The key to understanding the lives of the Tsimhoni’s is to throw out everything you know about custody battles. These Bloomfield Hills children have been in the middle of a highly publicized feud between their parents that hit international news circuits this summer. However, it seems that their tribulations have finally come to a close.
Their case began attracting attention when Judge Lisa Gorcyca of the Oakland County Family Court sent the three Tsimhoni kids —ages 9, 10, and 14— to Children’s Village. Children’s Village is a juvenile detention center that takes in children who are neglected or abused, as well as delinquents. Judge Gorcyca passed this ruling after the three children refused to have lunch with their father, Omer Tsimhoni.
The custody battle has been going on since 2009. According to the Detroit Free Press, the case includes many allegation of the children’s mother, Maya Eibschitz-Tsimhoni, being abused by their father. These allegations, however, were dismissed based on lack of evidence.
Part of the issue is that the children were living with their mother after the divorce was filed. Mr. Tsimhoni was living in Israel and would visit Michigan frequently to see his children. However, his kids were reported as refusing to look at him and they would not show up to visitations. After one instance where their mother failed to take the kids to see their father, Eibschitz-Tsimhoni was briefly jailed and was required to perform community service.
Gorcyca’s decision to send the kids to Children’s Village was reached after Mr. Tsimhoni’s lawyer argued that the Eibschitz-Tsimhoni was unstable. According to USA Today, Mr. Tsimhoni’s lawyer said, “there is something wrong with the plaintiff. She needs help. Her illness, it’s affected the children negatively.” The lawyer used an example of Ms. Eibschitz-Tsimhoni using social media to drum up support for her side of the dispute, which made life tougher on the children.
The kids were released from Children’s Village after only a few days right before they were sent to a summer camp. Unlike the lakeside camps of West Michigan, this camp is not far from their home. Since then, the family has been undergoing therapy in hopes of repairing their relationship. All of the family members involved with the case underwent an intensive five-day program, with the exception of Ms. Eibshitz-Tsimhoni.
This week, however, the Tsimhoni children were officially reunited with their father. Mr. Tsimhoni asked the judge to grant him exclusive access to his children without interference from their mother. He requested the court prevent Ms. Eibschitz-Tsimhoni from talking to the children or seeing them at school for 90 days. It is his hope that this time away from their mother will help him repair his damaged relationship with the kids.
As Mr. Tsimhoni is given exclusive time with this children, Judge Gorcyca still has one final decision to make. In October, Gorcyca will make a ruling as to whether or not to permanently end Eibschitz-Tsimhoni’s physical custody of her children. While the court-issued gag order is still in effect, there is little left to do but wait. Hopefully, the damage done to the children’s parental relationships is only temporary and they can go back to their childhoods. However, as is the case with divorces, things are rarely that easy.
Brasier, L.L. (2015, September 9). Children who refused lunch with dad reunite with him. USA Today. Retrieved September 24, 2015 from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/09/10/parental-alienation-case-michigan-reunited/71992150/