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Child Custody / Visitation / Contact

Child Custody / Visitation / Contact

Holidays / Festivals

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Can anything be done to make a father who does not keep to the visitation schedule properly, respect it, and to make the social worker appointed by court to control it, make sure the arrangements are kept ?

Child Custody / Visitation / Contact Holidays / Festivals

Yes, the custodial parent who is unhappy with the way visitation is taking place can apply to court dealing with the case to intervene in connection with the fact that the visitation schedule is not keep to properly , and to give the social worker appropriate instructions.

Furthermore, if the court gets the impression that visitation is not taking place then it can reduce or restrict it, and if an appropriate plea is filed on the matter, the court can also increase the maintenance the custodial parent receives for the child.

I live in the States. My ex-wife got permission to emigrate to Israel with our child , leaving me with generous visitation rights. Whenever I try to arrange flights for Israel so that I can see my son my ex-wife’s behaviour is just impossible. She deliberately tries to torpedo my plans to visit by making it impossible to make arrangements. What can I do ?

Child Custody / Visitation / Contact Holidays / Festivals

A non-custodial parent living abroad who finds that the other parent is making it impossible to arrange to see the minor can first report this to the Central Authority provided for under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction , by which both the United States and Israel are bound, and file a plea for the implementation of the visitation rights at a family court in Israel.

What severe action can be taken against a custodial parent who prevents the non-custodial parent having contact with the child – and refuses to co-operate with any court initiatives to encourage visitation and consistently breaches court orders ?

Child Custody / Visitation / Contact Holidays / Festivals

When all alternatives fail, then in an extreme case the court can order the custodial parent to be imprisoned for contempt of court, as happened in Ashdod a few years ago. For over three years the mother had prevented the father from having any contact with the daughter, and had consistently refused to co-operate with court –appointed experts and social services staff who had tried to establish some relationship between the two. The mother had been determined to cut the father off from the daughter completely , causing the latter emotional damage ,the court held. Given the total alienation between the two parents and the extreme circumstances of the case, there was no choice but to imprison the mother immediately for contempt of court and for a framework to be found for the daughter so that she could receive appropriate treatment.

In the most extreme cases, a parent who prevents a child seeing the other parent can even lose custody.

Can a custodial parent be fined for not allowing the non-custodial parent to exercise visitation rights according to a court judgment ?

Child Custody / Visitation / Contact Holidays / Festivals

Yes ! the Family Court held that a mother, the custodian, would be fined 1,500 shekels each time she stopped the minors’ father from exercising his visitation rights. The father, who had visitation rights set in a court judgment, had applied for them to be enforced and brought action for contempt of court, after the mother had consistently interfered with the exercise of them for over three years, resulting in him only seeing his children on a few occasions during this period.

Are there any generally accepted norms regarding visitation arrangements during the summer holidays ?

Child Custody / Visitation / Contact Holidays / Festivals

Yes, firstly it is the norm for children to spend half of the summer holiday with each parent. Furthermore, it is common practice for them to spend alternative fortnights with each parent, and for normal visitation to take place between the child and the parent with whom the minors are not staying during that period. Parents, however, are free to reach their own agreement on the matter, which can be approved by court, if necessary.

I am in the process of splitting up from my wife. As our son is only three I agree that she should have custody but I am worried that he will not receive enough Jewish tradition. My wife comes from a secular family and we have always spent all the religious festivals with my family. Can we carry on this way once we split up ?

Child Custody / Visitation / Contact Holidays / Festivals

Yes – if your wife is co-operative. It is possible for parents to reach an agreement about custody and visitation rights and have it authorised at the family court in accordance with the 1962 Legal Capacity & Guardianship Act. If a Jewish husband is willing for his wife to have custody of their child but wants the minor to spend all religious holidays with him and his family and she agrees, then they can make an agreement to this effect , if she agrees, and have it authorized by court . In this case they may wish to agree that the minor will celebrate non-religious holidays such as Independence Day , Purim or Chanukah with the mother.

The usual arrangement, however, is for the minor to spend alternate holidays/festivals with each parent but the sides are free to agree otherwise.

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