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How mediation can assist Jewish spouses who divorce

Family law encompasses a wide range of legal issues, and Maryland attorneys who practice this type of law see all kinds of different cases that result from the basic issues of divorce, child custody and the financial support of a child. Cases can differ based upon the circumstances of the individuals involved, including their cultural or religious beliefs and practices. For some Jewish families, religious approached to divorce can greatly influence the process of dividing a family.

In the Jewish tradition, there is a distinction made between a legal divorce and a religious divorce. The religious severing of the marital bond is known as a "get." When a marriage is ended through a legal divorce, a "get" is not automatically granted. In fact, Judaism holds that only the husband can agree to give his wife a "get." This is an important issue for many Jewish couples, as a divorced woman cannot remarry or even date within her religious community without obtaining a "get" from her husband.

This issue can also greatly affect the course of a legal divorce. Many Jewish husbands leverage their power to force their wives to agree to unfavorable terms within the divorce process. Fearing that she may not be given a "get," some women will agree to accept a less-than-equitable share of marital assets or reduced child custody rights in order to appease her husband.

This is an issue that family law practitioners are becoming more familiar with, especially in light of recent news coverage of how the matter is handled internally within some Jewish communities. For those in Maryland who are facing a divorce and are concerned about obtaining a "get," mediation may offer a less contentious and adversarial path toward resolution of the matter. Working with a mediator is a far less confrontational approach than a litigated divorce, and may help both parties focus on their shared goals, rather than taking a stance of opposition and strife.

Source: The Huffington Post, 5 Ways That Divorce Mediation Can Help Resolve the 'Get' Crisis, Morghan Leia Richardson, Jan. 6, 2014

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