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Family law cases between Jews during Three Weeks

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Rabbi David Sperling

Tammuz 28, 5779
Question
May a Jew prepare with an attorney for a family law case, such as a divorce, during the Three Weeks? May the Jew file a new divorce action in court against a Jewish spouse during the Three Weeks?
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. The Shulchan Aruch (Orech Haim, 551,1) writes that during the Nine Days at the start of the month of Av “a Jew who has a court case with a non-Jew should avoid it”, as these days are days of bad judgment for the Jewish people. From this we can see that your question would only apply during the Nine Days from the beginning of Av, and not during the entire three weeks. Moreover, the language of the law (taken from the Talmud) refers to when one has a court case with a non-Jew, and not, as in your case, with another Jew. Based on this, you are allowed to both do preparation work for, and go to court in a case between two Jews. (I see your question refers to a divorce case. Firstly let me send blessings to both parties that they merit to have only peace and good. Also let me mention [in the case that you are unaware] that any secular divorce needs to be accompanied by a religious “Get” from a Bet Din. I'm sure that you will be in touch with your local Orthodox Rabbi to finalize this important step.) Blessings.
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