NJ judge rules child should go to wedding, not dad's b-day

The News Leader

April 9, 2010 7:22:12 AM PDT
A New Jersey judge says a 10-year-old should be a junior bridesmaid at her godmother's wedding instead of celebrating her divorced dad's 35th birthday. Cortney Hooper of Dover took her ex-husband, Steven Miller, to court after Miller said Friday night was part of his visitation time.

Miller did see his daughter on his actual birthday, April 7, but his family planned the celebration for Friday.

Judge Mary Gibbons Whipple in Morristown ruled "a birthday party happens every year. A wedding is once-in-a-lifetime."

The judge said the girl should have the experience of wearing a special dress and shoes and eating cake and hearing wedding music.

The judge reviewed e-mails between the parents and said it appeared they were using their daughter as "a bargaining chip" over changes each want to their divorce agreement.