January 01, 2019 Introduction

Best Interests of Children in the Courts and Seeking the Wisdom of Solomon

By Judge Stephanie Domitrovich

The story of the wisdom of King Solomon from approximately 970 B.C. is known as one of the earliest accounts of a child custody dispute. This biblical version concerns two women who gave birth to sons and lived together in the same home. During the night, one infant was smothered and died. The woman whose son had died allegedly switched her dead baby with the other woman’s living baby as she slept. When the other woman awoke, she realized the scam and sought justice in the best interest of her living child before King Solomon. Because both women claimed the child was hers, Solomon threatened to use a sword to cut the living child in two. He would then give half to one woman and the other half to the other. The woman whose son was still alive pled with Solomon not to kill the child but to give the living baby to the other woman. However, the other woman, whose son had died, preferred Solomon cut the living child in two so that neither of them would have him. From their responses, Solomon knew the real mother was the woman who did not want the child killed and gave the child to her.

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