Cosner v. Ridinger

In Cosner v. Ridinger, 882 P.2d 1243 (Wyo. 1994), the Court declined to recognize the tort when a noncustodial parent asserted it alleging deprivation of visitation. The Court reviewed the Wyoming statutes which give priority to the child's best interests as well as the public policy behind those statutes and concluded recognition of the cause of action in the context of custody and visitation could negatively impact children by encouraging more litigation in already volatile family circumstances. The reasoning was greatly influenced by the policy considerations raised in Larson v. Dunn, 460 N.W.2d 39 (Minn. 1990), as follows: "For the good of our children, the law should seek to promote such harmony as is possible in families ....At a minimum, the law should not provide a means of escalating intrafamily warfare. ... "It is clear that this tort would be used as a new weapon in such disputes. ...The interest in compensation should not outweigh the effects of bitter accusations on ...children. ..."Creating this tort would create a new wrong. It would place innocent children in the middle of a vigorous, probably vicious, lawsuit ...." (Cosner, 882 P.2d at 1247.)