As a matrimonial attorney, with over twenty-five years of experience before the Courts and Botei Din, I have been involved with the many issues of parties going through a divorce-related matter. These issues can be emotionally stressful on many levels, especially in regards to custody and finance.
Dealing with the very critical issue of custody has always been extremely difficult that coupled with emotional issues, access, equitable distribution, and support.
That is why a prenuptial is an essential tool for parties prior to marriage. Picking a forum where any potential dispute can be handled in a healthy environment as possible, during a tense time can reduce the stress involved in these matters. Further, while having the parties bind themselves to an arbitration panel, will make the issue of a Get something that is dealt with in the forefront.
An issue that can be agreed upon is the forum where any future dispute arises, will take place and the mechanics on how the arbitration/mediation should proceed. Therapists should broach this concept with all client’s undergoing pre-marital or couples counseling, prior to their marriage.
There is so much needless energy expanded on fighting as to where the parties will have their matter adjudicated when there is no prior agreement. Take for example the Beis Din system, in which the zabla ( Zabla is the process in where each party retains one of the arbitrators and the two arbitrators select a third) process can take on a life of its own until a panel is finally agreed upon. By that time, the animosity is so high between the parties, that words cannot be spoken in any civilized manner.
Why am I placing this on a blog designated for therapists? Because therapists who are involved in pre-marital therapy should encourage their patients during the process to have a prenuptial drafted and signed before their marriage. As any purchase of insurance, it is a document that is put away after it is executed for both parties for the future, with the hope that it will never be necessary.
In the event that the future will require it, the parties have chosen a healthy environment to have the issues handled they have provided for a contract that dictates the beliefs that they held at the time of their marriage and how they foresee their family unit to be raised. An issue that arises regularly today in matrimonial matters.
A prenuptial agreement should become the norm in our society.
In the course of discussing compatibility and conflict resolution, with patients who are approaching marriage, a prenuptial agreement can be a great tool to work with the couples and see how they can arrive at a mutually acceptable document. The client should be advised that any legal document must be read and understood and not signed blindly, as many are. For observant clients, the forum should also address the Get issue according to Jewish law.
There is a Prenuptial Agreement that is drafted with prominent Rabbonim behind it.
Please feel free to contact me by e-mail or phone if you wish to obtain any further information.
Martin E. Friedlander, Esq.
Martin Friedlander, PC.
Martin E. Friedlander, Esq.
845 Third Avenue, 11th floor
New York, New York 10022