Abduction To Israel

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Yes, this is possible. The court dealing with a Hague Case has discretion to tailor-make the conditions of the return order, depending upon the circumstances of the case, until a court in the ‘home country’ rules otherwise. Regarding accommodation, the court can condition the return order upon the parents living separately, or it can order the minor back to the marital home and make temporary decisions regarding this, as it sees appropriate in the circumstances. For example, in July 2008, Ashdod Family Court did just this in Hague Convention Proceedings brought by the father, represented by Adv.Amihoud Borochov, against his wife for the return of their abducted minor son to England. In its judgment it ordered her to return the abducted minor to Manchester, England, under the same roof as the Plaintiff father, ordering them to live on separate floors in the 3-storey house. It added that if the Plaintiff was not interested in such an arrangement, he should provide rented accommodation for the mother for up to six months.
Yes, in December 2005 Beersheva Family Court exercised its discretion not to order the return of two minors to Italy, basing its judgment not only on the provisions of the Hague Convention, but also on the International Convention of the Rights of the Child, which binds Israel. In agreeing to accept the wishes of the children, aged 12 and almost 10, not to return to Italy, in its judgment it specifically referred to Israel's international commitment to respect the rights of minors to have their say in any matter concerning them, in accordance with their age and maturity.
Clearly this will depend on the exact circumstances of the case, but as a guideline, this is unlikely if she changes her mind quickly enough, within a matter of days or at the most a couple of weeks, and stops the child from acquiring habitual residence in the U.K. The English court dealing with the Hague application will have to decide whether the child's country of habitual residence had changed from Israel to England or not. For the father to be entitled to an order for the child's return to England, the English court will have to be convinced that the U.K. was the child's country of habitual residence immediately before the alleged abduction. According to U.K. precedent, the English court will examine whether the mother had a ‘settled intention’ to remain in the U.K. and whether an appreciable period of time had elapsed for the child to have acquired habitual residence there or not. In the 2007 case of Re A (Abduction: Habitual Residence) the High Court of Justice refused to grant a father a Hague Return order where the child had been physically present in the U.K. for just eight days prior to the alleged abduction and the mother had changed her mind about the permanent relocation to the United States a few days after the move and announced to her husband that their marriage was over. It held that on arrival the mother did have a settled intention to remain, but that this had evaporated shortly afterwards. The child had never established habitual residence in the U.S.A., it held, even though the parents had sold their home in the U.K. and shipped out their possessions as part of a permanent plan to relocate. In another U.K. case it has been held that habitual residence can, however, be acquired by a child within a month.
Yes! The parent initiating the proceedings does not have to be physically present in the alleged country of habitual residence, but can actually be present in Israel, at the time of filing, although this is rare.

In 2012 our legal practice successfully represented a father in Hague convention proceedings for the return of 3 children to the USA even though he was in Israel at the time of filing, unsuccessfully trying to persuade the mother to return the children voluntarily (wrongful retention - File 5134-05-12- Tel Aviv Family court ).

In 2014 our legal practice initiated Hague proceedings on behalf of a mother, for the return of 2 minors, whom she claimed were wrongfully retained in Israel, to the USA. Again the mother was present in Israel at the time. This case (File 40036-04-14- Krayot Family Court) resulted in a comprehensive negotiated settlement which included divorce and return/relocation of the minors to the USA with their mother, with visitation and contact arrangements for the father.
Apply to the Family Court in Israel for a Hague Convention return order. The Hague Convention came into force for child abductions between Israel and the Ukraine in 2007.
The UK. It is clearly your children's country of habitual residence according to the principles of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, if you were to bring legal action under it for their return. What your wife is doing is called 'wrongful retention' under the Convention, which amounts to an act of child abduction. While your children have Israeli citizenship and a right to live in Israel, for child abduction purposes, the UK is their country of habitual residence or 'home', not Israel.
