Stipulation Agreement: Father Found in Contempt for Failure to Maintain Health Insurance for His Daughter

Superior Court of Connecticut: Post-Judgment Divorce Action

In a post-judgment divorce action earlier this year, involving a stipulation agreement, the Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Fairfield at Bridgeport found a father in contempt of a court order that required him to provide health insurance coverage for his minor child, or at least pay a portion of her premium.

The Case

In this case, the court dissolved the marriage of the plaintiff father and defendant mother, and a stipulation agreement was incorporated into the judgment. Pursuant to its terms, the father was ordered, in part, to “maintain health insurance for minor child and pay any deductible amount.” The parties later agreed to place the child on the mother’s health insurance plan, as it provided better coverage.

Therefore, the father was required to pay his portion of the premium, or $1,000 per year. He made the required payments for the first few months, but failed to do so thereafter for a period of approximately six years. The mother repeatedly tried to communicate with the father regarding the nonpayment; however, he ignored these attempts. Even after the mother lost her job – and as such, her insurance – the father still failed to make any payments toward their child’s health insurance. This behavior led the mother to file a motion for contempt with the court.

Civil Contempt

Under Connecticut law, civil contempt is established when a movant proves, by the preponderance of the evidence, that a court order exists and that the other party willfully did not comply with its terms. In this case, the Superior Court stated that the court order regarding health insurance coverage was clear, unambiguous, and valid. The father received sufficient notice from the mother regarding the cost of the premiums, yet failed to provide assistance or health insurance coverage to his child for a prolonged period of time. Therefore, the Court found him in willful contempt, and ordered him to reimburse the mother in the amount of $6,000.

Whether advancing or defending a post-judgment motion involving the enforcement or modification of a separation agreement, 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. Call today for a free initial consultation.