Can a mother who has custody of her children and moves from one part of Israel to another without first telling the children’s father ( her ‘ex’) who sees them twice during the week and alternate weekends, be ordered back by the court?


Yes! A custodial mother cannot make unilateral decisions such as moving the children’s place of residence where there is no agreement between her and the father, and then expect him to have to fit in with the new reality, which may be against their best interests, and will most probably infringe negatively on his contact with the children because of the geographical distance and travelling time and costs. These points were emphasized by Beersheva Family Court in November 2015, when it ordered a divorced mother with custody, who had moved with the children from Dimona to Ashdod, to return them, accepting an emergency application filed by the father.The mother, the custodial parent, had followed her boyfriend ,whom she intended to marry, and who had found work in Ashdod, and moved there ,but the court ruled that she should have asked for and have obtained the children’s father's permission first, and apply to court for permission if he refused, rather than taking the law into her own hands. Without asking for and obtaining the father’s permission in advance, she was not entitled to move the children ,and ordered the mother to leave them with their biological father in Dimona, meanwhile, if necessary ,while she organized the move back, particularly if she had to rent a new apartment there, though it understood that she had not yet vacated her apartment.