Recently my younger brother became a chasan. A couple of people feel they are owed shadchanus gelt because they came up with the match. However, their claim is complicated by the fact that their suggestion was predated by a conversation about the possibility of a shidduch between the 2 mothers. The ongoing negotiations were handled by a third party who also needs to be paid.

Answer:

A matchil, who deserves a portion of the shadchanus gelt, is somebody who initiates a shidduch. The status of the individudals who came up with the match depends on whether or not they played a part in initiating the shidduch, or not. If their suggestion of the shidduch was influential in getting it off the ground, then they deserve a part of the payment that goes to the matchil — one third of the total sum. If, however, the shidduch would have proceeded in any case, because of the mothers’ conversation, they do not receive any payment. If a combination of all three led to the initiated of the shidduch, then the third would be split between the mothers (they do not need to pay each other) and the two others who suggested it, who would receive a ninth (third of a third) each.

Concerning the third party, his share of two thirds depends on whether he was involved in negotiating between the sides, so that he actually played a role in bringing the sides together and causing the shidduch to come about. Assuming this to be the case, he would receive two thirds of the shadchanus, and those who suggested the shidduch, provided (as above) that their suggestion was influential in getting the shidduch underway, would share the other third.

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