This article was published in Steve Leimberg’s Estate Planning Newsletter and provides a discussion on the Sharabani v. Sharabani  case.

  • With the increasing overlap between the trust & estates and matrimonial practices, trusts and estates practitioners often become involved in premarital planning for their clients, or their clients’ children.
  • It’s important for practitioners to be cognizant of religious issues that can impact divorce proceedings.
  • In Sharabani v. Sharabani, a case recently decided in New York, the Court considered the implications of a husband’s refusal to grant his wife a religious divorce.

This decision highlights the very thorny issues that surround this interplay between “church” and state resulting from a New York statute with the unstated, but clear, purpose of solving a problem that is unique to Jewish marriages. A “Get” is a religious divorce under Jewish law that must be given voluntarily by a husband to a wife in order for her to remarry under religious law. Simply put, if a Jewish woman was married to a Jewish man and the marriage was solemnized by Jewish clergy, the woman needs to receive a “Get” from her husband in order for her to remarry in the Jewish faith and, perhaps more importantly, in order for her children of that subsequent marriage to marry freely in the Jewish faith.

Dealing with this issue in prenuptial agreements may be the preferred solution.


Please see important disclosures at the end of the article.

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