Woman in chains: Will anything change for Agunot
(Page 6 of 8)
Some communities have opted to deal with the issue of Agunot preemptively by pushing couples to sign prenuptial agreements that impose severe financial consequences if a husband refuses to give a get. However, for activists, the practice is not nearly widespread enough.
“What I’m more frustrated by is when people don’t do more to protect themselves from someone abusing the system,” Rabbi Stern said. “I don’t think it’s a flaw in the system; just like you can have a business partner who gives you a run for your money, so too here.”
He said that the prenuptial agreements are “100 percent successful in ensuring that the get is given in a timely fashion.”
Rabbi Auman says that his shul recommends their congregants sign prenuptial agreements before marriage. He says that the practice is widespread in the Modern Orthodox community but far less popular in more yeshivish and Chassidic circles, for a variety of reasons.
“They range from a general reluctance to have any kind of innovation - the Chasam Sofer said ‘anything new is prohibited,’” Rabbi Auman explained. “You have people who are generally reluctant to institute any kind of new practice, others have problems with the technicalities, with issues that the get might be invalid since [the prenuptial agreement] could be considered coercion. The other objection I heard from one rabbi is it’s insulting to present this to a chosson [groom] and a kallah (bride). You are implying that they may do such a thing. Other than the middle reason, the other two are not worthy of discussion.”