Child abduction – it can also happen to you

If the final stamp of each divorce conflict would issue from a formal verdict, the conflict would remain inside the court.  However since divorce is an emotional process, it is sufficient for one of the sides to feel discriminated against in order to incite an uncontrolled response.  Occasionally, such a response might endanger the child’s welfare and disrupt the other parent’s parenting and custody rights.  A striking example of this occurs in cases where the child’s residence has been relocated to another country or if the child has not been returned to his/her permanent residence—without the other parent’s consent and without legal permission.

Child abduction requires immediate action in order to retrieve the child.  Thus a police report is an essential first step, but it is not enough!

The firm of attorney and notary public Avivit Moskovich, which has successfully handled numerous lawsuits for retrieving minors, will represent you at each stage, until a successful conclusion to the chapter.

The law is in your favor!

Up until the enactment of the law incorporating the Hague Abduction Convention, such matters were clarified in rabbinical court or in a district court.  This was done in accordance with the Legal Capacity Law, with reference to private law, while some cases were judged in the High Rabbinical Court in the framework of a petition for habeas corpus.  However the assistance of the High Rabbinical Court in this area was meant for emergency cases only and not for permanently arranging the issue of the custody of minors.  The Hague Abduction Convention and the law changed this situation by allowing the parent of the abducted child to contact the central authority of the country from which the child was abducted, or turn directly to the authority of the country to which the child was taken.  The parent may also directly turn to the authorized court and/or family court.

Children abducted and brought to Israel

Local authority is given to the court situated in the location of the abducted child.  Legal requests and petitions concerning a child over the age of 16 who has been abducted to Israel must be filed with the Supreme Court, also known as the High Rabbinical Court.  The petition is for a writ of habeas corpus.  Such a writ can be handed down only by the High Rabbinical Court through which the child must be returned to his/her place of residence and to the country in which his/her life is centered.  Only in extremely rare cases will the claim of the abducting parent be recognized by family court in Israel, on condition it can be proven that returning the minor overseas would expose him/her to physical harm and the like.

Children abducted and taken out of Israel

Child abduction constitutes an offense of Israeli Penal Law 1977-5737.  A person who abducts a minor under the age of 16 through physical means or enticement, without the consent of the minor’s guardian, is subject to imprisonment.  When a child is removed from Israel or not returned there by one of the parents, a legal request can be submitted to the country in which the child is located, demanding his/her return to Israel.  The parent whose rights have been infringed must submit the request to the central authority of the country the minor is located in, so as to take actions to return the child to Israel.

Abduction of children in Israel

Abducting a child in Israel and around the world refers to the taking of a child from his/her permanent residence to which he/she is accustomed, without the consent of both parents.  Abduction is typically committed by force, while the child is sleeping, or when the parents aren’t at home.  An abducted child experiences an unbearable trauma because he/she is uprooted from the location familiar to him/her and is exploited for his/her innocence and helplessness.  Child abduction in Israel and around the world is a phenomenon that is extremely difficult to eradicate and it causes parents and relatives to feel helpless and suffer extraordinary pain.

Child abduction in Israel is a difficult subject that raises numerous questions and arguments.  Many cases of child abduction in Israel and across the world are shocking to us all and they receive heavy media exposure due to their singular and irregular nature.  The reasons for child abduction in Israel vary; occasionally parents in the process of divorce exploit their children and abduct them in order to undermine and weaken the spouse.  In Israel an average of 40 children are abducted every year.

Has your child been abducted from Israel, or not been returned to Israel, against your wishes? Don’t hesitate to contact the firm of attorney and notary public Avivit Moskovich today. Our firm specializes in legal representation and accompaniment, including for cases that require delicacy and support. We are immediately available by phone at: 03-6133995 or 052-3986655.

Has your child been abducted from Israel, or not been returned to Israel, against your wishes? Don’t hesitate to contact the firm of attorney and notary public Avivit Moskovich today. Our firm specializes in legal representation and accompaniment, including for cases that require delicacy and support. We are immediately available by phone at: 03-6133995 or 052-3986655.

Attorney Avivit Moskovich explains child abduction in the context of the family.

The Child Abduction Law

In 1980, in the Dutch capital of Hague, an international convention was drafted and laid down laws for dealing with the issue of international abduction.  In Israel, the Child Abduction Law coincides with the Hague Convention, which declares that all final and important decisions concerning child custody and divorce shall be determined solely in the child’s country of origin.  Furthermore, the Convention obliges all signatory countries to declare that transporting a child from his/her native country to another country, without both parents’ consent, is considered a severe violation of law.  The Child Abduction Law states that in the event the child is abducted by one of the parents and taken to another country, without the consent of the other parent, the Law allows the parent in the native country to file a request for returning the child to the country of origin.  All countries signatory to the Hague Convention are obliged to return the child to the country from which he/she was abducted.

In many situations in which a parent transports the child to another country, deliberations concerning custody are held in the country to which the child was taken, despite particulars of the Convention.  This is because the ‘abducting’ parent claims that the child’s life would be in danger should the child be returned to the country of origin.  The Israeli body authorized to deal with child abduction matters in Israel is the Department of International Affairs at the State Attorney’s Office.  The family court deliberates over filed suits and acts according to written laws of the Hague Convention.  There are certain deviations from the written laws in exceptional cases, for example in the event that more than a year has elapsed between the time a child was abducted to another country and the time at which a parent files a request for the child’s return to the country of origin—”…unless it is proven that the child has integrated into his/her new environment”.

Additionally, there is a law stating that the court may determine that a child should not be returned to his/her country in the event there are serious concerns for his/her life, physical or psychological injury; that returning to the country would create an irregular situation for the child; or if the child is opposed to returning.  In situations in which a child is abducted to a country that hasn’t signed the Hague Child Abduction Convention, the parent who has remained in Israel may file a suit in that country for the child’s return.  Furthermore, the parent can file a suit for the child’s return in an Israeli family court, or he/she can petition the Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem.  The emphasis in both cases is solely on the child’s welfare.  In any case, in the serious event of an international abduction, or abduction in Israel, we recommend you consult immediately with an attorney specializing in such matters.

The Hague Convention

The Hague Convention was signed In the beginning of the 1980s, in the Dutch capital of Hague.  The Convention deals with aspects of international child abduction and obliges signatory countries to return an abducted child who has been moved from his/her home country to another country.  In fact, the Convention prohibits the abduction of a child from one country to another.  Child abduction in Israel is considered to be a serious offense.  Israel has signed the Hague Convention and is a full partner in matters of international abduction.  In the event a child has been abducted to Israel from another country, the Family Court in central Israel will base itself on the Hague Convention and, via the Rabbinical Court, determine that the child must be immediately returned to his/her home country.  When a child under the age of 16 has been abducted from Israel to another country, the kidnapper is liable to be sent to prison.

In the event the abducted child is not returned to Israel, the parent(s) can file a request to the country the child is located in and take any action to return their precious child to Israel.  According to the Hague Convention, the role of the court in the country to which the child was abducted is to provide initial assistance; that country is not responsible for determining matters pertaining to the child.