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Child Custody / Visitation / Contact

Child Custody / Visitation / Contact

How Court Decides

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My husband and I are fighting like cat and dog and heading for a bust-up. He is threatening to file for custody of our young children saying I am hysterical and unfit to be a mother . I am a new immigrant while he is Israeli-born and feel at a disadvantage .He is adept at persuading and play-acting. I am frightened that he will put on an act for the judge and my kids will be taken away from me. Could this be so ?

Child Custody / Visitation / Contact How Court Decides

Firstly, you could pre-empt your husband  and file an application to the Family Court for a family dispute settlement regarding custody, if you feel things are that bad. If he files the application first and you do not settle the dispute, then he will have the legal right to file first for custody and you will have to file a written defence pleadings putting your side of the case before the first hearing is set.

Regarding your worries about possible wild allegations on his part, note that this is a common ploy and your husband would have to bring real proof . The court would not accept his word without this. Furthermore,the court has powers to appoint a professional to report on the matter and make recommendations. This person should be used to parents trying to make positive false impressions and be able to detect this. You may both have to take a test to ascertain your parental ability. Courts are usually guided by these reports and recommendations, although they are not bound by them.

At the end of the day it is the court that has the powers under the Legal Capacity & Guardianship Law of 1962 to make a decision where parents fight over custody.

Age also plays a role – see Child Custody&Age on the inbuilt preference for the mother to be the custodian of minor children under the age of 6.

What attitude do courts have regarding evidence in children’s proceedings ?

Child Custody / Visitation / Contact How Court Decides

Israeli courts dealing with matters concerning children are under a legal obligation to accept, collect and hear as wide a range of evidence as possible, about the “child’s good”, especially from experts.

In the 1990’s the Supreme Court of Justice said: ” A finding in the matter of the minors’ good… is the most difficult thing, and the judge isn’t in the place of God.

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