Responsibilities to Children
Legislatures and courts, as well as public opinion, in many countries in the world are reaching the conclusion that there is a need to change the way we frame family proceedings, so far as they affect children and their parents. There is a widespread understanding that the current terminology, including rights, custody (including joint custody and shared custody, visitation, etc.) consists of words which are emotionally charged and inappropriate for parent-child relations, and there is a need for a paradigm shift.
This terminology leads inevitably to conflict and prevents proper consideration of the needs of children. Each parent claims to have rights in respect of the child, and each thinks that he, and not the other, should be the custodial parent, and thereby take control of decisions about the child. Often there is a dispute as to whether there should be joint custody, and what are the parameters in terms of living and contact arrangements.
Parenting consists of many different tasks, and one or other parent may be better able than the other, generally or at specific times, to fulfill this or that task. So, in cases where the parents separate (private law), it would be better to talk about parental responsibilities, in the plural. The child’s need is that the end result, whether by agreement of the parents or by decree of the court, should be allocation of some of the parental tasks and responsibilities between the parents, and leaving other tasks to the joint decision and execution by the parents together. This more sophisticated terminology reflects fully the relationship between the child and his parents.
The definition of who has parental responsibilities needs to be broadened, so that any adult on whom the child depends to carry out parenting tasks may be defined as having parental responsibilities in a specific area of the child’s life. Where the state becomes involved in parenting, because the parents are unable to provide for all the needs of the child, in cases of abuse and neglect, the opening assumption is that the responsibilities of the parents, biological or adoptive, should be transferred to others, only to the minimum extent, and for the minimum time, needed for ensuring the welfare of the child.
The paradigm of parental responsibilities informs the writing and lecturing by Philip Marcus. It provides a formulation for dealing with issues which need resolution between parents, including preservation of contact between the child and his parents and family and prevention of parental alienation. It leads to a therapeutic approach to judicial approaches to cases involving children. It gives a child-centred approach for all members of professions who deal with children and their families, while preserving the autonomy of parents to make decisions about children, so long as their decisions are in the best interests of the child.
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PUBLICATIONS AND PAPERS (PARTIAL LIST)
Memorandum: Israeli Law compliance with Articles 9, 12, 21, 23 of the Draft Convention on the Rights of the Child
Avi – Defence for Children International – Israel Branch, 1989
Book Chapter: Abuse in Israel: Legislation and Court Practice
In Child and Domestic Abuse, Daniel Eidensohn & Baruch Shulem:
Emunah Press, Jerusalem – New York, 2010, 233-236
Paper (in Hebrew): The Future of the Family Court: New Paradigms, Statutory Amendments, and More
Paper: Towards a Convention on Responsibilities and Obligations to the Child
Paper: Why Appeal Courts and International Courts Get It Wrong in Hague Convention and Relocation Cases
Position Paper: on the Proposal for a Law of Parents and Children 5772-2012; delivered to the Minister of Justice
Paper: Adapting the Hague Conventions to the Paradigm of Parental Responsibilities
Article: Fathers’ Protest is Misguided
3 March 2014
Paper: International Surrogacy and Same Sex Partners: The Israeli Approach
Published in International Bar Association Family Law News, Volume 7 Number 1
Position Paper: on Report of the Committee to Review the Policy of the Ministry on Removal of Children to Residential Care and on Visitation (The Silman Report)
Delivered to the Minister and the Director General, Ministry of Welfare and Social Services
Position Paper: on the Arrangements for Settlement of Family Disputes Bill, 5774-2014
Delivered to the Minister of Justice and the Chairman of the Constitution, Law and Legislation Committee of the Knesset
Paper: Parental Responsibilities: Formulating the New Paradigm for Parent-Child Relationships
Published (in Hebrew) Journal of the Israeli Society for Medicine and Law, Issue 48, 121-136
Article: Recent Israeli Cases on the Limits of Surrogacy
International Bar Association Family Law News,
Article: Children’s Dispute Resolution: The Israeli Experience
Published in: Katherine Lynch and Anne Scully-Hill (eds) International Perspectives on Disputes About Children and Child Protection: Collected Essays on Parental Responsibility and Children’s Dispute Resolution, 167-183
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2016
Article: Effective Child Protection – The Israeli Approach to Protecting Vulnerable Children: Integrating Judicial and Social Work Perspectives
Published in: Katherine Lynch and Anne Scully-Hill (eds) International Perspectives on Disputes About Children and Child Protection: Collected Essays on Preventing Abuse, Parental Responsibilities and Empowering Children 137-173
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2016,
The Israel Family Court – Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Jurisprudential Therapy from the Start
Published in The International Journal of Law & Psychiatry, Special Issue: Therapeutic Jurisprudence Today and Tomorrow, Vol. 63, 68-75
Parental Alienation and Contact Refusal: How to Prevent Contact Failure between a Child and a Parent (Hebrew)
Published (in Hebrew) in Journal of the Israeli Society for Medicine and Law, Issue 51, 154-174
Parental Alienation, Contact Refusal and Maladaptive Gatekeeping: a Multidisciplinary Approach to Prevention of Contact Failure in Family Law and Family Realities, 16th ISFL World Conference Book, C. Rogerson, M. Antokolskaia, J. Miles, P. Parkinson, M. Vonk (eds.) The Hague, Eleven International Publishing) 349-366
Innovative Programs in Israel for Prevention & Responding to Parental Alienation: Education, Early Identification and Timely, Effective Intervention Family Court Review, Volume 58 Issue 2, 545-599
Economic Implications of Prevention and Early Intervention for Parental Alienation in chapter on Public Policy Initiatives Related to Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation: Science and Law , D. Lorandos and W Bernet (2020 Charles C. Thomas Publisher)
Parental Alienation: Legal Responses International Family Law, Policy and Practice (in press)
Cost-Utility Analysis of Interventions to reduce Mental Health damage to children at risk of Parental Alienation (with M. Humphries, G.Ginsberg) (in preparation)
RESPONSIBILITIES: FAMILY TIES, FAMILY LAW, FAMILY COURTS