Thursday, May 26, 2016

Divorce: Division of assets when husband leaves vs wife leaves husband

One of the areas of great relevance to the contemporary religious Jewish community is what happens to financial assets when a couple divorce. While there clearly is an emphasis on equitable division in secular law - the same is not so according to halacha.

According to the accepted halacha the husband owns everything except what the wife brought into the marriage. Therefore split of property and assets and giving the wife alimony and child support - has no basis in halacha. In fact if the wife is given these by a secular court, it is considered theft since she has no right to them.

One of the attempts to change this is a Rema which says that we follow the common custom in division. But does dina d'malchusa constitute the minhag? That is a discussion for another time.

I was recently told of an approach which says that the above is only relevant when the wife either deserts her husband or says he disgusts her and demands a Get. Is it different if the husband deserts the wife and demands a Get from her? [to be continued]

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