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Prenuptial agreements mandated by Modern Orthodox rabbis

Prenuptial agreements are growing more popular in Tennessee and across the United States. While many people think of prenups as solely a matter for celebrities or the ultra-rich, couples can use prenups to address situations that fit their own unique needs. As more people marry later in life with advanced careers, they may need to clarify their business interests and properties in a document. However, prenuptial agreements can address a wide range of concerns. Approximately 84 percent of Modern Orthodox rabbis in the United States require prenups that aim to prevent the use of a religious divorce as a bargaining chip.

Under Jewish religious law, a husband must give his wife a bill of divorce, or a “get,” for the divorce to be considered legally valid. Women who have not received the get cannot remarry religiously until they receive this document. Some husbands refuse to give their wives the get; in most cases, this is an attempt to extract certain demands in terms of property division or child custody in the civil divorce process. As a result of this problem and demands from Orthodox women for a solution that fits with religious law, rabbis developed a prenuptial agreement that mandates extensive financial support for a wife if the husband fails to provide the get.

While religious law prohibits direct coercion to provide the get, the financial agreement in the prenuptial agreement is usually sufficient to resolve the problem. This is especially true as most disputes over the get are motivated by financial concerns in an ongoing, contentious civil divorce.

Prenuptial agreements can also help people to deal with their pets, manage estate planning needs and address a number of individualized concerns. A family law attorney may help couples develop prenups that meet their needs and help to secure their futures.

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