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Postnuptial Agreement Model

by Rabbi Mordechi Willig


a. Arbitration Agreement between Husband and Wife

Memorandum of Agreement made this day of _______ 57___, which is the _____ day of __________, 199__ , in the City of ______________, State/Province of __________, between _____________________ the husband, who presently lives at ___________________________ and ____________________________ the wife, who presently lives at ____________________________. The parties are married.

I. Should a dispute arise between the parties, Heaven forbid, so that they do not live together as husband and wife, they agree to refer their marital dispute to an arbitration panel, namely, the Bet Din of __________________________ for a binding decision. Each of the parties agrees to appear in person before the Bet Din at the demand of the other party.


II. The decision of the panel, or a majority of them, shall be fully enforceable in any court of competent jurisdiction.


III. (a) The parties agree that the Bet Din is authorized to decide all issues relating to a get (Jewish divorce) as well as any issues arising from premarital agreements (e.g. ketubah, tena'im) or this agreement.


[The following three clauses (b,c,d) are optional, each to be separately included or excluded, by mutual consent, when signing this agreement.]


(b) The parties agree that the Bet Din is authorized to decide any other monetary disputes that may arise between them.


(c) The parties agree that the Bet Din is authorized to decide issues of child support, visitation and custody (if both parties consent to the inclusion of this provision in the arbitration at the time that the arbitration itself begins.)


(d) In deciding disputes pursuant to paragraph III b, the parties agree that the Bet Din shall apply the equitable distribution law of the State/Province of _________________as interpreted as of the date of this agreement, to any property disputes which may arise between them, the division of their property, and questions of support. Notwithstanding any other provision of the equitable distribution law, the Bet Din may take into account the respective responsibilities of the parties for the end of the marriage, as an additional, but not exclusive factor, in determining the distribution of marital property and support obligations.


IV. Failure of either party to perform his or her obligations under this agreement shall make that party liable for all costs awarded by either a Bet Din or a court of competent jurisdiction, including reasonable attorneys' fees, incurred by one side in order to obtain the other party's performance of the terms of this agreement.


V. (a) In the event any of the Bet Din members are unwilling or unable to serve, then their successors shall serve in their place. If there are no successors, the parties will at the time of the arbitration choose a mutually acceptable Bet Din. If no such Bet Din can be agreed upon, the parties shall each choose one member of the Bet Din and the two members selected in this way shall choose the third member. The decision of the Bet Din shall be made in accordance with Jewish Law (halakhah) and/or the general principles of arbitration and equity (pesharah) customarily employed by rabbinical tribunals.

(b) At any time, should there be a division of opinion among the members of the Bet Din, the decision of a majority of the members of the Bet Din shall be the decision of the Bet Din. Should any of the members of the Bet Din remain in doubt as to the proper decision, resign, withdraw, or refuse or become unable to perform duties, the remaining members shall render a decision. Their decision shall be that of the Bet Din for the purposes of this agreement.

(c) In the event of the failure of either party to appear before it upon reasonable notice, the Bet Din may issue its decision despite the defaulting party's failure to appear.


VI. This agreement may be signed in one or more copies each one of which shall be considered an original.


VII. This agreement constitutes a fully enforceable arbitration agreement.


VIII. The parties acknowledge that each of them have been given the opportunity prior to signing this agreement to consult with their own rabbinic advisor and legal advisor.

In witness of all of the above, the Husband and Wife have entered into this agreement in the City of __________________, State/Province of ________________________.

Husband                   Wife
Signature:____________    Signature:____________
Name: ________________    Name: ________________

Acknowledgements

State/Province of _____________________________ County of _________________________} ss.:

On the __________ day of ______________ 199__, before me personally came _______________, the husband, to me known and known to me to be the individual described in, and who executed the foregoing instrument, and duly acknowledged to me that he executed the same.

                  _____________________________
                                  Notary Public

State/Province of _____________________________ County of _________________________} ss.:

On the __________ day of ______________ 199__, before me personally came _______________, the wife, to me known and known to me to be the individual described in, and who executed the foregoing instrument, and duly acknowledged to me that she executed the same.

                  _____________________________
                                  Notary Public

b. Husband's Assumption of Obligation

I. I, the undersigned, _______________________________, husband, hereby obligate myself to support my wife, ____________________________, in the manner of Jewish husbands who feed and support their wives loyally. If, God forbid, we do not continue domestic residence together for whatever reason, then I now (me'achshav) obligate myself to pay her $______ per day, indexed annually to the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) as published by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, beginning as of December 31st of this year, for food and support (parnasah) from the day we no longer continue domestic residence together, and for the duration of our Jewish marriage, which is payable each week during the time due, under any circumstances, even if she has another source of income or earnings. Furthermore, I waive my halakhic rights to my wife's earnings for the period that she is entitled to the above-stipulated sum. However, this obligation (to provide food and support, parnasah) shall terminate if my wife refuses to appear upon due notice before the Bet Din of _________________________________________ or any other Bet Din specified in writing by that Bet Din before proceedings commence, for purpose of a hearing concerning any outstanding disputes between us, or in the event that she fails to abide by the decision or recommendation of such Bet Din.

II. I execute this document to further and enhance the continued harmonious marital relationship between myself and my wife. The obligations and conditions contained herein are executed according to all legal and halakhic requirements. I acknowledge that I have effected the above obligation by means of a kinyan (formal Jewish transaction) in an esteemed (chashuv) Bet Din.

III. I have been given the opportunity, prior to executing this document, of consulting with a rabbinic advisor and a legal advisor.

IV. I, the undersigned wife, acknowledge the acceptance of this obligation by my husband, and in partial reliance on it agree to continue our harmonious marital relationship.

Husband                   Wife
Signature:____________    Signature:____________
Name: ________________    Name: ________________

Acknowledgements

State/Province of _____________________________ County of _________________________} ss.:

On the __________ day of ______________ 199__, before me personally came _______________, the husband, to me known and known to me to be the individual described in, and who executed the foregoing instrument, and duly acknowledged to me that he executed the same.

                  _____________________________
                                  Notary Public

State/Province of _____________________________ County of _________________________} ss.:

On the __________ day of ______________ 199__, before me personally came _______________, the wife, to me known and known to me to be the individual described in, and who executed the foregoing instrument, and duly acknowledged to me that she executed the same.

                  _____________________________
                                  Notary Public

* The above Postnuptial Agreement was written by Rabbi Mordechi Willig and is Sponsored by the Orthodox Caucus and endorsed by the RCA and the OU and other Orthodox organizations. It is available through the office of the Orthodox Caucus as part of an attractively presented "Kit" in which it is accompanied by Tena'im formulated by the late Rav Moshe Feinstein and the RCA Ketubah.

Orthodox Caucus 124 Cedarhurst Avenue, Cedarhurst, NY 11516 (516) 569-5977, fax (516)569-5897 orthodoxcaucus@worldnet.att.net

Leo Yuwono
DK

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