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Linden v. Linden

Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Waterbury, Waterbury

August 27, 2015

Jennifer Linden
v.
Matthew Linden

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION RE DEFENDANT'S 5/6/15 POSTJUDGMENT MOTION FOR MODIFICATION #140, PLAINTIFF'S 6/4/15 POSTJUDGMENT MOTION FOR MODIFICATION #141

Irene P. Jacobs, J.

The parties married on August 26, 2008 in Guilford, CT. One minor child, Gracie Mae, born January 12, 2010, is issue of the marriage. On November 10, 2014, after a trial to the court, judgment of dissolution of the parties' marriage, incorporating a January 14, 2014 Agreement [referred to in the memorandum of decision as " parenting plan agreement" ], was entered. Currently before the court are the following motions:

Defendant's 5/26/15 Postjudgment Motion for Modification #140.
Plaintiff's 6/4/15 Postjudgment Motion for Modification #141.

The defendant [" Father" ] requests that the court order modification of primary residence of the minor child to be with him and modification of visitation in accordance with the modification of primary residence. The plaintiff [" Mother" ] seeks modification of primary residence of the minor child to be with her, child support, and modification of visitation.

Trial was held before the court on August 25, 2015. Father represented himself. Mother was represented by counsel. The minor child's interests were represented by a Guardian Ad Litem. Both parties and the Guardian Ad Litem testified. Several documents were entered into evidence.

Pursuant to the judgment of dissolution, the parties share joint legal custody and physical custody of the minor child, specifying that Mother have parenting time every week from Saturday at 5:00 P.M. until Wednesday at 3:30 P.M. and Father have parenting time every week from Wednesday at 3:30 P.M. until Saturday at 5:00 P.M. Also pursuant to the judgment, the parties modified the parenting schedule when the minor child began attending preschool in September 2014 in Mother's school district [Naugatuck]. For the 2014-2015 school year, the minor child resided with Mother in Naugatuck during the week and with Father, who resides in East Granby, on the weekends.

Both parties testified as to their strong love for Gracie Mae, their active involvement in her life, the strong support system each party has in their respective communities, and the consistency which primary residence with them would provide. Both parents testified that they would allow liberal parental access to the noncustodial parent.

The Guardian Ad Litem testified that his investigation of this case, which began when he was appointed by the court in June 2015, included meeting with the minor child and with the parties, reviewing the minor child's school attendance records, and observing the residences of the parties. He had not yet reviewed the minor child's pediatrician's records; he testified, however, that he received no information that the minor child suffered from any health problem.

The Guardian Ad Litem testified that he found both parties to be loving and supportive parents who were compliant with the court's orders and who both demonstrated flexibility when structuring parental access. He testified that he found both homes to be suitable residences for the minor child. He recommended that primary residence of the minor child be with Mother.

The Guardian Ad Litem testified that in reaching his recommendations, he considered one or more of the sixteen factors set forth in Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-54 and he considered the best interests of the minor child.

FINDINGS AND ORDERS

The court, having carefully considered the evidence both in the form of testimony and in exhibits presented during the trial, having observed the demeanor of the witnesses, having reviewed the court file, the affidavits concerning children, the financial affidavits of the parties, and the State of Connecticut Child Support Guidelines Worksheets, and having considered the statutory criteria governing custody, visitation, and other issues regarding the minor child, including child support and the best interests of the minor child, as set forth in Connecticut General Statutes ยง ...


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