Divorce is complicated and rarely pleasant. For some Hasidic Jewish mothers, it is something that takes away their rights to choose where their children go to school and the education they receive.
This is because divorce agreements include clauses that have them relinquish their rights to choose a secular education for their children. Many of these mothers may not realize that this is not something they must give up, and knowing their full legal rights and options can ensure they maintain the right to have a say in their children’s education.
Understanding the impact of the Beth Din
A Beth Din made up of three-judge arbitration panels of community leaders and rabbis in Hasidic communities significantly impacts divorce agreements among community members. Most of these agreements are further enforced by judges because the goal is to maintain a sense of stability for children of divorced parents.
Some mothers are scared to act against these orders for fear of losing custody and therefore being forced to leave their children in poor-performing schools that don’t offer the level of education their children deserve.
The importance of parental rights in a divorce
Parental rights related to educational choices for the children are a factor in many divorce cases, not just those involving Hasidic Jews and religious schools. The parent’s right to choose a child’s educational path extends to public schools, homeschooling, Montessori and more – and that’s worth protecting.
Working with an experienced and knowledgeable professional from the start of the divorce proceedings can help parents protect their rights.