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Legal Information: Religious

Jewish Get Law (Divorce Law)

Updated : 
March 12, 2010

What is the process of getting a “get”?

Once a husband has agreed to give a get, the process is uncomplicated. Unlike a civil divorce, it does not involve litigation. The husband has a sofer write the sefer k’ritot in front of him and two witnesses. The wife does not have to be present at this process, though she typically is. Traditionally, the husband delivers the get to his wife and places it in her hands. Her ritual acceptance of the document validates the divorce. The wife then returns the document to the beit din, who cut it to make sure it can never be used again and file it away. They give both the husband and the wife a p’tur, or statement of release, which says that they have received a get and are free to remarry.

If there is a history of domestic violence or other abuse, or in a case where geographical distance makes attendance impossible, the woman does not have to attend the beit din or accept the get from her husband directly. Instead, the beit din can appoint an agent for the husband to bring her the scroll of severance. Her physical acceptance of the document still validates the divorce.