By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a NJ Contracts Attorney
In the Jewish religion, as some are probably aware, in order for a woman to remarry within the faith she must be granted a ““get”” by her former husband. The “get” is purely up to the consent of the husband. He has the right to give the ex-wife the “get” if he so chooses, but cannot be compelled to do so by anyone, including the NJ Courts.
The NJ Appellate Court recently heard a case dealing with this situation. The Trial Court had ordered the defendant to grant his ex-wife the “get”, but the defendant appealed the decision, moving the case to the NJ Appellate Court. The Appellate Court reversed the decision, stating the Trial Court had no right to order the man to grant his wife the “get”. The Appellate Court said this clearly violated the separation of church and state. The Appellate Court elaborated, stating that if the man were obligated by some sort of contractual agreement with his ex-wife to grant the “get”, then the NJ Courts would have the right to order such, but absent any contract between the parties, the state courts could not interfere. Despite the fact that a rabbinical court had previously issued a consent order stating that the wife would be required to pay for the “get”, the rabbinical court did not go as far as to order the husband to grant it, a noteworthy distinction said the NJ Courts.
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