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MazorGuide Home > Living Jewish > Jewish Divorce (the Get) > Reform

The Get: Jewish Divorce - Reform Perspective

Reform Judaism accepts the civil divorce alone as dissolution of a Jewish marriage. The Reform movement in 1869 decided to recognize the validity of the civil divorce as a means of equalizing what they considered the power imbalance between husband and wife. Under Jewish law a husband must grant his wife a Get or bill of divorce, thereby binding the wife to an unwanted marriage should the husband refuse to issue the Get. In addition, Samuel Atlas a Talmudist at Hebrew Union College determined that the civil divorce is valid under the Jewish legal principle of “Dina Demalchuta Dina,”(the law of the land where a person resides is the binding law in civil matters).

Currently many reform rabbis encourage divorcing couples to obtain a Get for a number of reasons. One of the reasons proffered is that the religious divorce will create unity among all Jews as both orthodox and Conservative Judaism does not accept the civil divorce as valid. In addition, even if the woman does not abide by the religious precept that obligates her to procure a Get, many reform rabbis highly recommend it in order to preserve the options of her children and grandchildren. Orthodox and Conservative Jewish rabbis require a Get prior to officiating in a subsequent marriage. Both movements agree that if children are born to a woman who did not receive a valid Get, they would be considered “mamzerim” (illegitimate or a bastard) under Jewish law and that stigma will follow them and all of their descendants for life.

 •  Jewish Divorce: The Get (Gett) Text in Hebrew and English
 •  Resources and Information for Obtaining Jewish Divorce (Get)

 •  Jewish Divorce: Orthodox Perspective
    –  The Get Procedure: Obtaining a Jewish Divorce
    –  Marital Assets and Alimony
    –  Custody and Child Support
    –  Agunah Issues
    –  Getting a "Get."  The last resort. by Daniel Hadar

 •  Jewish Divorce: Conservative Perspective
    –  The Get Procedure: Obtaining a Jewish Divorce
    –  Marital Assets and Alimony
    –  Custody and Child Support
    –  Agunah Issues

 •  Jewish Divorce: Reform Perspective
    –  Is a Get Necessary: by Rabbi Jeff Goldwasser

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