Divorce Court’s Authority to Require a Jewish Divorce in Arizona
DUE TO COVID-19 AND OUR NEED TO ENSURE THE HEALTH OF OUR CLIENTS, ALL INITIAL CLIENT CONSULTATIONS WILL BE CONDUCTED BY PHONE. YOU MAY CALL US AT (480)305-8300 TO SCHEDULE A TELEPHONE CALL WITH ONE OF OUR EXPERIENCED FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS.
Arizona law allows the divorce court to address the financial and custody issues in a divorce. But can a court order a spouse to undertake a religious ceremony?
In Victor v. Victor, 177 Ariz. 231, 866 P.2d 899 (1993) the Court of Appeals reviewed that issue. It had to decide whether a trial court can order someone to undertake a religious divorce proceeding.
Facts of the Case
Mrs. Victor and Mr. Victor were married in 1976 in an Orthodox Jewish ceremony. As part of their marriage, they entered into a ketubah. This is a document that records the financial obligations imposed on the husband by Jewish law. Both parties signed the ketubah, but they did not get it acknowledged.
The document under Jewish law required for divorce is called a “get.” To obtain a get, a husband starts a proceeding before a Jewish tribunal. Under Jewish law, a wife is not deemed divorced until she received a get even if she gets a civil divorce. She cannot get remarried and any children she has in a subsequent marriage are considered illegitimate.
Husband brought an action for civil divorce. However, he refused to initiate proceedings for a get, despite repeated requests by the wife. She brought this action seeking to have a judge compel the husband to obtain a get. The trial court ruled that it did not have the authority to do this and wife appealed.
The Court’s Equitable Powers
Mrs. Victor first claims that the trial court has authority to order the husband to obtain a get under its equitable powers. The Court of Appeals noted that the court has only the powers found in the statutes. It has no equitable power beyond its legal authority spelled out in the statutes, e.g. to divide property, determine child custody, etc.
Nothing suggests that a court has the authority to require spouses to undergo religious proceedings as part of a divorce.
Ketubah as Prenuptial Agreement
Wife’s second argument is that the ketubah that she and her husband signed should be viewed as a premarital agreement. Under it, husband agreed to act in accordance with the moral precepts of Jewish law. If viewed in that light, she argued, the trial court can specifically enforce the get agreement.
The Court of Appeals determined that the ketubah was executed with the proper formality to be a prenuptial agreement. It was executed in Florida and it complied with the formalities of that state.
Unlike Arizona, Florida does not require that a prenuptial agreement is acknowledged. However, the Court next looked at its specificity.
In Arizona, provisions of a prenuptial agreement must be sufficiently specific to be enforceable. Here, the Court found that the ketubah was lacking.
The specific provisions of the ketubah apply to the couple’s finances. They do not require the husband to obtain a get to divorce.
Mrs. Victor points to language requiring the couple to comply with the “laws of Moses and Israel.” This, the Court found, was too vague to enforce. It contained nothing to suggest that a husband who signs must obtain a get to obtain a divorce.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court ruling.
If you need information about a divorce court’s authority to order a religious divorce in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona divorce attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in divorce cases in Arizona.
Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.
Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your Arizona divorce case around today.
