Monday, November 9, 2015

Casualties of Divorce

In stealth, while her soon to be ex-husband was at work, the mother took her four children, and most of the furniture of the house, and moved away to another city.  She registered her children in a new school, told her children that their father was not to be trusted, that they would not see their friends again, and did not allow them to make contact with him once they had resettled.  When the father came home from work, he returned to a quiet empty house, totally bewildered as to what the hell had happened to his life.

Sounds like a soap opera, or an appeal for some foundation, right?  Well, these are my neighbors, and what makes the story even harder is this:  the mother is extremely abusive to her children, and the father has never prevented it, because he has been afraid of his soon to be ex-wife.  Anyone who knows the background of this family would agree that the children would still be better off with the father than the mother.

Before I am accused of slander or gossip, let me say that I have seen this abuse with my own eyes on several occasions, and have been this family's neighbor for over 12 years.  And the walls between apartments are thinner than one would believe.

The two older children have declared that they do not want to live with their mother, and have begged their father to take them away from her.  The only way they speak to their father was by sneaking in a phone call when their mother isn't paying attention.  The two younger children do not know their father's cell phone number, nor have they been able to reach their father in any way, though they too have expressed a desire to live with their father rather than their mother.

In Israeli (Draconian) divorce law, the mother always gets custody, and the father has to work very hard and spend lots of money on lawyers to even get partial custody.  In recent week, there have been several attempts in the Knesset to change that law, to put some of the responsibility of custody decisions on the social workers as well.   An attempt to objectively as possible asses the situation and do what is best for the children.

The amendment to the law was shut down last week, in a disappointing vote.

If I am being truly honest, over the past 12 years I have contemplated many times calling the police and reporting this family, but never did, as I was advised by my Israeli neighbors that it would not help the situation in the end.  Now I am wishing that the father's lawyer would start knocking on doors and asking all of us who live in the building to testify on his behalf,  Because I would.


koshergourmetmart said...

tell your next door neighbor you are willing to testify and have his lawyer contact you

Lusjanochka said...

It might come late, and I have no clue how this is going, and whether it will or can be resolved in a positive way, buuuut - I second the opinion above. Go and tell the father that you would do it. Also, maybe you could make a suggestion that he could create a gofundme account? Or something like that? People on the net can be sometimes very responsive and could pitch in to pay for the lawyer expenses?