I had a specific question related to the Kiddushin and death contract. In the schools of Halakha, is the marriage contract considered "void" or "cancelled" or "paused" at the time of death or the divorce with the spouse?

If so, I would like to have some sources on this subject .

Thank you in advance!

  • 1
    What would it mean to be married to a dead person?
    – Double AA
    Jul 28, 2023 at 20:18
  • @DoubleAA I am not saying "being married to a dead person". I am talking about becoming a widow/widower. Jul 28, 2023 at 20:25
  • 1
    What do you mean by "marriage contract"?
    – shmosel
    Jul 28, 2023 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


I suggest you begin with the Talmud's Mishna Kiddushin, and (much easier to follow) the Laws of Marriage from Maimonides' Code.

The halachic status of being married is terminated, permanently, from that moment on, upon either death or divorce. Not paused, not retroactively voided (except for a few very odd cases).

People misunderstand "contract" -- there simply is a halachic status that the couple is married; death or divorce end it. Doesn't matter what they agreed on.

The Ketubah is something entirely different, a financial document -- he agrees to pay her a large sum of money in the event of divorce or death (in which case the payment comes from his estate). That is therefore enforced like any other financial agreement, upon those triggering conditions. (And as "equitable distribution" often means she'll get more than the sum in the Ketubah, in most divorces today that's what's done instead. The financial obligation can be waived.)

Now if someone promised their dying spouse that they would do XYZ (or not do XYZ) ... that's addressed by halacha too -- please ask it as a separate question. (But the law would be exactly the same if they made a promise to a parent, a friend, or some random stranger.)


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .