An unusual twist in a divorce and custody case has caught the attention of many California residents. The situation led to a Michigan judge ordering the three children at the center of the case to be held in a juvenile detention facility. This followed the children’s refusal to visit with their father. He is now pursuing full physical and legal custody of his children.

Reports indicate that the family once lived in Israel. The children and their mother, however, came to the United States in 2009 as she sought a divorce. The father moved to the U.S. permanently in the beginning of 2015. He alleges that his ex-wife has worked to inhibit his relationship with the children, and he has requested that she be evaluated psychologically.

Experts reacted to the judge’s unusual order with criticism, and the children have since been sent to a summer camp. Meanwhile, professional opinions of the father’s decision to seek full custody differ. Some believe that this action will lead to further possible efforts by the mother to undermine the relationship. Others believe that the father’s case will cause more attention to be given to the situation as a suitable solution is sought.

Judges typically seek custody solutions that are in the best interests of the children affected. The involvement of both parents tends to be viewed as a significant benefit, which may partly explain the judge’s strong response to the lack of cooperation of the children in this instance. Some experts recommend that family counseling or the involvement of a child psychologist may be important to assure that the children’s concerns and best interests are addressed.

In a similar situation, a parent dealing with a strained relationship with a child because of the other parent’s negative actions might seek legal help in enforcing visitation orders. In some cases, a parent might seek a change in the custody terms.

Source: Yahoo, “Dad Battling for Custody of Kids Who Were Locked Up for Refusing to See Him”, Beth Greenfield, July 17, 2015