Israeli Family-Law Forum - Civil Wrongs

Below are readers' questions about 'Civil Wrongs', which we have chosen to answer. Further , and more detailed information on 'Civil Wrongs', is found on our main website, Family Law in Israel , at http://www.family-laws.co.il/other-topics-civil-wrongs.

Yes, a claim for civil damages against the other parent at the family court can succeed, in extreme cases of parental alienation, even if there is just minimal and technical contact, rather than absolute cessation of contact, with the child, that is if the non-custodial parent bringing the action can prove the damage and a clear causal connection between it and the mother’s behavior . In August 2016 Tel Aviv Family Court ordered a custodial mother of a 14 year old to pay her ex-husband and father of their child 36,000 NIS in compensation, plus legal costs , in a case where the report submitted by the expert appointed by court to renew/rebuild the father-daughter connection showed overwhelmingly that the sad state of affairs was a result of the mother’s behaviour, and not any fault of the father.

Yes, in certain circumstances! For example in 2014, Tel Aviv Family Court awarded a divorced father  1,000,000 NIS compensation plus legal costs, in an undefended law suit where he filed a civil damages suit for pain and suffering resulting from loss of contact with his son and deprivation of his parental rights, caused by the actions of his  ex-wife.

In this exceptional case, the whereabouts of the mother and child were discovered in the U.S.A. a decade after the abduction, and service of court papers was effected . E-mail communication by the mother afterwards confirmed beyond all doubt that she had received the documents but chose not to file a defence, although given several opportunities to do so , and was well aware of the proceedings against her. She even refused attempts by the father’s counsel, who travelled to the U.S.A, to negotiate contact between father and son.

The family court examined the factual , evidential and legal basis for the civil wrongs claim, and cross examined the father on the evidence. It held that the mother had plotted to remove the child from Israel, and had succeeded in doing so, in breach of their divorce agreement authorized by court, which had awarded him visitation, and had  prohibited  the child from leaving Israel without the father’s consent, issuing a stop order on the minor, until he was 18. The father had been hospitalized after suffering  a nervous breakdown, as a result of the abduction and still receives emotional disability benefit.

 

 

Possibly! If the man has evidence that from the outset there was no agreement or intention about shared parenting. In July 2015 Hadera Family Court in Israel stressed in a judgment ordering a known sperm donor to pay minimal child support that he had a right to sue the single mother for compensation once the child reached 18 as it found him to be very credible and he had brought clear evidence to show that that the parties had agreed between them from the outset that he would not have to bear any financial or other responsibility for the child.

Possibly, depending on the exact circumstances, according to a September 2014 Tiberias family court judgment which partially accepted a man's plea against his ex-wife for compensation after it was discovered that he had paid out child support, according to a divorce agreement, for years, while genetic testing ordered by court proved that he was not the minor's biological father .

The court held that the evidence showed his "ex"  had known for years that the biological father was, indeed, the lover with whom she had had an affair during her marriage. She had acted in bad faith, concealing the "secret" for over a decade, and  had deliberately refrained from altering her ex's registration of paternity or adjusting/cancelling their divorce agreement . The ex-husband was awarded tens of thousands of shekels in compensation, plus legal costs, after the sum was reduced to take into account his own culpability in not taking legal action sooner, as in his heart of hearts he suspected he might not be the child's biological father a long time ago.

In this case, paternity testing was permitted as the mother was Christian, and thus there was no risk of the child being labelled a "bastard", which would have prevented the court ordering the test. Under Jewish law, a child born to a Jewish woman married to a Jewish man, from a man other than her husband, is labelled as a "bastard", which is stigmatizes him/her and restricts his/her ability to marry under Jewish law.

This depends on the particular circumstances. It is likely that compensation can be obtained as the State of Israel bears responsibility for civil damage unless one of the exceptions applies .The 1952 Responsibility of the State For Civil Damage Act exempts the state of Israel for compensating individuals (or their families) for civil damage caused by its security forces when there is war, security is threatened, or their lives are in danger.

Yes, for the emotional suffering you  have endured, relating to the period of his refusal, after the judgment obliging him to divorce.

Yes! He can be filed and served with a civil damages plea based on the criminal conviction, and the case can be manged, even though he is in jail.Clearly, documentary evidence as to the damage the plaintiff/victim endured are needed.

Yes, though to get compensation on the basis of a successful plea for the civil wrong of breach of marriage is difficult, to prove and to quantify in terms of pain and suffering. A lot depends on whether the bridegroom was justified in cancelling the wedding, given the wife's behaviour.

It is easier to concentrate on the contractual elements - and to sue for recovery of expenses paid out for hiring the hall, buying the wedding dress, printing and sending out invitations etc.

 

He can certainly open a file against the woman - but will have virtually no chance of success. This is because under Israeli law adults having sexual intercourse take a risk as to possible consequences of their actions, and are responsible for them, even if the result is an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy and the birth of a child. Israeli law places an absolute burden of responsibility on the biological father of a child, to support the minor financially , regardless of whether he intended to create a child or not when he had sex with the mother. The mother of your child can sue you for paternity and child maintenance, on behalf of the minor.