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How mediation can help in a Jewish divorce

Getting a divorce can be emotionally and financially difficult for Michigan residents. Divorce can be twice as hard for Jewish couples. Why? Because in Jewish culture, a woman must be granted a religious divorce before she can be legally divorced. This is called a "get," and it can be frustrating for women who want to move on with their lives.

A "get" ties a woman to her ex-husband, even after the courts grant the couple a divorce. The woman is not even allowed to date unless she receives the get from her husband. So how can a woman persuade her ex to give over the get? Here are some ways in which mediation can help.

Mediation takes the issue out of the courtroom. Putting a Jewish man in a courtroom may fuel the fire and make him less likely to give the get. He is already feeling shameful and taking him to court will only damage his pride even more.

Mediation allows couples to come up with alternative solutions. Court can be limiting because strangers make the decisions and take only the law into account, not your individual situation. Mediation can help couples find an option that works in their case.

Public shaming is a common Jewish ritual used to shame men into giving the ex-wives their get. The entire Jewish community pressures the man into giving the woman the get. This method, however, can backfire, because no man wants to be shamed in front of his friends, family and church.

Communication is key in a Jewish divorce - or any divorce for that matter. Both parties should be prepared to know what they want and try to negotiate. Try to keep the dispute out of court and see where that takes you.

Source: Huffington Post, "5 Ways That Divorce Mediation Can Help Resolve the 'Get' Crisis" Morghan Leia Richardson, Jan. 06, 2014

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