Posts tagged with "unallocated alimony and child support"

“Nonmodifiable,” Unallocated Support Award Deemed Modifiable Upon a Change of Primary Residence

In a decision rendered earlier this year, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that child support orders may be modified upon a change in primary residence, even where a separation agreement contains language expressly precluding such modification. In this particular case, the parties are the parents of two minor children. Following their divorce, the children lived with the mother on a primary basis. With respect to financial support, the parties’ separation agreement provided that the husband would pay unallocated periodic alimony and child support to the mother for a designated period of time. The agreement further provided that the unallocated support would be nonmodifiable as to both amount and term. Notably, the agreement did not permit modification upon a change in primary residence of the children.

At some point after the dissolution, the parties agreed to transfer primary physical custody of the children to the father. Shortly thereafter, the father filed a motion to modify the unallocated alimony and child support award based on the change in primary residence. The mother opposed the motion, however, claiming that the parties’ separation agreement expressly precluded modification.

At the trial court level, the father testified that since the children moved into his home on a primary basis, he had been covering additional expenses including cellular telephone bills, extra-curricular activities, entertainment and transportation for the children. Although neither party presented evidence to suggest that the children’s needs were not being met, and despite the aforementioned language precluding modification, the court held that the unallocated order was modifiable. When the Connecticut Appellate Court disagreed, the father appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

The Connecticut Supreme Court concluded that where primary physical custody is transferred from a child support recipient to a child support payor, a provision precluding modification of an unallocated financial award does not in fact prevent modification of the child support component. In reaching its decision, the Court relied primarily on C.G.S. § 46b-224, which essentially provides that whenever the Superior Court orders a change in custody of children who are the subject of preexisting support orders, such change in custody shall operate to suspend the support order if custody is transferred to the child support obligor, or modify the designated payee of the support order to be the person awarded guardianship or custody. In other words, as the Court explained, “if the obligor becomes the new primary custodial parent, the obligor is no longer required to pay child support to the former custodian.” Tomlinson v. Tomlinson, 305 Conn. 529 (2012). The Court further articulated, “…the originally designated payee who no longer has custody of the child does not continue to receive support payments following the change in custody, and the payments are retained by or redirected to the party who does have custody.” Id. The Court further held that C.G.S. § 46b-224 operates automatically regardless of the terms of a separation agreement.

Should you have any questions regarding child support modifications, or divorce related matters in general, please feel free to contact Attorney Michael D. DeMeola, Esq. He can be reached in the firm’s Westport office at (203) 221-3100 or by e-mail at mdemeola@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.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a divorce or familial matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100 for a free consultation. Divorce is difficult, education is power. Call today.

Keywords: divorce lawyer, divorce, lawyer, attorney, law firm, law office, legal advice, bankruptcy, CT divorce attorney, domestic violence rights, Connecticut, Connecticut divorce lawyers, marital property rights, CT divorce mediation, legal separation Connecticut, child custody laws, child support litigation, contested, uncontested, annulments, alimony, mediator, spouse, spousal support law, asset division, visitation right, premarital agreements, prenup, prenuptial agreement, prenup NY, restraining orders, appeals, custody modifications, legal separation CT, prenup CT, custody CT, filing divorce, filing, new, new haven, lawyers, attorneys, family law, family, Connecticut divorce attorney, divorce law, matrimonial law, custody, child custody CT, property division, dissolution of marriage, marriage, divorce NY, New York divorce, best divorce lawyer, visitation, visitation rights, post marital agreements, divorce law firm

Continue Reading

Court Finds that Husband Dissipated Marital Assets in Divorce Action

A Connecticut Appellate Court decision rendered subsequent to the Connecticut Supreme Court’s ruling in Gershman v. Gershman, 286 Conn. 341 (2007), further demonstrates the circumstances under which courts may conclude that a spouse has engaged in the dissipation of martial assets. In Shaulson v. Shaulson, 125 Conn. App. 734 (2010), the parties were divorced in 2008 following a trial on financial issues. In its decision, the trial court found that the husband had dissipated large sums of the parties’ savings in violation of the automatic court orders, and, consequently, charged that spending to the husband’s share of the marital estate. Shaulson at 736. With respect to financial support, the court ordered the husband to pay $40,000 per month in unallocated alimony and child support, as well as 25% percent of his gross income over $1 million. The court also awarded the wife the marital home and two adjacent lots owned by the parties.

The husband appealed, claiming that the trial court improperly concluded that he had dissipated marital assets in violation of the automatic orders by spending $150,000 to furnish his new home, and that the court improperly charged the alleged dissipation against his share of the marital assets. The husband essentially claimed that expenditures made to furnish a new home, particularly a home in which the parties’ minor children spend a significant amount of time, cannot amount to the dissipation of assets as a matter of law.

The Connecticut Appellate Court declined to adopt the husband’s position. In its decision, the Court explained that while under the Gershman holding, dissipation in the marital dissolution context requires financial misconduct involving marital assets, such as intentional waste or a selfish financial impropriety coupled with a purpose unrelated to the marriage, an analysis must be made on a case by case basis. Shaulson, at 740.

Concluding that the husband had in fact dissipated marital assets, the Court explained that it was appropriate for the trial court to consider the husband’s spending on furniture for his new home in conjunction with his other spending during the pendency of the action, which the court calculated to be somewhere between $250,000 and $485,000 for trips, gifts to his fiancé and other furnishings. The Appellate Court also took into consideration the fact that the trial court found that the husband’s expenditures were inconsistent with his historical spending habits on furniture, that there was no justification for the $150,000 expenditures and that the expenditures were actually detrimental to the family.

Should you have any questions regarding the dissipation of marital property, or divorce matters in general, please feel free to contact Attorney Michael D. DeMeola, Esq. He can be reached in the firm’s Westport office at (203) 221-3100 or by e-mail at mdemeola@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.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a divorce or familial matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100 for a free consultation. Divorce is difficult, education is power. Call today.

Keywords: divorce lawyer, divorce, lawyer, attorney, law firm, law office, legal advice, bankruptcy, CT divorce attorney, domestic violence rights, Connecticut, Connecticut divorce lawyers, marital property rights, CT divorce mediation, legal separation Connecticut, child custody laws, child support litigation, contested, uncontested, annulments, alimony, mediator, spouse, spousal support law, asset division, visitation right, premarital agreements, prenup, prenuptial agreement, prenup NY, restraining orders, appeals, custody modifications, legal separation CT, prenup CT, custody CT, filing divorce, filing, new, new haven, lawyers, attorneys, family law, family, Connecticut divorce attorney, divorce law, matrimonial law, custody, child custody CT, property division, dissolution of marriage, marriage, divorce NY, New York divorce, best divorce lawyer, visitation, visitation rights, post marital agreements, divorce law firm

Continue Reading