Family court judge who jailed kids orders intensive therapy

An Oakland County judge who sent three kids to jail for refusing to have lunch with their dad is now granting him temporary custody.

The Tsimhoni  children will spend the next three months in his care as soon as court-ordered summer camp is over.

The children have been stuck in a bitter custody battle and two parents who according to family court Judge Lisa Gorcyca, aren't doing much to work it out.

"Mom and dad, talk," Gorcyca said in court. "Figure this out, you have to do this. And if you don't do this, it will be addressed."

In the meantime their three children 9, 10 and15 years old, have been stuck in the middle.

They were first sent to Children's Village then sent to a costly summer camp and counseling that cost more than $30,000. The parents were forced to split that bill.

But discussed in court today was who will be forced to pay for the legal fees, security and media relations the camp says it was forced to hire because of this controversial case.

"I don't talk about the reasonable-ness or unreasonable-ness of those fees," said attorney Keri Middleditch, representing the father. "I don't want him on the hook for that.

"We take issue with the fact that it seems like the effort is attribute fault with the mother," said the mother's attorney Andrew Abood.

Much of this case centered on parental alienation claims was blamed on the mother, Maya Tsimhoni.

"She doesn't believe in mental health counseling," Middleditch said. "She thinks if he loves them a lot and if she tells them to forgive him for whatever he didn't do, it will be better."

The question was what to do with the kids after they are released from summer camp on Thursday.

Their Guardian ad litem,  Bill Lansat, the person appointed to act in the best interest of the children, suggested an intense five-day reunification program with dad at an undisclosed hotel.

"It's a life boat judge, it's a chance to maybe make this work," Lansat said.

Jeff Abood, another attorney of Maya Tsimhoni's, warned that the exercise could be damaging for the children.

After much debate the judge ordered the kids to enter the five-day intensive therapy reunification program. The father will be involved, mom won't. If it goes well, the kids will be sent to live with dad for the next 90 days.

"It's clear the family needs it," Gorcyca said.
 

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