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Jan 29, 2018

beis din revokes divorce settlement

And here is another interesting divorce case... "interesting" being in the sense that it was deemed fictitious and canceled retroactively.

At some point in the marriage, Husband filed for divorce, after some trouble between them. After conciliation, he closed the file as they decided to stay together. Several years later, Wife filed for divorce. They used a middleman to negotiate terms of the divorce and when negotiations were finished they submitted the agreement to the beis din for approval. The agreement concluded that the house would go to the wife and the agricultural land would go to the husband. The beis din approved and arranged the gett.

A few years later Husband goes to the beis din and says he wants the entire thing canceled retroactively as the divorce was fraudulent and fictitious. Husband explained that at the time they were going through serious financial difficulties, as was the entire industry of agriculture. The purpose of the divorce and the "agreement" in which the house was given to Wife was just to keep the debtors hands off of the house. Husband says as proof that after the gett was concluded, they continued to live together as husband and wife. He also submitted some sort of memorandum signed by the two parties admitting the divorce had been fictitious.

The wrinkle in this claim is that Wife then comes forward saying that the divorce was real. Wife argues that the divorce was negotiated in the courts and with the middleman for a period of years. The divorce was real and not because of temporary financial difficulties. Wife admits that Husband moved back in after the divorce and lived in the house, but she explains that she was being nice because he had nowhere to live and they lived separately in the same house and did not have yichud together. Wife claims she signed the memorandum under threat and in an effort to move things along.

After much deliberation the beis din decided that the gett had been a kosher gett and was given properly. The gett has nothing to do with the financial agreement and the gett cannot be canceled. Being that the financial agreement had been agreed upon in, and approved by, beis din, it is also final and cannot be canceled, even if the various claims are true.

The only open issue for discussion being a document signed prior to the divorce in which they state that the purpose of the settlement would be to avoid the debtors and save the house. The beis din decided that this is considered a "modaa"- an announcement that they know what they are about to do is under pressure and the intent is not genuine, and that document is real, meaning the agreement signed by both parties is invalid as it was signed under pressure, as pre-determined by the modaa.
source: Behadrei

Now that the divorce was kept in place and only the settlement was canceled because of the modaa, they should really tell us what happened next. The choices are that perhaps the couple remarried, or perhaps they worked out a new financial divorce settlement. 

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  1. We can't undo a get (because what if the wife remarried and later (like this) the get is questioned, or if she was intimate with someone after the get.

    Though giving a modaa declaration should never be allowed.

    Also, if she let him in the house, whether or not they were intimate, a new get would be required. Just living in a joint home, where the neighbors see them living together (even without intimacy) requires a get.

  2. according to the article she claimed they dd not have yichud. maybe other people were living there as well


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