In fact, Justice Steven Clark seemed so anxious yesterday to put an end to one of the most bitter custody battles to be handled by the courts, he at first declared the 12- and 14-year-old brothers would be removed from foster care "today" and reunited with their 19-year-old brother and mother.
"We need to take a leap of faith here that is not a careless leap of faith, but a measured and considered leap of faith because we owe the children that," said Clark in issuing a temporary ruling that was almost stunning in its speed.
"What this case needs is action, not words ... What I care about is that this family have a realistic possibility to be put back together now."
In the end, however, Clark agreed with lawyers that it's going to take a few days to get the boys prepared for the move out of the Mississauga foster home where they've lived since last December and back into their mother's bungalow, which they abandoned to live with their father more than two years ago.
It's expected the boys will be home by Sunday. Their older brother is credited with helping broker a truce between his parents, first by pressing for custody of his brothers, then taking part in what one lawyer called "a miracle" – an emotional reunion with his mother last week on his 19th birthday.
Within days of that meeting, the honour-roll student and his lawyer, Jeffery Wilson, had cobbled together a deal with the mother and her lawyer, Marvin Kurz, that had eluded the courts for years. It calls for all three boys to live with their mom for 100 days and not be forced to undergo controversial U.S. "deprogramming" for parental alienation.
The Office of the Children's Lawyer, which has been representing the younger brothers, came close to scuttling that seven-point plan yesterday with a more rigid 24-point plan that one lawyer described as "ridiculous." Clark noted that any efforts to reunite the family – minus the father, who has grudgingly accepted losing his children temporarily – would be "doomed to failure" if a new plan was put forward without the teen's backing.
The Peel Children's Aid Society will continue to oversee the family, and another judge will review the boys' progress July 27.
Sometime in August, Clark will decide where the children will live, and how much of the time, going forward.
In perhaps the most ironic twist of fate in the complex case that has both frustrated and fascinated veteran divorce lawyers, the teen and his mom weren't even in the court for the ruling: The teen had to rush off to his part-time job. His mother offered to drive him.
That left the teen's grandmother to make the cellphone call that seemed to reverberate through the hall of the Brampton courthouse: "The boys are coming home!"
"Mom and I didn't scream, we just smiled at each other," said the soft-spoken teen, who was almost at work when the call came. "We just started talking about how we could barely believe it."