Divorce and Child Abduction to Israel
This article addresses divorce and child abduction to Israel. While many of our clients come to us because they reside in Israel with their children, and their children were taken from Israel to another country, other clients from abroad come to us because their children were taken to Israel. We can provide legal assistance in either case.
Defining Terms – Divorce and Child Abduction to Israel
While many often think of strangers when they think of child abduction, child abduction most frequently takes place by parents or legal guardians. We often see this with parents who are separated or divorced, and one parent has citizenship abroad, so they remove their children from the main country of residence to another country. Another instance of child abduction is when one parent takes the children on the pretenses of going for a short period (vacation), but then they retain the children and do not intend to return. Both removal and retention of children without the consent of all parents with custody rights that they are using are considered child abduction.
Legal Procedures to Take for Child Abduction to Israel
If you have been living outside of Israel, and one parent takes your children to Israel and seeks to retain them in the country when this is not the children’s primary residence, you have every right to take this issue to the courts if you have been implementing your custody rights. For example, if you have visitation rights only, but you have not implemented them prior to the children being taken, this will weaken your case, although you can still argue for your children to be returned to their primary residence. However, if you have practiced your custody rights, and your children are taken, then the strength of the law will be on your side in the courts.
Israel is a signatory to the Hague Convention, which protects both the custody rights of parents and the physical and psychological well being of children. The Hague Convention ensures legal compliance from other countries who are also signatories to the Hague Convention. In the event your child was taken to another country that is not a signatory to the Hague Convention, you can still take legal action, but the process can take longer.
In a separate article we detail the legal procedures around child abduction to Israel.
This Series of Articles
This article is one in a longer series addressing issues related to child abduction and kidnapping to or from Israel. For more information on how to choose a lawyer, the conditions necessary for the Hague Convention to apply, more about the law and its exceptions, and more, see the relevant articles.
Advocate Anat Levi from our law firm specializes in Israel family law, and she can help with all your legal needs around divorce and child abduction to Israel or child abduction from Israel.