Mississippi Divorce Attorney Discusses the Cultural Aspect of Divorce

When a couple wishes to divorce, the laws of the state where they live play a role in how the divorce will proceed. The religion and culture of the parties also plays a large role in divorce, because different religious groups and different cultures approach divorce in different ways. Sometimes, religious or cultural practices and procedures regarding divorce conflict with state and federal laws.

An example of this can be found in an interesting situation which has developed in New Jersey. An Orthodox Rabbi and three co-defendants are facing charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted kidnapping. The crimes are alleged to have occurred when the defendants worked together to “convince” uncooperative Jewish husbands to divorce their wives.

The question that is raised by this situation is whether the defendants were exerting an improper influence over the men or simply advocating for the rights of the women who were, according to Jewish law, unable to divorce their husbands unless their husbands gave them a document called a “get”. Jewish law appears to allow people within the Jewish community to exert influence on a man in order to pressure him to give his wife a get, however, Jewish law also specifies that such attempts must be nonviolent and they must not violate state or federal laws. It is not difficult to imagine that at some point, a person who is attempting to influence a reluctant to divorce husband would behave in such a way that their behavior crosses the line between attempting to influence him and becoming violent and committing a crime.

In the situation in New Jersey, the Prosecutors allege that the Orthodox Rabbi and his co-defendants essentially tortured the men into granting their wives divorces. More specifically, it is alleged that the defendants used electric cattle prods, handcuffs, and staged kidnappings in their efforts to force men to agree to their divorces. The defendants are also alleged to have been paid for their efforts in helping wives obtain gets from their reluctant husbands.

Other cultures also have ways of dealing with divorce which may or may not work well with American divorce laws. Muslims all over the world use the system of Sharia law to resolve disputes. A non-profit legal services organization called the Islamic Tribunal has set up operations in Texas, and it offers dispute resolution services in the context of Islamic principles. The Tribunal enables Islamic couples to work through the issues associated with their divorce in a manner that is consistent with their religious beliefs, but it does not grant divorces because it does not have jurisdiction to do so. Couples must file for divorce according to the laws of Texas and follow the state’s divorce process in order to obtain a legally recognized divorce.

Culture and religion play a major role in the divorces of some couples. Fortunately, couples can choose to incorporate their beliefs and values into their divorces as part of their property settlements and custody agreements. For more information about how to integrate your cultural or religious principles into your Mississippi divorce, call Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

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Mississippi Divorce Attorney Discusses the Cultural Aspect of Divorce
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Mississippi Divorce Attorney discusses cultural aspects of divorce.

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