Despite Earning Little Income During Marriage, Husband’s Earning Capacity Controlled Alimony and Child Support Awards

In a divorce action, the Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Fairfield at Bridgeport considered a plaintiff wife’s request to dissolve her marriage of twelve (12) years, and how to calculate child custody and alimony payments.

The Case

In this case, the defendant husband came into the marriage with approximately $1 million of inherited assets, while the wife had very limited resources. Despite being highly educated and due to very limited employment, the husband could not generate meaningful income, and due to spending habits by both parties, the marital assets were largely depleted. On the other hand, the wife earned approximately $300,000 through the course of the marriage, which she contributed to the household, and noted that the wife was “obviously not pleased with defendant’s ability to generate income.”

The court felt the husband had “aptitude, education, [and] skills to be gainfully employed.” Therefore, when the court entered into its orders dissolving the marriage, it imputed an earning capacity to the husband in the amount of $75,000. Using this figure, the court awarded the wife alimony of $1,000 per month as well as child support pursuant to the statutory guidelines.


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