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Question on civil law and the get

Hey, goy here seeking answers on something.

I grew up around NYC, and had a teacher in highschool tell me there were times he’d have to be present to ensure that a get was performed/given. The question is, why? What purpose would that serve, if any? The way it was presented to me, a husband refuses to give his wife a get and also will not divorce on a civil level. So he, as a civil lawyer (I assume, he never claimed to be a rabbi or member of a beit din) would go down to NYC and… stand there? Judaism, like Islam, does not recognize civil divorce. It would be my understanding the two proceedings have nothing to do with each other.

The memory just popped into my head after remembering a similar situation in my own family. My uncle is Catholic, and separated from his wife, but still legally married because of social pressures if they get a civil divorce.. supposedly. I am not Catholic.

submitted by /u/indecisivewandering
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Source: Reditt