Fargo v. Fargo
A court can reject a request for sole custody and order that parents engage in co-parenting counseling. The parties married in August 2009 and the wife gave birth in October 2010. The husband, 34, earns $1001 gross per week as a mechanic for the Department of Transportation. The wife, 35, earns $365 gross per week as a paraprofessional in the Norwich public schools. The parties argued about the appropriate care for their minor child, who suffered from acid reflux and was losing weight, and also about the husband's child from an earlier relationship. In November 2011, the husband allegedly was arrested and charged with risk of injury to a minor and third-degree assault. The parties agreed to joint legal custody and supervised visitation with the father. The wife obtained a restraining order against the husband. The wife requested another restraining order, because the husband allegedly transported the minor child in his motor vehicle, while a relative followed the husband in a separate motor vehicle, in violation of the court order. The wife requested sole custody. The court credited the testimony of the guardian ad litem that the minor child, who is bonded with the father, is safe in the father's care, and that the mother is "hyper vigilant." The court did not find either party at greater fault for the breakdown of the marital relationship. The court ordered joint legal custody, with primary residence with the wife and visitation with the husband at either the husband's residence or another safe environment. The court ordered the husband to pay child support of $150 per week. The court ordered the husband to pay $125 per week as alimony, until the wife's death, marriage or Dec. 28, 2012, whichever takes place first. The court terminated one of the restraining orders. The court ordered the parties to engage in eight hours of co-parenting counseling. The court ordered the husband to quitclaim his interest in the marital residence to the wife. If the wife is unable to refinance the mortgage, the court ordered the wife to sell the property and to keep the proceeds.