לקביעת פגישת ייעוץ

The Ketubah Process

In a Jewish wedding ceremony, the groom signs the Ketubah. This is a document in which he commits to pay his wife a certain amount of money if they get divorced.

 

Out of a desire to express love and commitment, many men write astronomical sums of money in the Ketubah. Will they be obligated to pay the amount of the Ketubah in the event of a divorce? Or is it just a matter of symbolic significance?

 

What is the Ketubah document?

 

Marriage and divorce matters between Jews are governed by Jewish law. This also requires the man to sign the Ketubah before the wedding ceremony. This is a document in which a sum of money is specified, at his discretion, which the groom undertakes to pay to the bride in the event of a divorce. As an act of courtship and expression of love, many men in this position state almost imaginary sums in the Ketubah, which have no connection to their financial ability. Will the husband be required to pay the Ketubah when the time comes, if heaven forbid the couple divorces?

 

Is the Ketubah binding?

 

To answer this question, we must distinguish between theory and practice, between law and what is actually done. Well, from a strictly legal point of view, the Ketubah is a legal document in every way, it is a contract, in which the husband undertakes to pay his wife a sum of money in the event of a divorce. However, in practice, there are few cases in which the Rabbinical Court requires the husband to pay the wife the amount of the Ketubah, especially when the amount stated is beyond his financial means.

 

Denying the Ketubah to the woman

 

As mentioned, the rabbinical courts do not usually require the husband to pay the Ketubah. In addition, it is important to note that there are grounds on which a woman can be denied her right to a Ketubah and even her right to alimony, of which the Ketubah is a part. For example, if the husband proves that the wife committed adultery, meaning that she cheated on him and had an intimate relationship with another man. Therefore, even when the woman files a claim for a Ketubah, the husband may have defenses to deny her the payment.

 

What is the conclusion?

 

Although, as we explained, it is rare for the husband to be obligated to pay the full amount of the Ketubah. However, it is possible from a legal point of view and therefore, it is advisable to avoid committing to high sums of money in the Ketubah, but to settle for a symbolic and respectable amount. Also, a point for thought: the couple can include this issue when drafting a prenuptial agreement. Thus, they will agree that as part of the property division in a divorce, it will be agreed that the woman will not file a claim for a Ketubah.

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