I am a divorced father living outside of Israel. My divorce agreement abroad did not deal with my access in Israel. My 'ex' won't agree to our child visiting me abroad and when I fly to Israel to see my son, she puts brakes on. She makes excuses to cancel or reduce the times we fix for me to see our son and when I do get to see him she won't let me take her outside the apartment and barely lets us have any private time together, hovering in the open-plan living room all the time, and interrupting us. What can I do?

The first option is to file for access or visitation rights in Israel, and ask for a social worker/welfare officer to be appointed by court to make a report and recommendations on the matter. This will involve an investigation of all the inter-relationships in the family, including the relationship of your eldest child with you and her mother, and how this affects the situation with your son. If the professional appointed considers that you are being denied access and this is causing irreparable harm to your son e.g. that he is suffering from Parental Alienation Syndrome, then he/she can initiate proceedings. He/she can ask the court to declare your son ‘a minor in need of protection’ according to the Youth (Care & Supervision) Law of 1960. This is, however, a highly controversial move since if the court does make such a declaration then it can issue a care or supervision order which will transfer custody of the child to the welfare authorities. They can then decide where the child should live and what treatment he should get. Basically the idea behind this is to put the child in a neutral environment so that he can get the psychological counselling he needs to enable him to rebuild his relationship with the alienated parent.