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Jewish Divorce in Australian Family Law

Jewish Divorce in Australian Family Law

Monday 22nd of July 2019
By: Shai Sommer, Solicitor, Coote Family Lawyers

I am very happy as I know you are looking after my best interests.

Do I need a Jewish Gett in Australia?

Those familiar with Jewish law (known as Halakhah), appreciate that it is complicated, and sometimes clashes with civil law.  A Jewish marriage for example, is recognised under the Australian law but there is no reciprocal recognition for a Jewish divorce.

Marriage pursuant to Jewish law can only be terminated by death of one of the parties or by the husband delivering a Gett (i.e. a bill of divorcement) to the wife, and for the wife to receive the Gett from the husband.  But what happens when a husband refuses to give his wife a Gett, or the wife refuses to accept a Gett from her husband?

The Family Law Act does not recognise the execution of a Gett, nor does the absence of a Gett affect the validity of a civil divorce.  It is therefore possible to be civilly divorced under the Family Law Act but remain married under Jewish law.

Navigating through gaps that exist between religion and the Family Law Act can be difficult and overwhelming.  If you are experiencing some of these challenges, or have questions about what to do, we are here to help.  Call us now to speak with a solicitor on 03 9804 0035.

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