Need for a Get?
If a person was married under Jewish law, that person cannot technically remarry under Jewish law without a get. Many Reform rabbis are willing to perform a wedding for a person who has previously only received a civil divorce from his or her former spouse, but it is vital to obtain a get in the Orthodox and Conservative communities. Reform, Reconstructionist, and unaffiliated Jews may still feel they need a get in order to conform to the most stringent interpretation of the law. In more observant communities, children borne from women who have not properly obtained a get may be considered mamzerim which affects the children’s social and religious statuses in many religious communities.
Many non-religious Jews choose to marry under a chuppah (wedding canopy), sign a ketubah (marriage contract), and have a Jewish wedding performed by a rabbi or cantor, yet remain unaware that in order to be able to remarry under Jewish law they need to obtain a halachic divorce under Jewish law. Orthodox authorities hold that Jews who were married in civil ceremonies must also receive a get in order to be able to remarry under Jewish law. In these instances, you may wish to obtain a get so that you can remarry under Jewish law and have that marriage recognized by all sectors of Judaism so that your future children also do not run the risk of being mamzerim (children born to a woman who does not have a get).
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