I am jew from ex-Soviet Union. Married a jewish man in 1988 in civil ceremony, since that is only one was available there. Never had chuppah or Ketuba. Lived with him for 8 years, have son. We split 20 years ago and now I want to get married, but Rabbi telling me I need get. Is it possible to have a chuppah now without getting get? I have not been with my ex for 20 years, our son is grown man, there is no property or money issue involved, but my ex has a bad character and would to anything just out of spite in order not to let me move on. Please let me know if it is any way I can avoid getting get from him. Thank you for your help.  


It is not clear from your question if you live in the US or in Israel. It is also not clear if you have aand if so from which country - this affects the registration of your personal status in your country of residence.

Assuming that you reside in the US and have a civil divorce--

There are differing opinions as to whether you need a get, don't need a get or need a "get l'chumra" - in the case of doubt. It depends which rabbi you ask. In any case, this must be clarified by a competent Rabbinical Court. There have been many cases such as yours brought before the Israeli Rabbinical Court. Usually the Israeli Rabbinical Court will ask the former husband to give a get l'chumra. in cases where he refuses there have been rulings issued that a get is not needed and the woman is free to marry. You can either try turning to the Israeli Beit Din for help by retaining legal representation even if you do not reside in Israel, or you can open the process in the US by inquiring at the Beth Din of America (www.bethdin.org/) as to what their general policy is in these types of cases. Then you can decide if to open a file there.

What is important is that you receive a ruling from a recognized Orthodox Beth Din (Rabbinical Court) and not from a single rabbi.