A new case recently decided by the New Jersey Courts deals with the situation where one divorced parent disagrees with the other about attending cultural events such as a music concert. While the artist Pink was the subject of this case, you can see how it could be problem with a Miley Cyrus concert or a Wrestlemania event.
This case presents issues involving divorced parents, an eleven year old girl, and rock music. The parties are in the midst of ongoing contested litigation over physical custody of the child, during which the plaintiff-father contends that the defendant-mother abused her parental discretion and made an age-inappropriate decision by taking their daughter to a rock concert performed by the singer, P!nk, on December 11, 2013 at the Prudential Center 1 Pseudonyms and initials are used in place of the actual names of the parties and child at issue. in Newark, New Jersey. 2 For the reasons set forth in this opinion, the court holds the following:
A) Following divorce, each parent serving as a joint legal custodian generally has a right to exercise reasonable parental discretion over a child’s activities while in his or her physical care, free from unreasonable interference, infringement, obstruction or attempted control by the other parent. B) Each parent has a constitutional right to exercise reasonable parental discretion in introducing and exposing the child to works and performances of the creative arts. C) While divorced parents may disagree on whether a child should or should not be exposed to certain works or performances of the creative arts, the court will generally not interfere with either parent’s freedom of personal discretion on the issue, or hold same as evidence of improper or inferior parenting skills in custody litigation, unless the evidence reflects that the artistic work or performance is so objectively age-inappropriate that no reasonable person could rationally disagree on same. D) Rock music is a valid and highly recognized form of creative artistic expression in the United States and world. E) Defendant’s decision to take the parties’ daughter to the Pink rock concert, during her own parenting time, was a reasonable and appropriate exercise of parental discretion.