The Anomaly of Custody in Israeli Family Law

Israel Studies Review, 28(2) 247, 2013

17 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2014 Last revised: 20 Dec 2015

See all articles by Yoav Mazeh

Yoav Mazeh

Ono Academic College Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 4, 2014


A principal conflict in Israeli family law concerns the notion of custody. Parents and the public at large perceive custody as a primary factor in the regulation of post-divorce families. According to current Israeli law, mothers tend to receive custody of children almost automatically. The recommendation of the Schnitt Committee to abolish the term 'custody' is thus perceived by many as a threat to mothers. This article shows, however, that a fundamental misunderstanding of the ramifications of this concept fuels the Israeli discourse over the concept of custody. The article explains the difference between the minor effects of the notion of custody in practice and the disproportional significance that is associated with this term in the public discourse. The article also discusses the reasons why public discourse has produced this gap.

Keywords: Family Law, Israel, Custody, Post-divorce families, Schnitt Committee; Teder age presumption; Tender years presumption; parenting time; Divorce; Yoav Mazeh; יואב מזא"ה

Suggested Citation

Mazeh, Yoav, The Anomaly of Custody in Israeli Family Law (February 4, 2014). Israel Studies Review, 28(2) 247, 2013. Available at SSRN:

Yoav Mazeh (Contact Author)

Ono Academic College Faculty of Law ( email )

104 Zahal St.
Kiryat Ono, 55000


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