A bill that would strike down the automatic custody awarded to mothers in divorce cases has been approved by the Knesset Ministerial Committee for Legislation.
The “Parents and Children Bill,” authored by MK Yoav Kisch (Likud), would cancel the automatic preference for mothers of children under age six, requiring courts to decide on a case-by-case basis what type of custody would be best for the child, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
The proposal was made in the past by now-Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel, but did not pass before the last election was called.
Kisch’s bill also deals with children’s rights in other areas, including that minors under age 18 have the right to have both parents be responsible for them, together or apart.
Rules concerning child-support payments would also be changed. It would take both parents’ salaries and the amount of custody each parent has over the children into consideration, based on the recommendations of the 2012 Shifman Committee.
Before the bill is introduced in the Knesset plenum, in about two months, the government will have an opportunity to set forth its own version.
Former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin came out against the proposed law on Monday, Arutz Sheva said.
Feiglin called it “a frightening law” that “replaces the natural guardianship of parents over their children, as set into law in 1962, with ‘parental responsibility’ that means, in practice, that the guardianship over the child is now in the hands of the state (!), which does the biological parent a favor by letting him hold on to the child for as long as it deems fit.”
Feiglin pointed out an alarming clause, which states that “if, for instance, the court decides that the parents are not teaching their children to respect people ‘regardless of race, religion, nationality or origin,’ then the state will be able to take the child back into its hands…”