Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi Lau
Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi LauHezki Baruch

Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi David Lau spoke at the Maimonides Conference in Tiberias about parents' obligation to their children in the case of divorce, and said the Rabbinical Court's job in such cases is to take care of the children.

Rabbi Lau said he has a request from every divorcing couple, and asks them to stop for a minute just before the divorce is final.

"Every time a couple with children comes to the Rabbinical Court to get divorced, I tell the father, 'Remember that children need both a mother and a father.' And then I turn to the mother and say, 'The children need both mother and father, and both of you must work together and do everything in your power to ensure they have both parents.'"

"The mother must ensure the children have access to their father, and vice versa," Rabbi Lau emphasized.

In Israel, the Tender Years Clause ensures that almost all children who are under age 6 at the time of divorce go to the mother. The father may have visitation rights or may not - depending on the mother's willingness to work with the father.