Mothers would no longer receive automatic custody of all children under six,
according to a bill authorized by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on
The law currently includes what is known as the “early childhood
clause,” granting custody of young children to mothers in most
However, if Justice Minister Tzipi Livni’s proposal becomes law,
judges would be able to decide whether or not to consider the early childhood
clause at all, depending on the circumstances, and limit only to children under
The bill calls for courts to consider the good of the child and
joint parental responsibility ahead of the early childhood clause. The change is
meant to reflect and encourage Israeli fathers that choose to take an active
role in raising their children while maintaining the stability and involvement
of both parents in the children’s lives.
Though it was approved
unanimously, several ministers had reservations, and it will now be reviewed by
the Courts Administration and Welfare and Social Services, Interior and Public
Security ministries and then brought back to the Ministerial Committee for
Legislation in a month.
A similar bill by MK Gila Gamliel that sought to
cancel the early childhood clause entirely, was rejected.
proposed my bill, Livni did not advance this key issue,” Gamliel said Saturday.
“It is important that children have a relationship with both their parents,
especially when they are young and need them most.”
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