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Child Custody Disputes And The Judgment Of Solomon

Two mothers living in the same house, each the mother of an infant son, came to King Solomon. One of the babies had died, and each claimed the remaining boy as her own. Calling for a sword, Solomon declared his judgment: the baby would be cut in two, each woman to receive half. One mother did not contest the ruling, declaring that if she could not have the baby then neither of them could, but the other begged Solomon, “Give the baby to her, just don’t kill him!”

The king declared the second woman the true mother, as a mother would even give up her baby if that were necessary to save its life. “All Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king because they perceived the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.” The story of the Judgment of Solomon, found at 1 Kings 3:28, may well be the first recorded child custody case.

All too often parents neglect the best interest of the children involved in a custody dispute resulting in positions that would have the court “cut the baby in half.” All too often, a parent wants to use the children as mere pawns to exact revenge or to exert control or power over the other parent. These power plays are not consistent with the universal standard in custody disputes: “The Best Interest of the Child.”

The attorneys of Pearson & Paris keep the best interest of the child standard squarely in focus to ensure appropriate custody and parenting time arrangements. This means aggressively fighting for our clients’ parental rights. However, we also, at times, caution our clients not to pursue a one-sided custodial strategy where the facts of the case do not justify such an approach. This caution is borne out of the realization that children carry the scars of custodial battles well into adulthood.

An authentic reproduction oil painting of the Judgment of Solomon by Raphael Sanzio da Urbino (1483-1520) hangs in the conference room of the offices of Pearson & Paris, P.S.C. in La Grange, Kentucky.