I am a divorced new immigrant from the States . I have custody of the children, though my ‘ex’ ,who is Israeli,sees them most days, and they sleep over at his house midweek, and alternate weekends. I want to move to a different part of the country ,like Ranana,with a large “Anglo” community. My ‘ex’ is strongly against the idea,saying that it would mean he could see the kids far less because of the distance. Can I just move despite his opposition because I am custodian?

Answers

No- you need advance court permission to effect the move if your ‘ex’ objects. If you act unilaterally,in spite of his objections, you are exposing yourself to legal action from him to get a court order preventing you from moving the children,and to make sure the status quo is preserved. Deciding where children live is an issue of guardianship which is supposed to be made jointly,by mutual consent, by the parents,even though one of them may technically be custodian. The court will decide whether the move is in the children’s good, or not, and will probably appoint a court welfare officer , or even a clinical psychologist, to make a report and recommendations in the matter. In the Summer of 2011 our law practice successfully represented a father in emergency proceedings before Tiberias Family Court and got appropriate orders against the mother ,who it held had acted in bad faith, against the child’s interests, and had taken the law into her own hands by moving their child ,in her temporary custody, from the North to the centre of Israel, despite his objections,in breach of the visitation regime which allowed father and son almost daily contact. The mother was ordered to move the child back up north. The decision withstood both applications to delay the implementation of the decision, and permission to appeal, filed on behalf of the  mother at Nazareth District Court , which were both struck out, at the recommendation of the court, which was very clear about the mother's wrongful behaviour.