FATHER WINS UNPRECEDENTED RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL IN ISRAEL FAMILY COURT
Today an Israeli father won a remarkable decision in the District Court in Lod - to have the right to a fair trial.
Israeli fathers go through endurance tests in the family courts in divorce. The epidemic of false claims made against them result in them often being criminalised as violent. They lose access to their home and the right to see their children. Often they are forced into psychiatric assessments, and only allowed visitation to their kids in Child Contact Centres - the Merkaz Kesher.
Ariel Formanovski, who had a contract of equal shared custody from the moment his son was born faced the same path as thousands of fathers before him. On losing a legal battle to take her son and move, Odelia Evgy just moved on her own accord without notifying the father.
Ariel who eventually located the whereabouts of his son was imprisoned on a claim of violence and trespassing. At the hearing, his lawyer was only given a mere 5 minutes to investigate and cross examine. He was not allowed his own witnesses. The result was a restraining order from the whole city of Jerusalem for 60 days. His ex even admitted there had been no violence in the hearing.
He decided to appeal. Not against the decision, but against the Process and Procedure. Today in the District Court, he won the right to a fair trial. Judge Varda Plaut was left with no option but to agree that his hearing could be redone, and all his witnesses and evidence heard.
This is a remarkable outcome. His hope is once cleared of the tag of being violent - it will also prove his ex made false claims. The next steps will be to challenge the law 2.5 - immunity of women who make such claims, and test if the recent announcements to amend the law will be implemented. All this can lead to him having his custody rights returned in full and to see his son in normal circumstances.
The judge appeared to say in her decision - that despite the appeal being granted, it should not be seen as a victory. This is such an unusual request - to challenge the procedures and processes, that rather than dismissing the usual appeals, she had to apply sense and fairness.
This is a ground breaking moment for Ariel. He has bombarded the court with appeals and requests for his rights. This is the first victory. Fathers in Israel may have a blueprint for their battle for equality.
Human rights for all - NO EXCEPTIONS!
Below is the decision which was made today: