‘A crisis in the family must be managed intelligently, otherwise the crisis will manage you,” states family law litigation attorney Moran Samun. She is the founder and owner of Moran Samun -- Law Firm, a leading boutique firm in Israel that specializes in family and inheritance law.
The firm's uniqueness stems from its specialization in human capital – i.e., the family and children -- and an understanding that legal tools alone are not enough when practicing family law. The firm has represented some of Israel’s leading business and media figures. For the past four years, it has been ranked by Dun & Bradstreet and BDI as one of the leading law firms in Israel in the area of family and inheritance law.
“For an effective divorce, we must take care of the human capital. You can’t only address the legal and financial sides but must also address the emotional side,” Samun says.
After having undergone her own divorce proceedings, Samun drew on her personal experiences and applied them to develop her own strategy for divorce called Divorce Most Valuable Process (D-MVP), which she based upon three basic principles. The first is that divorce constitutes a crisis that should be managed intelligently. Secondly, people need to mature toward divorce agreements in increments and in different ways. And thirdly, it is important to handle the emotional aspect and not just the legal aspect.
"My strategy involves a five-step process. I provide each client with a professional in the psychological-emotional area for nine sessions who can accompany the client and provide him/her with tools on how to cope with and handle the divorce process,” she explains. “When we complete the process, the client will have to know how to deal with his/her new reality.”
Samun explains that by providing a response to the client's emotional side, it makes room for more rational decisions to build a successful strategy and manage the divorce process more efficiently in court. As such, she develops a tailor-made divorce plan and develops tactics for every client with the end goal of creating an “equitable system” that benefits the family as a whole.
“You can manage a case excellently without being dragged into irrational and vengeful behavior,” she says, adding that today the legal system is placing more emphasis on co-parenting and maintaining a strong bond between parents and their children during and after the divorce.
“While the law states that children up until the age of six will live with their mother, more and more judges are now ruling for co-parental rights,” says Samun.
Despite this, one of the major problems in divorce proceedings involves dragging the children into the conflict or using them as leverage, she says, citing that parental alienation, or breaking the bond between one parent and his or her children, is an all too common occurrence.
“In recent years, family courts in Israel have begun to recognize parental alienation as an act of violence. In 2019, the Tel Aviv Family Court adopted a special procedure to deal specifically with parental ties and renewals,” she says.
This process proved so successful and necessary in Tel Aviv that in September 2020, the Supreme Court published a new “Protocol for the Handling of Urgent Proceedings by Family Court Concerning Assurance of Relationships between Parents and their Children or Concern for Their Safety,” which adopted the same procedure as in Tel Aviv.
“There is also an understanding through this new protocol that legal reliefs alone are not enough. What is required is a combination of emotional and legal tools to help parents handle the crisis,” she asserts.
“The problem is never the problem. The problem is our approach to the problem, and the courts have changed the approach and chosen to create a protocol that manages the crisis intelligently,” Samun says.