Getting a divorce is difficult under any circumstances. In addition to the impacts on the couple, their break-up and resulting divorce proceedings affect their children, extended family and often other members of their community. This is particularly true in cases involving religious separations and Orthodox divorce.

At Stolfe Zeigler New Jersey Family Law Group, we offer the caring support and trusted legal representation our clients need in these cases. As experienced Orthodox family lawyers, Stolfe Zeigler provides the practical legal guidance you require throughout the civil divorce process while respecting your individual customs and religious beliefs.

Differences Between Civil and Orthodox Divorce

For many people, their religious faith plays a significant role in their lives. This is particularly true in the Orthodox Jewish faith. When an Orthodox couple marries, the ceremony must conform to both civil and religious requirements. For example, they are required to obtain a marriage license issued by the state of New Jersey, in addition to signing a ketubah, which is a Jewish marriage contract.

Similar to how marriage is a mix of civil and religious requirements, the same is true in obtaining an Orthodox divorce. Under state law, either party may file a divorce petition through the Ocean County Family Court. The couple will also need to appear before a rabbinical court to obtain a Get, which is a religious document that dissolves their bond. One key difference between the civil and Orthodox divorce process is that only the husband is permitted to provide a Get.

Problems In Obtaining A Get

As in other aspects of religious life, an Orthodox divorce must adhere to biblical laws. These dictate that the only way to end a marriage is by the husband presenting his wife with a bill of divorce, otherwise referred to as a get. explains that a Get dissolves the bond between them and is required for the couple to be considered divorced.

A scribe typically writes a get, often in the Aramaic language. It is then presented in a rabbinical court to the wife in the presence of two witnesses. The process is complex and often requires the presence of religious elders or experts on Orthodox customs to ensure it is done correctly.

The Get represents the mutual agreement of both parties to end the marriage. If either party balks or refuses to cooperate, it could create serious problems:

  • If a husband refuses to initiate a Get, it is referred to as agunat. Loosely translated, this means ‘the chained wife’. A wife in this situation may sue her spouse in rabbinical court, but this is a complicated process and requires evidence of just cause.
  • If a wife refuses the acceptance of a Get, the husband can opt for a religious separation or may also opt to sue through the rabbinical court.

Not cooperating in serving or accepting a Get is a common problem. It is often used to maintain control over a partner, punish them for seeking a divorce, or force them to accept a less than desirable divorce settlement.

Orthodox Separation and Divorce Family Law Services

Attorney Abigale M. Stolfe shares a close bond with the Orthodox community, having been raised partly by her Jewish grandmother. Having participated in Orthodox holidays and customs as a child, she felt led to give back to the community when she began practicing law in Ocean County.

As a result, Stolfe Zeigler offers a variety of Orthodox separation and family law services to help people get through this difficult time. This includes:

  • Overseeing the civil aspects of getting a divorce in New Jersey;
  • Providing trusted legal guidance in obtaining Gets;
  • Advising you on ways to protect your rights during a religious separation;
  • Ensuring marital property, including cherished antiques and items of religious significance, is divided fairly between the couple;
  • Creating child time-sharing arrangements to ensure involvement with both parties and that cherished customs are maintained;
  • Requesting spousal or child support, which can help maintain financial security in the aftermath of an Orthodox divorce.

Get the caring support and trusted legal guidance you need during a difficult time. Call 732-240-9555 or contact us online and request a confidential, one-on-one consultation with our Orthodox family lawyers today.

Request A Consultation With Our New Jersey Orthodox Family Lawyers Today

Founding Stolfe Zeigler partner Abigale M. Stolfe, Esq has experience and expertise in religious divorce and custody cases, which requires a knowledge and understanding of religious custom and law. At Stolfe Zeigler New Jersey Family Law Group, we take pride in providing Orthodox separation and divorce family law services to members of our community.

Get the caring support and trusted legal guidance you need during a difficult time. Call 732-240-9555 or contact us online and request a confidential, one-on-one consultation with our Orthodox family lawyers today.