Mediation can Play a Unique Role in Jewish Divorce
Mediation is a useful tool for all divorcing couples to help resolve issues related to the divorce outside of the courtroom. Mediation may have some added benefit, however, for Jewish women who are able to obtain a divorce in civil court, but who may be denied (by their husbands) a Jewish religious divorce , known as a “get.” According to the Huffington Post, this problem is becoming a crisis for Jewish women whose husbands refuse to allow a get. By utilizing mediation, however, women may be able to obtain both a civil and religious termination of their marriage. There are several reasons why the use of mediation may be a better alternative for women potentially facing this issue.
To start with, mediation can remove the potential for courtroom drama, which could cause an Orthodox religious man to feel embarrassed or that he is being treated unfairly (which could be reasons for denying a get). Additionally, instead of focusing on the civil litigation aspect of ending a marriage (which can cause anger, frustration, and resentment), mediation allows for the possibility of more creative solutions, tailored for the parties and created by them rather than by strangers. Having more control over life post-divorce through creative mediation settlements can also reduce some of the tension between a divorcing couple, allowing them to find more common ground. All of this could lead to a husband being more open to the idea of a get than by simply pursuing civil litigation alone.
Further, mediation puts women on a more even playing field with their husbands, as it is a neutral forum where each party has an equal voice. In cases with serious contentions over property or custody issues, refusing a get might be used as leverage by a husband. In mediation, however, because women have an equal voice and equal access to the neutral mediator, women may have a better chance of obtaining a fair outcome on those contested issues. Instead of each side strategizing against the other, couples are encouraged to work together and consider opportunities for compromise. And so, rather than inflaming the situation and having a husband dangle kids or money as leverage over a wife, mediation can help Jewish parties to minimize disputes and potentially work towards mutually agreed-upon provisions for a civil divorce as well as a religious get.
For all of the above reasons, Jewish women interested in terminating their marriages both in the civil and religious realms would do well to consider mediation with their husbands. If you would like more information on mediation or on all of your divorce options, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced family law attorneys at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC today.