Baker v. Baker
A court can grant a parent's motion to relocate with a minor child to another state, if relocation is in the best interests of the minor child, because the parent has a strong social network, free housing and free childcare in the other state. The parties married in October 2010 and have one child. The husband, who is rated as an E-5 with the U.S. Navy, earns $956 gross per week, plus a housing allowance of $350 per week. The wife, 31, has a master's degree and elected to work at home as a homemaker. The wife requested the court's permission to relocate with the minor child to Tennessee, where the maternal grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins reside. The guardian ad litem supported the wife's request, because the wife will obtain free childcare, free housing and a lower cost of living, and the husband's plans remain uncertain. The husband objected that if the wife and child relocate, he may not be able to establish a bond with the minor child. The husband requested that the wife and child remain in Connecticut three years. The court found that the wife's plan was in the best interests of the minor child, because relocation will provide economic benefits and the wife will be generous and flexible with visitation. The court awarded joint custody, with primary residence with the wife, who has final decision-making authority. The court awarded the husband reasonable visitation in Tennessee, plus one week of visitation in the spring and seven weeks of visitation in the summer. The court ordered the husband to pay child support of $178 per week, plus 75 percent of unreimbursed medical, dental and work-related daycare expenses. The court kept jurisdiction for the purposes of post-majority education. The court ordered the husband to pay alimony of $150 per week for four months. The court awarded the husband the Jeep and the wife the Hyundai. The court awarded the husband his Navy pension. The court ordered the parties to hold each other harmless from debt. The court ordered the husband to pay $2,500 toward the wife's attorneys' fees.