Child Custody Lawyer Helping Parents Seeking More Time With Their Children
When determining who will get custody after a divorce, the court will always focus on one consideration: what is in the best interests of the child? This applies whether the case is heard in the civil or religious courts. To make this decision, the court will examine the child’s age, their current relationship with their parents, and other factors. Often, a social worker or psychologist will observe your family and make recommendations to the court.
Understanding the legal process and your parental rights and responsibilities can help you present the best possible case to the court. Contact Hait Family Law today at (077) 200 8161 to schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a skilled custody lawyer.
Are Custody and Guardianship the Same in Israel?
Under Israeli law, the concepts of custody and guardianship are related but different. Custody refers to the time when you are responsible for your child’s care. It is the time they spend with you at home, but your custody time may also include periods where they are at school, playing sports, or visiting your relatives. The non-custodial parent will still get visitation time where their child can stay with them, or they can do activities together.
Guardianship is the ability to make decisions on the child’s upbringing, medical care, and other vital issues. Even if one parent is granted full custody, both parents will generally retain guardianship rights and can have input on how their child is raised. If the parents cannot agree on guardianship issues, such as religious observance and schooling, then the court where custody was determined will rule on the disagreements.
What is Joint Custody?
Under a joint custody agreement, the child will spend the same amount of time with both parents. Both parents will share the responsibility for taking them to medical appointments and events, and they will split the costs of clothes, food, and other items for the child. Until recently, joint custody was nearly unheard of in Israel unless the parents specified its use in their divorce agreement. Courts are slowly beginning to order joint custody in more cases, but they are still very hesitant to use it unless both parents are on exceptionally good terms. To make a joint custody agreement work, parents must be flexible and willing to cooperate with their ex-spouse on various matters.
While courts may forgo awarding child support if both parents have equal time with the child, split bills evenly, and have the same income, this should not be your primary motivation for preferring joint custody. You must put aside your concerns and focus on whether this custody agreement is genuinely in your child’s best interests. Some questions you should ask yourself if you are considering a joint custody agreement include the following:
- Can I reliably get off work and be present with my child 50% of the time? What if I get promoted or my hours change?
- Can I provide transportation and care if they have an emergency or get sick?
- Am I comfortable remaining in close communication with my former spouse and their family?
- Do I have a history of being an involved parent that I could present to the court?
If you can comfortably answer yes to these questions, you may be a good candidate for a joint custody agreement.
What is “The Tender Age Doctrine” and How Does It Impact Custody Proceedings?
Under “The Tender Age Doctrine,” both the Family and Rabbinical Courts presume that a mother is better suited than a father to care for a very young child. This presumption results in most children under the age of six being placed with their mothers by the court unless extraordinary circumstances prohibit it. Fathers may fight against this custody arrangement, and some succeed, but it is usually a challenging battle. If you are a father seeking custody of your young child, you will likely require the legal skills of an experienced custody attorney.
Why Do We Recommend Negotiating Child Custody as Part of a Divorce Agreement When Possible?
Child custody cases can cause emotions to run high. No one wants someone else dictating when they can see their own children. But despite your best efforts, the court may make a custody decision you disagree with. We recommend negotiating your custody agreement with your former spouse to prevent these issues. You know your children better than anyone, and you can use that information to create a custody agreement that meets their needs. A well-crafted agreement can lessen the stress of a divorce for a child and ensure stability in their lives for years to come. If you have questions regarding child custody and divorce agreements, contact Hait Family Law at (077) 200 8161.
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