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Home / If Israeli parents have been living abroad for around half of a young child’s life will it mean that Israel is no longer the centre of its life and the country of habitual residence ?

If Israeli parents have been living abroad for around half of a young child’s life will it mean that Israel is no longer the centre of its life and the country of habitual residence ?

By: דיאנה שאלתיאלPublished on: 30 May, 2022

Not necessarily. In a judgment given by the Haifa Family Court in September 2003 Israel was held to be the centre of a child’s life, even though the minor, who was born in Israel and was nearly 5, had spent the last two years in the States, where his father, an academic had been studying and working. The couple had lived there before, too. The paternal grandfather, who lived in Israel, had purchased return tickets for the mother and grandchild to visit Israel… but the mother never returned at the end of the visit. The court rejected the claim by the father that the United States was the centre of the child’s life and place of habitual residence. It refused to order his return. Neither parent nor the child had American citizenship, and they had not applied for it either, though the paternal grandfather gave evidence to say that the future of the plaintiff, an academic lecturing and researching at an American University, was in the United States, where they had rented property long-term, and that they had no plans to live in Israel.


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