Can a parent whose child has been abducted to Israel opt for mediation without weaking Hague convention court proceedings against the abducting parent?
Yes! It is possible to open Hague Convention child abduction proceedings at the family court in Israel, and at the same time specifically file for a referral to mediation.
This is exactly what a mother, represented by our legal practice, did at the end of April 2014, when she opened child abduction proceedings at the Krayot Family Court for the return of the couple's minor children - whom she claimed were being wrongly retained in Israel by the husband/father - to the U.S.A. The mother filed simultaneously for a referral to the court's assistance unit, which offers mediation services free of charge. The father filed his defence pleadings but the court process was put on hold, to give mediation a chance and the case ended by a negotiated settlement, which was authorized in court in July 2014 (Family file 40036-04-14). The settlement was incorporated into a judgment dealing with divorce, relocation of the minors back to the USA with the mother, in her custody, child support, arrangements for visitation in both countries, and ongoing virtual contact, and financial issues.