A principal conflict in Israeli family law concerns the notion of custody. Parents and the public at large perceive custody as a primary factor in the regulation of post-divorce families. According to current Israeli law, mothers tend to receive custody of children almost automatically. The recommendation of the Schnitt Committee to abolish the term 'custody' is thus perceived by many as a threat to mothers. This article shows, however, that the Israeli discourse over the concept of custody is fueled by a fundamental misunderstanding of the ramifications of this concept. The article explains the difference between the minor effects of the notion of custody in practice and the disproportional significance that is associated with this term in the public discourse. The article also discusses the reasons why public discourse has produced this gap.

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