Yes! This point was discussed by the Supreme Court in August 2007 when it granted a mother leave to appeal against a Beersheva District court judgment that upheld the family court's Hague Return order. In this particular case it held that the child could be returned to Belgium, and not France, from where he was abducted and which had been his place of habitual residence, following a foreign appeal ruling switching physical custody from the mother in France, to the father in Belgium. The 8 year old child had been ordered to return to Belgium, to his father's physical custody, although the mother had abducted him to Israel from France. The child had been living in France in his mother's lawful custody for over two years, having gained permission to relocate from a Belgium court. Shortly before the abduction, a Belgium appeal had overruled the earlier judgment, and ordered a switch in physical custody from the mother in France, to the father in Belgium. In reaching its decision on this point, the Supreme Court noted that the Belgium appeal court judgment switching physical custody of the child to the father had been recognized in France. Furthermore it referred to the Perez-Vera explanatory report that accompanies the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspect of Child Abduction. While the convention itself was silent on the matter, the court held that the report gave backing for returning an abducted minor to the country where the left-behind parent lived, even if this was not the minor's country of habitual residence prior to the abduction, or the country from which he was abducted. As to the final outcome, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the district court, for a further report on the child.
Yes, certainly. For example, in 2005 Beersheva Family Court appointed a psychiatrist to report on whether either of two children abducted to Israel from Italy by their Israeli father objected to being returned there. In her report, she addressed other issues, too, and expressed her own opinion on whether it would be better for them to return there and live with their mother, or stay in Israel, with their father. The court ‘weeded’ the report, selecting only the answer to the question it had asked, and disregarded other irrelevant issues, or those which it was outside its jurisdiction to ask within the confines of a Hague Case. It concentrated purely on whether the minors were of sufficient age and maturity to have their views taken into account, and whether the views they had expressed reflected their true wishes. The children had objected to the idea of being returned to Italy, and the expert told the court that these wishes, as reported, reflected their true wishes. The court ignored the viewpoint openly expressed by the expert recommending, however, that they be returned because in the long-run she estimated that they would be at risk of suffering emotional damage because the mother had stated she would not return to Israel herself if the children remained.
Bring a legal action under the Hague Convention for their return. From what you say, their father has ‘wrongfully retained’ them in Israel, while Australia is their country of habitual residence under the Convention. You have a good chance of succeeding, on the face of it.
Rarely, though this can happen, as in Family Court case 161-07-12, where Tel Aviv Family Court gave a judgment in August 2012, in favour of the ‘left behind’ father, a Dutch citizen living in Belgium, and represented by our legal practice, within a month. In another case, also involving a Dutch father represented by this practice, and two abducted children, the first level proceedings took nearly 5 months before a return order was given in February 2013– in case 36930-09-12.

Special permission is needed from the vice-president of the family court, if first level proceedings extend beyond the 6 week default time. Complex cases, involving the preparation of reports by legal and psychological experts, and cross examination of expert witnesses, usually take longer than 6 weeks.
Yes, it would appear so. Determining your children's place of habitual residence is difficult but if you have been traveling continuously without acquiring residency permits in any country, it would not appear that there is a mutual intention to change your and your children's country of habitual residence from Israel, even if they were born abroad. While Australia, like Israel, is bound by the Hague Convention, it is unlikely that a plea for the children's return would be processed by the Central Authority there.
According to a 2005 Hague Convention 'Country Report' prepared jointly by UK academic Professor Nigel Lowe & Israeli academic Dr. Rhona Schuz, based on statistics provided by the Israeli Central Authority for 1999, the overall return rate of children abducted to Israel was 43%, below the global average of 50%. The rate of court-ordered returns was 32%, identical with the global Hague average, but the rate of voluntary returns was below par. Apparently, statistics for 2002 show an improved overall return rate, according to the report.
Yes, letters can be used in evidence to support your defence claim that your husband resigned himself to the children remaining in Israel, or in the words of the Convention, ‘acquiesced.’
If one of the parents is prepared to take the case to the highest level, the Supreme Court, then he/she is likely to find an extremely high level of commitment. For example, in August 2007 a Jewish mother and Israeli citizen appealed for the second time against a Hague Return order given by Beersheva Family Court ordering the return of her 8 year old son to his Christian father in Belgium. It criticized the fact that the expert appointed by the family court to observe interaction conducted in French between the father and son, and to make a report/recommendations,had not been a French-speaker. The Supreme Court emphasized that it was vital for the child's voice to be heard, in accordance with Israeli's international commitment to acknowledge and respect the right of a child to have a say in judicial proceedings concerning himself. This could not be done so without the professional understanding French, it held. Furthermore, as well as ordering a further report, before a French speaking expert, and sending the case back to the District Court ( the first-level appeal instance ), it also ordered that the child himself should appear before the panel of judges, unless it was decided by the professional that this would be harmful to the child.
