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Different Cultures - Different Divorce Rules

Tags: divorce

Our cultures often influence the way Divorce is perceived and the way it is achieved. Cultural views on marriage and divorce vary just as much as our views on money, lifestyle, and parenting. Different cultures have different laws and procedures to follow for a divorce. The way a culture views divorce may be influenced by how its members view social conventions, cultural traditions and often religion.

Divorce Catholic Style

The Catholic Church has had a long history of influence/control in the marriages and divorces of its members. Its influence even spread into the mainstream when annulments began to be referred to as “Catholic Divorce.” Divorce and annulment aren’t the same thing though in the catholic religion. Divorce is a civil law decree by the state. Annulment is a canon law decree by the church. The Catholic Church does not recognize a civil divorce because its belief is the state cannot dissolve what is indissoluble. Catholics who want to divorce to marry someone else, must get an annulment first, or the divorce is not recognized.

The Jewish Gett

In Israel, rabbinical law states that a divorce can only be granted if it is requested by the husband. The “gett” is a dated and witnessed document that states the husband’s intention to divorce his wife and sever all ties with her. In writing the document, the husband must enlist the help of an expert scribe. The gett must state that it is specifically written for the husband and wife using it. (No form documents!) It gets even more complicated. The tradition is the gett has to be written in Aramaic and in 12 lines (the numerical value of the Hebrew word “gett”), and must be signed beneath the 12th line. In addition, there is a Transmission and a Mutual Agreement process that have to be completed. The Transmission requires a rabbinical court of three rabbis and the Mutual Agreement, a key requirement in the gett process, is the complete agreement of both parties to the proceedings.

More Complications

If you thought the above cultures have complicated divorce rules---be glad you are not in the Philippines---the only country in the world that doesn’t allow the majority of its citizens to divorce. In this very Catholic country, there are no divorced Catholics. Currently before the Philippine legislature is a bill to legalize divorce, but don’t hold your breath, experts say it has little chance to pass without the support of the Philippine president, who has already said no.

In India, a Muslim man can no longer use the “instant divorce” which allowed a husband to divorce his wife just by saying “talaq” (the Arabic word for divorce) three times in a row. Now if he tries it anyway, he risks jail for up to three years. The Upper House of India’s parliament passed the bill in July 2019, two years after the Supreme Court declared the practice unconstitutional.

Fortunately, there are much easier ways to divorce in the United States. Mediation is a process that is free from cultural biases and concentrates on the good of both parties in the divorce. Fair and unbiased, mediation allows both spouses to have an equal say in their own divorce process. Complete our online request for a free online evaluation, or to receive a free 30-minute consultation visit us a or call 619-702-9174.

This post first appeared on A Fair Way Mediation, please read the originial post: here

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Different Cultures - Different Divorce Rules


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