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California divorce: Jewish divorce differs from legal divorce

Apparently, a divorce is not a divorce when it comes to certain religious faiths. A legal divorce in California does not quite cut it for those who are Orthodox Jews. Family Code 2300 indicates that once a divorce has been granted, the former couple each return to unmarried status.

However, for Orthodox Jews -- even though a judge may have approved a divorce which is legal in the eyes of the state -- the religion may consider the two people in question as still being married. In the Orthodox Jewish faith, the husband must agree to the granting of the divorce. If he hasn't, the marriage is still valid in the eyes of the religion.

So, even though a divorce may be finalized in a court of law, without her husband agreeing, his (former) wife will not get permission from a religious standpoint to remarry. The same goes for the husband with some exceptions which have raised some questions recently. In terms of state legalities, divorce proceedings can take place in California if there has been residency in the state for at least six months.

The issues surrounding divorce are often complicated, even without taking religious beliefs into account. As such, California residents looking for answers to some perplexing divorce issues would do well to consult with an attorney who has experience in family law. An attorney will be able to point out any barriers if they exist and will ensure his or her client achieves the result for which he or she is looking.

Source: jewishjournal.com, "A Legal Divorce and a Jewish Divorce Are Entirely Different Things", Bob Gorman, Nov. 2, 2017

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