Divorce istock

A court in Manchester, England on Monday ruled that haredi children do not have meet their father who recently ceased being observant and underwent a sex change operation.

The man, who has five children and left the haredi community in 2015, petitioned the court to force his wife to allow him to meet with his children.

In court, the mother claimed that if the children meet their father, who did something so socially unacceptable, they will lose their friends and their social standing in school. She also claimed their education would be harmed.

Judge Peter Jackson met with the divorced couple's 12-year-old son, as well as with businessmen and psychologists within Manchester's haredi community. All of these said meeting the father would cause irreversible damage to the children.

The father claimed he wanted to tell his children why he had chosen to make such a drastic life change, but the mother insisted it was better to tell the children their father had died or had been hospitalized in a psychiatric ward. However, the mother denied this, and said she had told her children their father had moved to London.

Judge Jackson ruled the potential social damage to the children was greater than the benefits the children would reap from a strong connection with their father. He therefore exempted both the children and the mother from maintaining contact with the father. However, the judge did suggest the children and father send letters and postcards to each other.

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