SPC Blog: What You Need to Know

Connecticut Judge Supports Shared Parenting; Repudiates Alienation

In a recent hearing at Regional Family Trial Docket in Middletown, CT, Hon. Thomas Moukawsher demonstrated an understanding of the importance of both parents in the lives of their children. The judge rejected a motion by the mother and her attorney to modify a 2022 judgment calling for equal-time shared parenting, which could have led to parental alienation. The motion sought to reduce the father’s weekday and weekend time, give the mother final decision-making authority, and obtain further relief, including attorney fees.

During the hearing, the judge questioned the opposing party attorney sharply, asking how the proposed modifications would improve the father’s relationship with the children. The judge used the term “alienation” to describe a possible outcome if the modifications were granted. The judge’s thinking likely followed a logical path, considering that if the father was unfit for equal shared parenting time, then he might be considered unfit for any time with his children.

The judge’s decision is expected to reject the mother’s motion and maintain equal shared parenting time arrangement. The decision is significant for shared parenting supporters who advocate for much greater weight on friendly parent behavior, which could have a positive impact on family dynamics and parental cooperation.

DCF was involved in the case and coordinated with 211 mobile crises to implement Family Functional Therapy (FFT), which helped improve family dynamics. The FFT worker became a family counselor at both homes, seeking parental cooperation on behalf of their children. The FFT counselor testified at the hearing, providing positive and neutral information to inform the judge’s decision.

Shared parenting supporters are encouraged by the judge’s decision and other decisions by Judge Moukawsher. They believe that their years of advocacy have influenced outcomes in Family Court. They are calling on others to join the shared parenting movement by contacting John Clapp at jmclapp@sharedparentinginc.org to redouble their efforts.

The judge’s written decision of memorandum will be discussed in a future newsletter.

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