Arizona Family Law Attorneys in Scottsdale and Tucson Arizona
More Articles About Divorce in Arizona
- The advantage of Filing Divorce First in Arizona
- Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable in Arizona
- Arizona Divorce
- Arizona Divorce Attorney Reviews
- Arizona Divorce Child Custody
- Arizona Divorce Debt
- Arizona Divorce Forms
- Arizona Divorce Laws
- Arizona Divorce Laws Alimony
- Arizona Divorce Laws and Statutes
- Arizona Divorce Laws on Adultery
- Arizona Divorce Papers
- Arizona Divorce Practice
- Arizona Divorce Process
- Arizona Divorce Records Search
- Arizona Marriage Laws
- Asset and Property Search in an Arizona Divorce
- Arizona Divorce When You Can’t Find Your Spouse
- Change to Maiden Name After Divorce in Arizona
- Changing Orders in an Arizona Divorce Decree
- Children and Divorce in Arizona
- College Expenses After Divorce in Arizona
- Complex Divorce Cases in Arizona
- Conciliation Court Services in Arizona
- Consent Required for Marriage of Minors in Arizona
- Considering the Children during a Divorce in Arizona
- Convert to a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- Coping With Divorce in Arizona
- Court Services to Save a Marriage in Arizona
- Custody of the Family Pet in a Divorce in Arizona
- Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona
- Divorce After Legal Separation in Arizona
- Divorce and Children in Arizona
- Divorce Arizona
- Divorce Case is on the Inactive Calendar in Arizona
- Divorce Court Jurisdiction in Arizona
- Divorce in Arizona Without Children
- Divorce Procedures in Arizona
- Divorce Records in Arizona
- Divorce Statistics in Arizona
- Divorce Support Groups in Arizona
- Domestic Violence and Divorce in Arizona
- Effect of Adultery on an Arizona Divorce
- Effects of Divorce on Children in Arizona
- Enforceable Arizona Prenuptial Agreements
- Failure to Include an Issue in an Arizona Divorce
- Filing for Divorce in Arizona
- Filing for Divorce to Receive Alimony in Arizona
- Guide to Divorce for Men in Arizona
- High Asset Divorce in Arizona
- High Conflict Divorce in Arizona
- High Net Worth Divorce Arizona
- How is a Divorce Finalized in Arizona
- How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in Arizona
- How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Arizona
- How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced in Arizona
- How Long Does Uncontested Divorce Take in Arizona
- How Long To Be Separated Before Divorce in Arizona
- How long to get Temporary Orders in Arizona
- How Much Does it Cost to Get a Divorce in Arizona
- How to Appeal a Divorce Decree in Arizona
- How To Find Good Divorce Attorney in Arizona
- How to Start a Divorce in Arizona
- Learn About Uncontested Divorce in Arizona
- Legally Separated File Divorce in Arizona
- Marital Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- The merger of the Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- Military Divorce Laws in Arizona
- Misled Into Signing Divorce Settlement in Arizona
- Modifying a Divorce Decree in Arizona
- No Contest Divorce in Arizona
- No-Fault Divorce in Arizona
- Order to Pay Spouses Attorney Fees in Arizona
- Parenting Class During a Divorce in Arizona
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona
- Protect Children in a Divorce in Arizona
- Quick Divorce in Arizona
- Reasons for Divorce in Arizona
- Reasons to File for Divorce in Arizona
- Represent Yourself in Arizona Divorce Case
- Same-Sex Divorce in Arizona
- Sealing Court Records in an Arizona Divorce
- Sell Home During Divorce in Arizona
- Selling Property During a Divorce in Arizona
- Served With Divorce Papers in Arizona
- Serving Divorce Papers by Publication in Arizona
- Should I Keep the House in a Divorce in Arizona
- Social Media Evidence in Divorce in Arizona
- Stop an Arizona Divorce
- Stop an Arizona Divorce if You Change Your Mind
- What Happens at a Resolution Management Conference in Arizona
- What Happens If the Divorce Case Goes to Trial in Arizona
- What Happens Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
- What is a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- What is a Default Divorce in Arizona
- What is a Family Law Master in an Arizona Divorce Case
- What is a Preliminary Injunction in an Arizona Divorce
- What is a Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
- What is the Divorce Process in Arizona
- What Reasons Do I Need to Obtain a Divorce in a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- What to do When Served with Divorce Papers in Arizona
- When Can I File For Divorce in Arizona
Chris Hildebrand wrote the information on this page about an Arizona court’s authority to order a religious divorce to ensure everyone has access to information about family law in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and, quite frankly, actually caring about what his clients are going through in a divorce or family law case. In short, his practice is defined by the success of his clients. He also manages all of the other attorneys at his firm to make sure the outcomes in their clients’ cases are successful as well.