Years ago, I presided over a complex international divorce and custody arrangement, resulting in an unconventional legal ruling in which each of the parents was awarded sole custody of one of their two children. Though controversial, the facts of the case made this unprecedented ruling seem plausible, and for eleven years it worked flawlessly — until the dumbass parents sent the kids to the same summer camp.
I was so close to setting a groundbreaking legal precedent, but no, I was foiled by two eleven-year-olds who knew how to pierce ears and do accents. Maybe if they weren’t both into fencing and eating Oreos with peanut butter, I could have gotten away with it, but alas.
Now listen, I’m sure everybody has a lot of strong opinions about the ethics of my ruling. Even at the time, most thought it was bizarre — but the parents oddly had no problem with never seeing one of their children again, so c’est la vie! Truth be told, it started as an absurd “split the baby in half” proposal to see who was fit to care for the children; but unlike the Judgment of Solomon, nobody protested. They were both just like, “Yeah, sure, sounds good,” which caught me off guard. Honestly, it called their parental fitness into such a question that I looked into just giving both kids to Chessy, but unfortunately, no dice.
I’ve learned to deal with the criticism that’s come from the ruling, though. After all, I’d like to hear how you’d handle it — it’s an impossible case to crack. Two complete randos meet and immediately get married on the QE2 like it’s some sort of TLC reality show. One is from California, one is from London, they end up hating each other, and they have two of the same baby. Honestly, the whole splitting the kids thing ended up being a no-brainer.
And after a whole decade with no hiccups or serious psychological damage (apart from tarring-and-feathering their camp counselor and trying to kill their dad’s girlfriend), I thought I was in the clear. Granted, I guess it maybe would have been better to try it out with siblings who weren’t completely identical — you know, less of a chance of them crossing paths and catching on.
But to be fair, what are the odds? I mean, they lived on opposite ends of the world. This didn’t seem like it would be a real concern. And I get it, I knew that they were “identical,” but I didn’t realize that they’d be that identical. I mean, usually, there’s some small difference, but those two look like they’re the exact same person.
You might be wondering how it was decided which parent got which child. It was actually quite simple: the British mother got the British baby, and the American father got the American baby. Duh.
The divorce was finalized, as all are, by tearing the wedding photo down the middle Us Weekly style and distributing the fragments amongst the babies for theatrical effect. Again, hindsight being 20/20, perhaps giving them a means to confirm their connection like that wasn’t the wisest decision.
But for all the flack I caught for separating twin girls at birth and estranging them each from one of their parents, it all worked out in the end. What other family court judge can say that they made a ruling so deranged that it resulted in transcontinental farcical shenanigans a decade later that ended with a reconciliation between the divorced couple? Sure, the Kramer vs. Kramer and Marriage Story judges may have gone a more traditional route, but those rulings didn’t end with a montage of the plaintiff and defendant getting remarried set to the tune of “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” now did they?