Marriage, Divorce, and the Abandoned Wife in Jewish Law: A Conceptual Understanding of the Agunah Problems in America
One of the most vexing problems to confront American Orthodox Jewry is the case of the agunah--a wife abandoned by a husband who refuses to give her a Jewish divorce. This work seeks to explain the agunah problem in the United States. It argues that the agunah problem in contemporary America is part of a more general dispute in classical Jewish law as to when marriage should end. American no-fault divorce law adds a level of complexity, and is both part of the problem and part of the solution. The author concludes that preemption agreements can successfully address the agunah problem in the United States since they provide a way for couples to create an image of marriage and divorce by which they can agree to live.
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