Posts tagged with "matrimonial law"

Can I Stipulate in My Divorce for There to Be No Unmarried Cohabitation While Our Child Is Present in Connecticut?

You may include a morality clause in your divorce decree if you so choose.  The court is generally most concerned with the best interests of the child involved in the divorce.  For this reason, a court is only likely to agree to such a clause if it is shown to be in the best interests of the child.  As my colleagues have stated, the issue may become whether the clause is enforceable once it has been violated.  Again, this will depend on what is in the best interest of the child.  If a court finds this request unreasonable and to have no impact on the child it will likely be unenforceable.


If you have any questions regarding divorce in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

If A Court Order of Visitation Stipulates for Joint Custody, Can One Party Not Allow the Child to Visit the Other in Connecticut?

No, one party cannot withhold visitation of a child from another party.  If there is a court order stipulating a visitation plan, you are entitled to its enforcement regardless of the feelings of your child or ex.  Even if your child decides they no longer want to have visitation, you are still entitled to visitation and may wish to consult with the court to enforce this right.  An experienced family law attorney is likely to have handled similar issues and will be experienced to educate you on the best way to proceed to enforce your rights as a parent.


If you have any questions regarding family law in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

My Wife Moved out and Wants a Divorce. Can She Leave and Take Everything?

You may be able to address the issue of assets and debts in court, if your wife has moved out and took all of your marital possessions with her.  When you formally file for divorce, it is the court’s job to assign assets and debts.  It is unlikely that a court would find you entitled to spousal support, but this depends on certain facts of the case.  Among the considerations of a court are what the assets are, what money each party had before the marriage, what each party earns.  It would be beneficial to sit down with an experienced divorce attorney to sort out the facts of the case and to receive adequate advice on how to proceed.

If you have any questions regarding divorce in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com

Should I File For Bankruptcy in Connecticut if I Also Have an Ongoing Divorce in Connecticut?

If you have an ongoing divorce action in a state, you are better off filing for bankruptcy in that same state.  You cannot file for divorce in a state unless you have resided in the state for a certain period of time.  The same applies when filing for bankruptcy.

In Connecticut, you may not be eligible for file for bankruptcy unless you have lived in the state for over 90 days.  It would be best to consult with an experienced attorney who has dealt with these issues in the past.  An experienced attorney can consider the specific facts of your case and educate you on the best course of action to take.

If you have any further questions regarding divorce or bankruptcy law in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Is Everything That Happens in Front of a Judge on the Record in Connecticut?

All court proceedings in front of a judge are recorded by a court reporter.  If you are in need of a copy of the record from the day you were in court, you have the option to contact the court reporter to get a copy of the transcript.  You can do so by contacting the court with your docket number, the date of your appearance, and the name of the judge.

If you are having custody issues, they may not be resolved simply by obtaining a copy of your court transcript.  It may be wise to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can educate you on all of your options and tell you the best way to proceed for the benefit of you and your child.


If you have any questions regarding family law in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Am I Still Required to Pay Alimony if My Ex-Wife Has Remarried or Cohabitated with Someone?

Your obligation to pay alimony to your ex-wife does not simply terminate if she chooses to cohabitate with someone.  Alimony will however terminate once your ex-wife remarries.  If you have stopped paying alimony under her cohabitation, it is likely that a court will require you to pay your ex-wife the alimony owed to her during her time of cohabitation.  In this situation, it is very important to seek an experienced divorce attorney who can represent you and counsel you through this alimony issue.


If you have any questions regarding divorce in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Over 200 Massachusetts Children Abused While in State Custody

State officials found evidence supporting 249 allegations of physical and sexual abuse or poor care involving children in state-monitored settings last year.

The numbers were included in the Office of the Child Advocate’s 2013 report obtained by the Boston Herald (http://bit.ly/18XtUup ).

Thirty percent of the allegations were in foster care; 29 percent were in treatment programs; 19 percent in day cares; 18 percent from schools; and 4 percent from “others.”

State child welfare officials say the total number of abuse and neglect reports in out-of-home settings has remained steady in recent years.

But Sara Bartosz, an attorney for the advocacy group Children’s Rights, points out that the number of children in foster care is down.

A Department of Children and Families spokeswoman says the state works hard to protect all children.

From Boston Herald.

Court Rules that Father’s Child Support Obligation Did Not Automatically End Upon Child’s Eighteenth Birthday

A decision rendered in the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Hartford illustrates the consequences of failing to file a motion to modify child support in a timely manner.  In this particular case, the parties obtained a divorce in 1994.  At that time, they agreed that the husband would pay child support for their minor child.  Several years later, the parties stipulated to an increase in the husband’s obligation.  However, none of the agreements contained language specifying when the husband’s child support obligation would end.

Although the child turned eighteen in 2011, the husband continued to pay support for close to another year.  When he finally sought a modification, he requested reimbursement for overpayments dating back to the child’s eighteenth birthday, claiming that the court’s order was self-executing, or, in other words, terminated automatically.

The Court’s Decision

In denying the husband’s request for reimbursement, the Court noted that under C.G.S.A. 46b-84, a parent is obligated to provide support until a child reaches the age of eighteen, or if the child is still in high school and in need of maintenance, until the child graduates or reaches the age of nineteen, whichever occurs first.  Thus, pursuant to the parties’ agreement which was silent as to termination, the husband’s support obligation could have continued well beyond the child’s eighteenth birthday.

