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Legal Information: Religious

Abuse in the Jewish Community

Updated : 
August 7, 2018

What is the process of getting a “get?”

Once a husband has agreed to give a get, the process is uncomplicated.

The husband has a sofer (scribe) write the sefer k’ritot (scroll of severance) 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 (rabbinical court) where it is cut to make sure it can never be used again and it is then filed away. The beit din gives both the husband and the wife a p’tur (statement of release), which says that they have received a get and are free to remarry.

Note: An agreement with the beit din may have some effects on even a civil divorce case. For more information about the effects of an agreement with the beit din, please see What is a “beit din?”

If there is a history of domestic violence or other abuse, or in a case where distance makes it impossible for a woman to come to the beit din, 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.