R' Yehudah's Ben Teima's rule- Any stipulation that is impossible to eventually fulfill, and the husband stipulated concerning it at the beginning, he is regarded as merely putting her off and the get is valid.
Q: The halachah follows him. But doesn't gittin speak of there needing to be an intent to divorce her. Giving her an impossible condition tells me he does not have intent to divorce her. If he did, he would simply do so.
Barry Epstein, Dallas, USA
Your question can be posed on numerous cases on which the Mishnah says that the stipulation is invalid and therefore action that is being done takes effect despite the fact that the stipulation was not fulfilled. Surely, the person was unwilling to have the action take effect in the event that the stipulation was not fulfilled. Yet we say that the action takes effect without the stipulation being fulfilled!
The mere fact that stipulations ("Tena'im") do have Halachic guidelines is proof that we are not concerned with the implied intent of the stipulator. If we were concerned with the actual intent of anyone making a transaction we would never be sure whether or not the transaction should take place.
Instead, we are not concerned whether the person actually wants the action to take effect or not. We are merely concerned that he intended to do the action which makes the transaction in question take effect. As this relates to divorce, we are not concerned whether or not the person actually wants to be divorced. We are only concerned that he did an act of divorcing (i.e. he delivered a Get to his wife) with intent. (See Tosfos Kesuvos 56a DH Harei)