In the framework of a claim filed by a father to the Family Court, the latter asked the court to order the transfer of his two minor children to his exclusive custody. Among other things, he claimed in the lawsuit that in the situation that had been created, there was a danger to the children, who needed emotional support, which they did not receive at home – in the framework of custody that was given to the mother. These children are minors, aged 11 and 9. The mother, on the other hand, did not hide the difficulties she encountered, among other things –  quarrels with her other partner, the fact that the children remained unattended for many hours, and the fact that she acted immorally when she turned to her divorced husband’s workplace and requested that he be fired and that she published defamatory words in social networks against her ex-husband.

In fact, the Family Court was required to make a difficult decision in the most complex area of family law, which is the issue of child custody. The question was whether to accept the father’s custody claim and to transfer the custody, which in itself is a very unusual act.

Child Custody – The Law

During divorce, the couple must arrange a number of issues, such as: the divorce itself, that will be conducted in the Rabbinical Court, the division of the couple’s joint property and child support. But perhaps the most important and emotional issue is the issue of child custody. Child custody, in fact, is the right granted to one parent, to serve as the party responsible for the ongoing care of children. Usually, there is exclusive custody given to one party, usually the mother, when the other party – the father – is granted a visitation rights. In other words, regular days when the non-custodial parent takes care of the children and stays with them. However, there is another possibility of holding joint custody. This custody, as it is, is equal in terms of the parents’ time of staying with their children.

The rule is that when there are siblings, their separation should be avoided, except in very unusual cases. Moreover, in the context of custodial disputes between parents, the court is also entitled to accept the children’s position and will. It is important to add that the court sometimes has the authority to appoint a guardian for children, i.e., a third party who will be the representative of the children, whose role will be to represent only the interests of the children.

Appointment of guardian for trial

In the case in the title, the Family Court found that a guardian should be appointed, in view of the fact that the parents are in a deep conflict and in light of the fact that both of them – as the court saw – act emotionally in many ways. The guardian found that the children prefer to stay in custody with the father rather than with the mother.

The judgment of the Family Court

In fact, the Family Court was asked whether there was room to determine the father’s exclusive custody, or perhaps to establish joint custody. Among other things, the court determined, based on a report submitted to it by the social services, that it would be better if the minors were transferred to the father’s custody. The court also held that, like all custodial proceedings, the case would remain open, since custody files could stay open, unlike other civil cases, where a final judgment is given and they cannot be re-examined. In matters of custody, it is possible to reopen the case in case of a change in circumstances. “Custody is the management of routine life of a minor and is not necessarily related to the time the minor stays with any of his parents, and therefore joint custody does not necessarily mean equal stay. Whereas the ruling held at that time that in order for the court to order joint custody, a series of conditions must be fulfilled. However, with the passage of time, the main condition that shared custody will be rejected or accepted is good communication and mutual respect, showing good will, between the parents. This is not the case here. I regret that I have to reject the idea of joint custody and I understand that the social services have come to a conclusion similar to mine, for their own reasons “

In effect, the court ruled that the minors should stay with their father and that he would now be in custodian parent. The next question asked was whether the brothers should be separated. On this issue, the court decided that the brothers should not be separated, and that both of them would stay with the father.

At the end of the judgment, the court also determined the following, which actually sign the dispute in that case: “I will remind the father and also tell the mother that receiving custody does not give parental priority, but it imposes on the custodial parent extra duties and the main one, before providing food on the table, is to ensure a close, respectful and good relationship with the other parent. ”