In a situation where a Jewish husband refuses to give a gett, there are certain proscribed conditions which may allow the beit din to void the marriage.
A marriage may be voided if there were no witnesses (eidim) under the wedding canopy who could testify that the act of kiddushin transpired, or the witnesses present were determined to be halakhically invalid, or the officiating rabbi (mesadeir kiddushin) was not Torah observant.
Alternatively, the marriage may be voided if the husband fails, intentionally or unintentionally, to disclose to his prospective wife a major flaw (mum gadol) in himself. Under these conditions, the marriage was entered into under false pretenses (kiddushei taut). Major flaws can include a preexisting personality or medical disorder such as bipolarity or impotence; other major flaws include the refusal to have children, homosexuality, and criminal or mental dysfunction.
Finally, in contradistinction to kiddushei ta’ut which focuses upon the past, a marriage may also be voided retroactively when one invokes an umdana demukhah, an assessment of the wife’s expectations regarding her husband’s behavior after the creation of the marriage. For example, if the husband developed psychological problems after the wedding, it may be assessed that had she known that her husband would become mentally dysfunctional during the years of their marriage, she never would have married him. Under certain conditions, in light of this umdana demukhah, a beit din may void the marriage.
Listed below are various decisions rendered by our bet din in which we investigated the grounds for voiding the marriage. As you will read below, in certain instances there were grounds to do so. However, there were also other situations where we were unable to offer such relief to the wife.
Prior to issuing a decision regarding the merits of voiding the marriage, we had obligated or recommended that the husband give a gett to his wife. In the event that he refused under certain conditions, we directed the community to isolate him religiously, socially and economically. These isolation measures are traditionally known as the harhakot of Rabbeinu Tam.
Beruria petitioned the International Beit Din in December 2015 to release her from the chains of her igun.
Beruria (the plaintiff) and her husband Aaron (the defendant) were married in January of 1989 and were subsequently married civilly in November of 1989. From the very outset of the marriage, the couple had problems and they so...
The focus of our deliberation centers upon the wife’s argument regarding her husband’s refusal to engage in conjugal relations. In her presentation to this panel, she claims that her husband was incapable of ejaculation, generally there existed no intimate relations between her husband and at the end of the day, the husband desired t...