No. FA 01 0076754 S
November 15, 2006.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION RE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR CONTEMPT #180
The parties were divorced on June 15, 2003. There are two children, issue of the marriage, Erika Ann Stanley born May 10, 1994 and Evan Daniel Stanley born April 27, 1999. The parties share joint legal custody of the two minor children with primary residence with the plaintiff mother. The father exercises access to the children on Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., alternating Fridays from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. and every other weekend which includes Saturday night.
The children, particularly Evan, have medical needs and Evan takes no fewer than four medications per day. The plaintiff mother alleges in her contempt motion that the defendant father does not administer the daily medications as prescribed and is otherwise lax in his parenting. The mother testified that she had a large collection of medications which she had packed with the children for their visits which were returned unused. She further testified that the defendant father had substituted his own medical opinion over the opinion of the treating physician(s).
The father acknowledged that he had, on occasion, neglected to administer the medication but argued that it was an isolated incident rather than a pattern.
The file reflects that on April 7, 2006, the plaintiff mother filed a motion to modify the joint custody order for the same reasons articulated in this contempt; that the father was not following the medical protocol. A review of the dissolution judgment reveals that there is no specific order that a particular medical protocol be followed. Nonetheless, it is within the court's power to infer that the dissolution judgment should reflect the parties' intent that the best interests of their children be provided. To that end, the court will enter the following orders:
1. The mother will provide to the father within thirty days a written schedule of the medications for each child;
2. The mother will provide the required medications at the beginning of each scheduled visit with the father;
3. The father will administer all provided medications at the dates and times indicated and keep a journal indicating the date time and type of medication administered;
4. The father will provide a copy of that journal to the mother at the end of each month.
5. If the father disagrees with the nature or frequency of the prescribed medications he will take that up with the physician.
The parties will return to this court March 12, 2007 for a review.