Can I still bring child abduction proceedings to get my children back if I agreed to them leaving the country in the first place – but their mother has refused to bring them back to South Africa when the holiday I agreed to in Israel was over?
Yes! This is known as ‘wrongful retention’ and is one of two forms of abduction recognized under the Hague Convention covering child abduction between member states such as Israel and South Africa.
Which parent has the power to control whether the child can live outside of Israel, under Israeli law?
In principle, the decision should be joint, because parents have shared and equal responsibility under Israeli law for deciding where a child should live. If they cannot agree, the parent wishing to move abroad must win a relocation plea filed against the other parent, but first will need to obtain custody, if he/she is not already the custodial parent.
Can a parent abduct a 'teenager'?
Yes, child abduction covers children up to the age of 18, but where they are between 16 and 18, the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 cannot be invoked even if both states involved are member countries. This is because the Convention only covers children under 16.
Ex Blocks Move Abroad – Relocation Plea - Can I still raise my children abroad legally if my 'ex' objects?
Yes, by filing and winning a legal action for their relocation abroad.
My American-born wife and I are fighting over custody in Israel. I am very close to the children, but the social worker's report is in her favour. If she does get custody I am sure she will want to move back to the States with them. What can I do to prevent this?
Unless you consent, she will be forced to bring a legal action to get court permission in Israel. If she does, you can file defence pleadings, and argue that relocation will not be in the children's best interests, and will/could result in irreversible emotional damage to them. If you really suspect she will abduct the children, you can apply for an ex parte 'stop order' to prevent the children leaving Israel.