Pre-nup law won't affect the get

By Simon Rocker, January 6, 2011

The London Beth Din believes that new moves to explore whether pre-nuptial agreements (PNAs) should be legally binding are unlikely to have any impact on Jewish religious divorces.

A consultation paper on the use of PNAs is to be launched next Monday by the Law Commission.

Voluntary PNAs were introduced for marrying couples by the Office of the Chief Rabbi 15 years ago as a measure to prevent the incidence of agunot - women unable to remarry in Orthodox synagogues should their husband deny them a get (religious divorce).

Couples signing a rabbinical PNA undertake to consult the Beth Din in the event of marital breakdown.

A spokesman for the London Beth Din said the Law Commission paper related to financial assets.

Even if PNAs became legally binding, not every clause would necessarily be acceptable to a judge, he explained.

He also pointed out that a PNA could not contain the condition for
a husband to grant his wife a get if they divorced - because that would contradict the requirement in Jewish law for a get to be given voluntarily.

A spokesman for the Law Commission said: "We'll be seeking responses to the consultation which will be out for three months.

"In a year or so, we will come up with proposals which we will put before Parliament."

Last updated: 1:48pm, January 6 2011