe Beth Din
23 Portland Avenue
Tel/Fax: 020 8802 1150