Extract: "During a discussion after “Women Unchained,” Ms. Siegel urged Jewish couples to sign the prenuptial agreement devised 20 years ago by the Beth Din of America, a leading Orthodox religious court Couples who sign the Beth Din of America halakhic prenuptial agreement — “halakhah” means Jewish law — agree to have all religious aspects of their divorce decided by a Jewish court. More important, the husband agrees that if the couple separates, he will pay his wife $150 per day until they are religiously divorced, adjustable for inflation. In other words, he will support his wife until he gives her a get.There are many versions of the religious prenuptial agreement, but the one promoted by the Beth Din of America, which is based in New York, seems most widely used. Asked how many couples sign the agreement, Rabbi Shlomo Weissmann, the court’s director, said not enough.n 2006, the Rabbinical Council of America, a separate organization affiliated with the Beth Din of America, passed a resolution encouraging rabbis not to perform a wedding without a halakhic prenuptial agreement. About two years ago, Rabbi Weissmann said, a Beth Din of America survey found that about 70 percent of its affiliated rabbis required or encouraged couples to use the document.There certainly are segments of the Orthodox Jewish community that have not embraced it,” Rabbi Weissmann said. “When we talk about wedding practices, these are ancient and sacred practices, and when you start tinkering with them, people start getting nervous.”
The instability and uncertainty of a divorce can hamper a toddler’s need for routine. When parents separate, new rituals and routines need to be created to foster a child’s sense of security and family.
Anyone who has had children will remember the terrible twos: the domineering behavior, inflexibility, stubbornness, extreme emotions, indecision, and the need for things to be done just in a certain way. Characteristic behavior of toddlers is well described by the authors of the classic child development study Child Behavior: The Classic Child Care Manual from the Gessel Institute of Human Development. A child at two and a half years old gives orders and wants exactly what they want when they want it. If a toddler decides "Mommy do it" they will not accept Daddy as a substitute. If they decide "me do it" then no-one is allowed to help them no matter how difficult the task. In Child Behavior the authors describe this phase as one of "disequilibrium" where toddlers find it very difficult to adapt to change, and crave structured domestic routines. These rituals make toddlers feel safe and secure. The rigid sequences of events and rituals can be as elaborate and impenetrable as a Japanese tea ceremony.
It is important in the context of divorce that a very young child’s inclination toward ritual and routine should not automatically be misinterpreted as a preference for one parent over another. In fact, divorce is an opportunity for both parents to help the toddler to create new rituals and routines to ease transitions and give the toddler a sense of comfort and stability.
Crankiness, irritability, defiance, signs of regression, clinginess toward one parent, and physical resistance to the other parent are common patterns displayed by toddlers when parents separate. In their book, In The Name of The Child, Janet Johnston and Vivienne Roseby describe how parents can develop collaborative strategies to ease transitions between parent's households using rituals and routines. (read more)
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