Yes, if this is expressly written in the judgment – as in Family File 5134-05-12 in July 2012, where Tel Aviv Family Court Judge Samara expressly ruled that the father, who was represented by our legal practice, could return the 3 abducted minors to the U.S., if the mother did not do so. This is what happened in practice, too.
All complaints about children abducted to Israel are supposed to be received by a special liason officer who passes the information on to the police in the district/s where they are likely to be located. The police in the particular district can research Ministry of Education records to see if the children they have been registered at school or kindergarten. They can also search National Insurance Institute Records to see if child allowances or other benefits have been claimed for the children. They, can, too, have access to Ministry of Interior records, (which also record entry into the country according to Israeli I.D. numbers). They can, of course, send officers in the field to investigate.
Under South African law your wife is not entitled to take your mutual child outside of the country without your consent. Israel and South Africa are bound by the Hague Convention and you can bring proceedings under it for the return of your child to Israel.
As a rule of thumb, around 10 years old. However, this can be lowered, if the child is sufficiently mature emotionally. For example, in 2006 Beersheva Family Court appointed a professional to investigate the possible effect of a return order on a boy of eight, and in August 2007, when the same case reached its second appeal, this time before the Supreme Court, instructions were given for the appointment of another psychologist, and the preparation of a second report, this time when the child was aged 8 1/2.
Within six weeks, from when the plea is filed until the judgment is given, at the court of first instance, the Family Court, if domestic procedural rules are adhered to. Even when judgment is given within this time-scale, there is also the possibility of delaying implementation, or appeals, to both the District Court, and later to the Supreme Court.
Yes, this is possible. The court dealing with a Hague Case has discretion to tailor-make the conditions of the return order, depending upon the circumstances of the case, until a court in the ‘home country’ rules otherwise. Regarding accommodation, the court can condition the return order upon the parents living separately, or it can order the minor back to the marital home and make temporary decisions regarding this, as it sees appropriate in the circumstances. For example, in July 2008, Ashdod Family Court did just this in Hague Convention Proceedings brought by the father, represented by Adv. Amihoud Borochov, against his wife for the return of their abducted minor son to England. In its judgment it ordered her to return the abducted minor to Manchester, England, under the same roof as the Plaintiff father, ordering them to live on separate floors in the 3-storey house. It added that if the Plaintiff was not interested in such an arrangement, he should provide rented accommodation for the mother for up to six months.
No, a person may be allocated a lawyer in Israel arranged by the Ministry of Justice without cost, depending on the country involved and the parent's eligibility, but he/she also has complete freedom to hire specialist counsel privately, in Israel, and choose him/her personally, according to terms agreed upon. Whoever is chosen to represent the parent bringing the action will actually prepare the plea to be filed in the court, and manage the whole case.
Yes, even if the court in Israel finds that the child has been abducted, it has discretion not to grant a return order, if it finds that the minor objects to this, and that he/she is of sufficient age and maturity for his/her views to be taken into account.
In theory, from the plea for a return order is actually filed, the family court dealing with the case is supposed to give a judgment within six weeks, in accordance with the deadlines set by the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction. In practice, however, cases frequently over-run these deadlines, though, in theory, according to the Civil Procedure Regulations governing Hague Convention cases special permission must be obtained in advance for the extension of deadlines. To illustrate the point, a British father represented by Adv. Amihoud Borochov opened Hague Convention proceedings for the return of his abducted son on 1/4/08 at Ashdod Family Court. After a marathon 14 court sessions and the submission of written summations from both sides, the court finally gave judgment on 24/7/08 – just under four months later – ordering the minor's return to England. The mother had abducted the minor from England to Israel on 26/2/08. On 24/3/08 the father instructed counsel in Israel to represent him after a personal ‘peace mission’ to Israel to return mother and child to England had failed, and the mother had obtained an ex-parte order from court preventing the minor leaving Israel.