Connecticut court affirms rabbinical prenup defending agunot


(JTA) – In a precedent-setting ruling, a Connecticut judge determined that a religious prenuptial contract is enforceable in a secular court.

The Forward reported Friday that Judge Mark Gould of the Connecticut Superior Court determined that enforcing the contract is no different than enforcing a secular contract. 

Created by the Beth Din of America rabbinical court in the 1990s, the contract is aimed at avoiding situations in which a husband refuses to give his wife a religious divorce, or get. Such refusal prevents wives from remarrying in a religious ceremony.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Rachel Light, 34, in July against her husband, Eban Light, from whom she is separated. Rachel Light asked the court to enforce the contract’s requirement that her husband pay $100 for each day he refused to grant the divorce.

The Forward quoted observers as saying that Gould was the first to enforce the Beth Din contract in a secular court.

Rachel Light may be eligible to demand more than $100,000 from her husband, from whom she separated three years ago, according to the Forward.

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