Sensible Relationships and Responsible Divorce

Children of divorced and separated parents are more likely to exhibit problematic behaviors and social and emotional problems than those in intact families. Children start to react to stress related to conflict immediately, from the outset. This has visible symptoms, but there is also strong evidence of epigenetic damage—that is, delayed or arrested brain development—whose effects may only become apparent in the long term.

Each aspect of divorce and its effects have economic ramifications in different areas. Some of these effects are immediate, and some may take time to become apparent; some are direct, and some indirect.

For this reason, efforts must be made for prevention of divorce.

The starting point is teaching young people about relationships, which depend for their longevity on basic compatibility, as measured by communication skills and the ability to resolve misunderstandings. If a relationship depends only on attraction, without one of these elements being present, there is a strong likelihood that the relationship will not survive. Young people also need to be taught that relationships revolve around responsibilities – of each partner to the other, and to children who may be born from the relationship. The onus of teaching these understandings is on parents, schools, youth movement officers and the like.

When a relationship is undergoing problems, the couple may need help in resolving their disputes. There is a need for accessible qualified therapists, including mediators, and encouragement to get therapy. And if divorce is inevitable, Collaborative Divorce and social work support through the divorce process will minimize conflict and reduce to a minimum the need for court intervention,.

All professionals in the fields of education, social work, psychology and law and those responsible for professional training should work together on advancing such programming.

Philip Marcus is lecturing on these topics before teachers and educational counsellors, lawyers and judges, social workers, health and mental health professionals, and students of these professions in Israel and elsewhere, and is assisting in the production of study guides for these professionals.

Fees by arrangement.

For more information and to arrange a consultation, please contact:


Thesis for LL.M. degree Hohfeld Without Rights University of Haifa 2007

Paper: Towards a Convention on Responsibilities and Obligations to the Child, March 2013

Article: Fathers’ Protest is Misguided Jerusalem Post, 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, July 2014

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, August 2014

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: India and Israel: two approaches to triple-talaq divorce Published in International Bar Association Family Law News, Vol. 10 No. 1, December 2017

Article: 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, March-April 2019



Handbook for divorcing parents
In preparation, In-Between, Israel