A judge presiding over a bizarre custody dispute decided Thursday to accept a peace deal a teenager brokered with his warring parents after an emotional reunion, and rejected an Ontario agency’s demands to first force counselling on the family.
The deal involves having the 19-year-old and his two younger siblings he wanted to care for live with their mother for now after years of estrangement.
“These boys are going home,” Ontario Court Justice Steven Clark told the court.
“What this case needs is action, not words.”
Clark wasted little time in rendering his decision after a long day of submissions by half a dozen lawyers, but the teen who brokered the agreement wasn’t there to hear it.
He had excused himself from court late in the afternoon to go to work — with his mom leaving as well to drive him there.
“I’m very happy and grateful,” he said in an interview after learning of Clark’s ruling.
The decision means the youth will now be able to see his 12- and 14-year-old brothers, who are in foster care, for the first time in almost five months. The reunion with their mother is expected by the weekend.
The case garnered headlines when the teen asked the court to give him custody of his siblings so he could raise them himself if his divorced parents were unable to make peace with each other.
That happened over the past week after the teen had supper with his estranged mother to celebrate his 19th birthday, and they began talking.