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Judge: One Twin Wanted To Live With Mother, Other With Father

February 24, 1995

BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) _ The judge who separated 10-year-old identical twins in a custody dispute says it was the girls’ idea.

One twin wanted to be with her mother and the other wanted to stay with her father, Probate Court Judge James R. Lawton said.

``I simply wanted to do what the girls said they wanted,″ Lawton said Wednesday.

Still, ever since Lawton last week gave temporary custody of Sheena Raymond to their mother and Tara Raymond to their father, the twins say they can’t bear being apart. The girls both live in Wareham and attend the same school.

He was surprised by the outcry that followed his ruling: ``I was not performing surgery on Siamese twins,″ he said.

Dana and Jean Raymond divorced about a year ago. They had been taking two-week turns with the girls before Mrs. Raymond filed to change the arrangements.

In 25 years on the bench, Lawton said he’s often consulted with the children involved before reaching a decision.

His order was to remain in effect until the end of the school year, but he said, ``nothing is cast in stone,″ especially if one of the girls has changed her mind.

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