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DIVORCE LAW: Parents May Not Criticize Each Other On Social Networking Sites

CASE:  Suarez v. Suarez

COURT:  New London J.D., at Norwich

DOC. NO.:  FA11-4116998S COURT OPINION BY:  Scluger, J.

DATE:  June 11, 2012

A court can order the parties to refrain from criticizing each other on social networking sites.  The parties married in September 2010 and have one minor child.  The husband complained that the wife worked too much, and the wife complained that the husband drank too much and played video games too often.  The husband, 24, earns about $20 per hour as an apprentice electrician and works about 30 hours per week.  As soon as the husband passes the exam to become a journeyman electrician, his earning capacity will increase to $875 to $1,000 gross per week.  The wife, 25, received an honorable discharge from the military and earns $1,053 gross per week as a security officer, military and earns $1,053 gross per week as a security officer, working 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.  The husband requested sole custody of the minor child, primary residence and all decisionmaking.  The father, wrote the court, was “controlling, manipulative and attempting to alienate the child from the mother.”  The court ordered joint legal custody and equal visitation time.  As a result of equal or shared parenting and equal earning capacities, the court did not award child support.  Each party is responsible for 50 percent of unreimbursed medical expenses and 100 percent of all daycare expenses required during their parenting time.  The court ordered therapy for the minor child, in a course formerly known as Building Blocks.  The court ordered the parties to take responsibility for the debts on their financial affidavits.  The wife’s wedding ring was in the husband’s possession when it disappeared, and the court found the husband is responsible for the $315 owed for the couple’s wedding rings.  The husband was against therapy on the grounds it would be expensive, intrusive and probably futile.  The court ordered the parties to engage in co-parenting counseling, provided it does not cost either part more than $25 per week.  The court ordered the parties to refrain from criticizing one another in the presence of the minor child or on any social networking site and from allowing their significant others to criticize.  Also, neither party may smoke in the minor child’s presence or when transporting the minor child.