choose this option and avoid the hal-
achic problems that can arise in a
According to Goldie Wachsman of
G.ET., it has taken awhile to devise
acceptable prenuptial agreements
since they must be defensible in both
halachic and secular court. After many
years, a number of different types of
agreements are available, all of which
have been sanctioned for use by dif-
Wachsman says that most prenup-
tial agreements are similar in stipu-
lating that the couple will agree to go
to a Bet Din to settle their difficulties
and abide by the decision of the rab-
binic tribunal. There are a number of
differences in the contracts, however.
Some contracts have a time factor
built in, stipulating that the spouses
must attend a Bet Din within a speci-
fied time, to prevent unnecessary
delays. Some contracts also specify
which Bet Din, to prevent stalling tac-
tics that can occur when one spouse
refuses the other's court choice.
Most agreements provide for either
direct or indirect penalties if the
spouse refuses to abide by the agree-
ment, usually in the form of a daily
monetary fine of over $200 for each
day that the spouse refuses to issue
Other documents specify the extent
of the Bet Din's jurisdiction. Some will
only rule on the issuing of the get while
others may include rulings on alimony,
child support and custody.
According to Wachsman, postnup-
tial agreements are also available for
married couples who wish to assure
that a get will be easily obtained in the
event of divorce.
"You can't leave these fundamental
issues to the whim of human passion:'
Wachsman says. "You have to have
something to close this loophole?'
Rabbis who use the contracts have
found that if they approach the sub-
ject properly, most couples readily
agree to use a prenuptial agreement,
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of Con-
gregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New
York, and author of one of the agree-
ments, says that in his prenuptial
counseling, he mentions four issues to
the prospective bride and groom in
order to convince them to adopt the
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The Jewish News 83