the laws of shadchanus

NOTE: I am merely transcribing and commenting. I am not offering any halachic opinion here. I would appreciate hearing from those of you who have actual experience either as the payer or payee in the situation of shidduchim. I'm particularly interested to know if the shadcahn was still paid in full if the shidduch was broken off -- particularly if the full fee depends on both parties when one of them is the one who decided to cut it off.

Saw You at Sinai offers some guideline with footnotes that reference halachic sources on

On the top of the page is:  LAWS OF MATCHMAKING
Q. A common question that is asked to the SYAS office- What is the going rate that one should pay to a matchmaker if they successfully match you with your spouse (regardless if this is a friend, relative or volunteer matchmaker)?
The current rate is approximately $2,000 per couple. The actual amount though should be discussed between the singles and their Rabbi.

The halachic folow up on this is a bit below:
Question: Is there a set amount of money that one must pay a shadchan?
Discussion: The amount to be paid to the shadchan is based on the customary local fee.[33] Once the standard fee is agreed upon, the shadchan may not ask for additional compensation to cover special expenses that he may have incurred in arranging the shidduch.
        Our custom is to pay the shadchan immediately after the shidduch is completed.[34] Even if theshidduch is broken later, the shadchan does not have to return his fee[35] as long as he did not give erroneous information which led to the termination of the shidduch.[36]
[33]         Pischei Teshuvah, E.H. 50:16. If there is no clear custom as to the amount a shadchan receives, a ravshould be consulted.
[34]         Aruch ha-Shulchan, E.H. 50:42; Beis Yitzchak 1:115; Halichos Yisrael 4; Pischei Choshen, sechirus, pg. 337. When a shadchan does not get paid on time, the Biblical prohibition of delayed payment (bal talin) may apply; see Halichos Yisrael 1-2. See also Yismach Lev, vol. 1, pg. 23, quoting Rav C. Kanievsky
[35]         Aruch ha-Shulchan, E.H. 50:42. But in a locality where the shadchan is customarily paid after the wedding, and the couple in question do not get married, the shadchan does not have to be paid; see Chut Shani, Shabbos, vol. 3, pg. 243.
[36]         Levushei Mordechai C.M. 15, quoted in Pischei Choshen, ibid. See Halichos Yisrael 11, who discusses whether the shadchan should be paid if the shidduch was broken because of information of which the shadchanwas unaware.

Now: appealing as the idea is to split the shadchan's fee equally, I get the impression that such is not the common practice among professional shadchanim who tend to charge the young woman's side of the family 100% of the fee or even a few thousand upfront just to take the time to enter her into their data banks. Those of you in the parsha, as they say, have you found it to be so?

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