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Family Law

Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1899

AC39241 - Toland v. Toland ("The plaintiff, Lita Wickser Toland, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dissolving her marriage to the defendant, John Gerard Toland, rendered after the court denied her motion to vacate and granted the defendant’s motion to confirm an arbitrator’s award. On appeal, the plaintiff claims (1) that the arbitration proceeding involved a restricted submission, warranting expanded judicial review of the arbitrator’s award of alimony and property division. Alternatively, she argues that the trial court improperly confirmed the award because: (2) the award violates the public policy underlying General Statutes §§ 46b-81 and 46b-82 and case law construing those statutes; (3) the award contravenes General Statutes § 52-418 given the arbitrator’s evident partiality and manifest disregard of the law; (4) the trial court committed plain error by confirming the arbitrator’s decision; and (5) the arbitrator improperly awarded attorney’s fees. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38991 - Kimberly C. v. Anthony C. ("The plaintiff, Kimberly C., appeals from the judgment of the trial court dissolving her marriage to the defendant, Anthony C. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) awarded the parties joint legal custody of their minor child by relitigating the issue of the occurrence of domestic violence between the parties when that issue had been determined in a prior proceeding and the court was bound by the finding on domestic violence in that proceeding by virtue of the doctrine of collateral estoppel, and (2) denied the plaintiff’s motions for sexual behavior evaluation and substance abuse evaluation of the defendant. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")




Family Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=833

SC19640 - Cohen v. Cohen ("The marriage of the plaintiff, Ruth Cohen, and the defendant, Franklin Cohen, was dissolved in 2002. At that time, the trial court, Hon.Dennis Harrigan, judge trial referee, incorporated their separation agreement, which contained a provision requiring the defendant to pay alimony to the plaintiff, into the divorce decree. In 2010, the defendant filed a motion to modify the alimony provision of the divorce decree on the ground that his income had declined significantly. The trial court, Shay, J., granted that motion by way of a corrected memorandum of decision in 2012. In 2013, the plaintiff filed a motion to modify the 2012 modification order on the ground that the defendant’s income had substantially increased. The trial court, Colin, J., granted that motion. The defendant then filed this appeal claiming, among other things, that Judge Colin improperly (1) based his conclusion that there had been a significant change in the parties’ financial circumstances warranting a modification of the 2012 modification order on a comparison of their current circumstances to their circumstances at the time of the divorce decree, instead of their circumstances at the time of the previous 2012 modification order, (2) considered the plaintiff’s motion for modification when it was ‘legally insufficient’ on its face, (3) considered certain evidence in support of his conclusion that the 2012 modification order should be modified, and (4) rendered an illegal ‘lifetime profit sharing order.’ We reject these claims and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=802

AC38940 - Baronio v. Stubbs ("The defendant, Donna Stubbs, appeals from the judgment of the trial court awarding her and the plaintiff, Pascal Baronio, joint legal custody of their minor child. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court: (1) ‘erred in presuming that shared physical custody was in the child’s best interest where there was not an agreement by the defendant to an award of joint legal custody within the meaning of General Statutes § 46b-56a (b)’; and (2) ‘committed plain error by stating during pendente lite proceedings that it wanted to see an increase in the plaintiff’s parenting time, and by indicating before it heard all the evidence at trial that it was inclined to award joint legal custody to the plaintiff.’ We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=777

AC38347 - Kent v. DiPaola ("The plaintiff, Richard Kent, appeals from the judgment of the trial court setting forth financial orders incident to the dissolution of his marriage to the defendant, Florence DiPaola. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred with respect to its orders regarding the defendant’s pensions, the marital home and the percentage of the marital estate that was awarded to him. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=723

AC38050 - Spencer v. Spencer ("The plaintiff, Brenna M. Spencer, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying her motions for contempt and granting the motion for modification and termination of alimony filed by the defendant, Robert B. Spencer. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in (1) terminating alimony on the basis of her cohabitation, (2) modifying alimony on the basis of a substantial change in the defendant’s financial circumstances, and (3) denying her motion for contempt. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38865 - Ray v. Ray ("The plaintiff, Deepali Ray, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the postjudgment motion brought by the defendant, Surajit D. Ray, for an order establishing his child support obligation to the plaintiff in accordance with the state’s child support and arrearage guidelines (guidelines), Regs. Conn. State Agencies § 46b-215a-1 et seq. The plaintiff also appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after argument, denying the relief requested in her postjudgment motion for reargument and reconsideration. The defendant sought an order establishing his child support obligation when, pursuant to the judgment of dissolution rendered on August 11, 2008, his unallocated alimony and child support obligation had terminated. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred by (1) establishing the defendant’s child support obligation without making a finding as to his net income, (2) making findings as to the parties’ gross and net incomes based upon an unsworn child support guidelines worksheet (guidelines worksheet) prepared by a family relations officer where the information on the guidelines worksheet was contrary to the evidence, and (3) failing to take into account the defendant’s income in excess of his base salary when it determined his child support obligation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38407 - Garvey v. Valencis ("The plaintiff, Denise A. Garvey, appeals from the judgment of the trial court sustaining the emergency ex parte custody order entered pursuant to General Statutes § 46b-56f denying the plaintiff visitation with the parties’ child. The order was entered pursuant to the application of the defendant, Stanley M. Valencis. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that: (1) the court improperly entered and extended the emergency ex parte custody order in violation of § 46b-56f, Practice Book § 4-5, and the plaintiff’s constitutional right to due process, and (2) there was insufficient evidence to conclude, as the court did, that the incident giving rise to the emergency ex parte order constituted an immediate and present risk of psychological harm to the child. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC37473 - Bruno v. Bruno ("This appeal arises out of several postjudgment orders following the judgment of the trial court dissolving the parties’ marriage. On appeal, the defendant, Lisa Bruno, claims that the court erred in (1) vacating prior awards of postjudgment interest on remand from this court, (2) employing an incorrect time frame and improper rate in calculating subsequent awards of postjudgment interest, and (3) finding her in contempt for failure to follow a court order. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")