In Divorce Action, Family Business Deemed Marital Asset, Wife Entitled to One-Half Interest

Divorce Action

In a divorce action, the Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Stamford-Norwalk at Stamford declared, as a marital asset subject to division, a business the husband formed and from which he officially retired but continued working for thereafter. The plaintiff wife and defendant husband were married for thirty-eight (38) years and resided in Stamford. The husband was the primary breadwinner and controlled finances within the marriage. Among a number of businesses and properties in which the husband held interest was one he formed in the early 1990s.

This family-run business venture provided lucrative income for the husband, which supported a very comfortable lifestyle. Until the time he retired, the husband was the principal officer of the business, and on January 1, 2012, the husband retired “with the intention of turning it over to his elder daughter.” However, evidence was presented that despite his official retirement the husband remained active with the company, including check-signing power.

The Decision

In its findings, the trial court did not find credible the husband’s testimony regarding his retirement from the family business, and believed he “continues to play and will continue to play a significant role in the business.” As such, the court believed it proper to consider the husband’s earning capacity while crafting alimony and child support orders. It deemed the business a marital asset, to which the wife had a fifty (50) percent interest in the net proceeds from its sale.

The trial court enjoined and prohibited the husband from selling or transferring his interest in the company. If the husband attempted to do so without court approval, it would be in violation of automatic orders, and the sale or transfer would be treated as void ab initio, or from the beginning.

Whether advancing or defending a pre- or post-judgment motion regarding awards of alimony and assignment of property, a divorced individual is best served by consulting with an experienced family law practitioner. Should you have questions regarding matrimonial matters, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Joseph C. Maya in the firm’s Westport office in Fairfield County at 203-221-3100 or at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Our family law firm in Westport Connecticut serves clients with divorce, matrimonial, and family law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. We have the best divorce attorneys and family attorneys in CT on staff that can help with your Connecticut divorce or New York divorce today.