Because the parties’ agreement contained no language calling for an automatic termination, the court found that the provision was not self-executing.  Moreover, a child support award may not be modified retroactively prior to the date of service of the motion.  Thus, although the court terminated the husband’s child support obligation, it only ordered the wife to reimburse him for the amount he paid after she received his motion.

By: Joseph Maya, Esq.

Should you have questions regarding child support, or divorce matters in general, please feel free to contact Attorney Joseph C. Maya  He can be reached in the firm’s Westport office at (203) 221-3100 or by email at JMaya@mayalaw.com.

Our firm in Westport 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.

In Divorce Action, Husband’s Appeal Dismissed Due to Repeated Instances of Contempt

The Case

As indicated in a Connecticut Appellate Court decision, a party that has engaged in repeated instances of contemptuous conduct may be precluded from pursuing an appeal.  In this particular case, the parties obtained a divorce in the Judicial District of Stamford / Norwalk.  At that time, the husband was ordered to pay the wife alimony in the amount of $22,000.00 per month and child support in the amount of $686.00 per week.

The court also ordered the husband to appear in court once per month with updates as to his employment search.  Shortly thereafter, the wife filed a motion for contempt, claiming that the husband had moved to Florida and stopped paying financial support.  The court granted the wife’s motion, entered an incarceration order with a purge amount of almost $25,000.00, and issued a capias since the defendant had failed to appear.

Despite the foregoing orders, the husband failed to appear at subsequent hearings, and was found in contempt several more times.  As of March 1, 2011, the court had entered nine contempt orders against him.  When the husband later filed an appeal, the wife moved to dismiss, claiming that the husband’s “persistent contemptuous conduct demonstrate[d] a manifest disregard and deliberate defiance of the court’s orders.”

The Court’s Findings

The Appellate Court agreed.  In furtherance of its decision, the Court explained that it has discretion to dismiss an appeal where the appellant is in contempt of the trial court’s orders.  Although such instances are rare, the Court has acted in cases where there was “clearly a calculated and continued pattern of contemptuous behavior in defiance of the authority of the courts of this state.”  Bubrosky v. Bubrosky, 129 Conn. App. 338 (2011).

The Court will look at a number of factors, including the number of times the appellant was held in contempt, whether it is likely that the appellant will continue to frustrate orders of the court issued in connection with the same matter, whether the appellant has appeared when summoned to court, and whether the appellant has ever purged himself of the contempt.  Id.

In this particular case, the Court found that the husband was held in contempt nine times since the filing of his appeal, that he had not amended his appeal to challenge the contempt findings, that he failed to appeared in court on several occasions, and that there was nothing in the record to suggest that he would comply with additional orders.

By: Attorney Joseph Maya, Esq.

Should you have any questions regarding the enforcement of divorce orders, or matrimonial matters in general, please feel free to contact Attorney Joseph Maya He can be reached in the firm’s Westport office at (203) 221-3100 or by e-mail at jmaya@mayalaw.com.

Our firm in Westport 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.

Appellate Court Holds that Order Awarding Wife Rental Income from Former Marital Residence Constituted Impermissible Post Judgment Property Assignment

In a decision released on September 11, 2012, the Connecticut Appellate Court held that a post judgment trial court order permitting an ex-wife to rent the parties’ former marital residence, and use the proceeds to pay the mortgage, constituted an unauthorized post judgment property assignment.  Pursuant to the original dissolution judgment, the wife was awarded exclusive use and possession of the former marital residence.  The judgment also provided that the home would remain on the market for sale, with each party responsible for one-half of the monthly mortgage payments until it was sold.

Motion for Contempt

Following the parties’ divorce, the ex-husband stopped paying his one-half share of the monthly mortgage obligation.  The ex-wife filed a motion for contempt, and after a hearing, the court found that the husband was in fact in willful violation of the court’s orders.  The ex-wife subsequently filed a post judgment motion for modification requesting permission to rent the home so she could use the proceeds to pay the mortgage.  According to the wife, the husband was still in default, and since she was unable to pay the entire amount, the home would likely be foreclosed upon.  The court granted the ex-wife’s request.

Years later the wife once again moved for a finding of contempt against the husband for failing to pay one-half of the mortgage, and prevailed.  The husband appealed, claiming that by requiring him to contribute toward the monthly payment, despite the fact that the rental income covered the monthly payments in full, the court effectively awarded the wife his one-half share of the rental proceeds.  According the husband, the court’s order constituted an impermissible post judgment property assignment.

The Court’s Decision

The Appellate Court agreed.  In reaching its decision, it noted that, “The court’s judgment in an action for dissolution of a marriage is final and binding upon the parties, where no appeal is taken therefrom, unless and to the extent that statutes, the common law or rules of court permit the setting aside or modification of that judgment..”  Buehler v. Buehler, 138 Conn. App. 63 (2012).  Although C.G.S. § 46b-86(a) allows for the modification of periodic alimony and child support (unless the order specifically precludes modification) the statute does not apply to property assignments under C.G.S. § 46b-81.

As the Court in Buehler explained, “The statute, therefore, deprives the Superior Court of continuing jurisdiction over that portion of a dissolution judgment providing for the assignment of  property of one party to the other party under General Statutes § 46b-81.”  “Although the court has jurisdiction to assign property in connection with C.G.S. § 46b-81, that assignment is not modifiable.”  Buehler, supra.

By: Joseph Maya, Esq.

Should you have any questions regarding matrimonial matters, please feel free to contact Attorney Joseph Maya  He can be reached by telephone in the firm’s Westport office at (203) 221-3100 or by e-mail at jmaya@mayalaw.com.

Our firm in Westport 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.