Role of Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation in a Religious Divorce

women in suits sitting at table and talking
Dec 2, 2021 | Sara Khaki

Religious divorces fall outside the realm of litigation. Frequently, religious divorces occur after civil litigation wraps up. The validation of a divorce through religious means does not affect anything the court order touches and serves only to restore the faithful to unmarried status in the eyes of their faith so they can remain devotees in good standing and remarry without spiritual or social consequences.

Religious Mediators and Arbitrators

Ecclesiastical institutions which oversee the religious divorce process can serve as mediators and arbitrators for couples seeking religious divorces.

Furthermore, a Jewish wife who divorced civilly and is having trouble acquiring her husband’s get can go before a Jewish court to present her complaint. There, the members of the court will evaluate the facts and hand down a ruling in the case, frequently directing the husband to hand it over – especially since the divorce was completed in civil court already. This is similar to arbitration.

Even in religions that do not constrain divorce, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, clerics can perform counseling services and put pressure on spouses who are acting uncooperatively. This is parallel to mediation.

Alternative Dispute Resolution in Religious Divorces

Studies have shown that using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services increases the advantage divorcing couples have over litigating couples. They come out with more satisfying divorce settlements, feel that their voices were heard, and last but certainly not least, save thousands of dollars in legal fees.

All of these benefits directly affect the wellbeing of any children involved, since more money will be available for them, and the stress on their parents can be greatly reduced. Making use of church counseling programs, religious tribunals, or any other alternative to litigation found within the religious institutions can generally have this effect as well.

Call our firm for more advice and insight on the role of mediation, arbitration, and litigation in a religious divorce.


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