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New Jersey Religious Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can cause upheaval in almost all households, with religious households there is the extra complication of wanting to adhere to religious requirements while getting a civil divorce. In New Jersey, the divorce process is the same for every person in the state including religious individuals.

However, a New Jersey religious divorce lawyer can work with you to find a solution, and help you get a divorce that fits within the mandates of your religion. A few of the most common type of religious divorces include Muslim divorces, Jewish divorces, and Catholic divorces. Contact a knowledgeable divorce attorney to learn more.

Muslim Divorces

In 2002 the New Jersey supreme court heard a case, Odatalla v Odatalla, involving a Muslim divorce. In that case, the couple had signed a Mahr agreement prior to the marriage.

A Mahr agreement is a marriage contract that includes an agreement for the husband to provide certain things to his wife such as money or property. In that case, the husband had promised that if there was a divorce he would pay the wife $10,000.

The husband argued that New Jersey courts should not uphold a Mahr agreement since it is a religious, not secular contract. However, the court found that if the contract could be enforced using neutral, non-religious, reasons then it will be upheld. Therefore, if someone is a practicing Muslim who signed a Mahr agreement, a New Jersey religious divorce attorney would say that they can include it in their divorce proceeding.

Jewish Divorces

Jewish marriages often include a ketubah agreement which outlines the responsibilities of each spouse in the marriage and that they will follow Jewish law within the marriage.

If a couple later decides to divorce, then under Jewish law they will need to obtain a religious divorce called a get. Without the get, they cannot remarry under Jewish religious laws.

New Jersey courts first addressed this issue in the case of Minkin v Minnkin in 1981 where the husband refused to provide his ex-wife with a get. In that case, the husband had accused the wife of having an affair.

Since the couple had signed a ketubah agreement where they agreed to follow Jewish law it also meant that if either person had an affair they had to provide a get. Therefore, the New Jersey court upheld the ketubah agreement and ordered the husband to give his ex-wife a religious divorce.

Catholic Divorces

Under the Catholic religion, divorce is not allowed but a couple is allowed to leave the relationship if they can obtain an annulment. The couple must obtain an annulment through the Catholic church, but getting a civil annulment can help the religious process as well.

To get in annulment in a New Jersey state court there are a few grounds that a person can use:

  • Impotence that cannot be cured and was not known by the spouse
  • The use of fraud or lies to deceive someone into getting married (ex. falsely claiming to be pregnant)
  • One of the spouses was already married so due to bigamy laws this marriage is not valid
  • The person was under 18 when they got married and upon turning 18 have not had a sexual relationship with their spouse
  • The marriage is incestual
  • They were unable to understand that they were getting married because they were too intoxicated or suffering from a mental illness
  • The marriage was forced because of threats

Even if someone does end up getting a civil divorce a New Jersey religious divorce attorney can help them through the Catholic annulment process in the church.

Speaking with a New Jersey Religious Divorce Attorney

There are a few different options that can impact your divorce depending on your religious requirements. A New Jersey religious divorce lawyer can help you not only with the legalities of a divorce but also with the religious aspects of your divorce.


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