If you and your spouse are Jewish and interested in getting divorced outside of Israel, you must arrange your get through a local rabbinical court, if you want your divorce to be valid by Jewish law. In some countries, official rabbinical courts exist that can issue a divorce, while in other places, the Rabbi of the Jewish community will convene a temporary bet din for the purpose of your get. In either case, keep in mind that not everyone granting a get in the various Jewish communities abroad is recognized by the Chief Rabbinate, and that without their official recognition, you will not be able to remarry in Israel, in a Jewish service. Reform and Conservative divorces are not recognized at all in Israel, and such is the case also for some Orthodox divorces. The Chief Rabbinate keeps a list of recognized rabbinical courts worldwide, which it updates periodically.
If you want to have your get recognized by the Israeli Rabbinate, you must go to the rabbinical court closest to your residence in Israel (and if you have no permanent residence – then to the Jerusalem rabbinical court) with a request for ‘certification of your get.’ If the rabbinical court that arranged your get appears on the list of officially recognized rabbinical courts, your get will be certified. If your court does not appear on the official list, the Israeli court will thoroughly investigate the validity of your get, and rule whether to endorse it, or to require a ‘get l’chumra’ (See above for explanation).
A Jewish divorce issued by a Jewish court in a Jewish community abroad is not tantamount to a general civil divorce, and therefore, does not exempt the divorcing couple from sorting out their civil affairs, according to the laws of the place where they reside. If one remarries after divorcing one’s former spouse in a Jewish rabbinical court, but without working out a civil divorce, one can, in many countries throughout the world, be criminally charged with bigamy and imprisoned for that offense. The State of Israel will recognize the validity of a divorce issued by a recognized rabbinical court, and may even allow a person to remarry by virtue of this get, but his civil divorce will not be recognized elsewhere in the world. In order to avoid a situation whereby one’s religious marital status does not match one’s civil one, some countries require a civil divorce as a precondition to the religious divorce process. Nonetheless, it is advisable not to delay the religious process, but rather to complete it early on as part of the civil process. This will help prevent a situation in which an individual, after receiving a civil divorce, disappears or refuses to complete the religious divorce process. If you face problems of this nature, there are local Jewish organizations in certain countries (e.g. the US and England) that offer help in arranging a get for individuals who have already obtained a civil divorce.
If a woman living in Israel seeks a divorce from her husband who is living abroad, but is unable to find him, the Israeli rabbinical court will, in certain instances, send court emissaries to track him down and accept a get from him in her name. Representatives of the rabbinical courts based in the former Soviet Union, also offer assistance in arranging gets.