2003 Ct. Sup. 8692
No. FA 01 0186329 SConnecticut Superior Court, Judicial District of Stamford-Norwalk at Stamford
July 1, 2003

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This case is unpublished as indicated by the issuing court.]


The plaintiff husband, 57, and the defendant wife, 54, whose birth name is Shedden, married in Ossining, New York on January 2, 1971. They have been residing in New Canaan, Connecticut for several years thereby satisfying the jurisdictional requirement for this dissolution action that was served on October 16, 2001 seeking a dissolution and a fair division of property and debts. There are two children of the marriage, Erin who is 25 years old and Ryan, 21, born June 12, 1982.

Both parties are college graduates. The plaintiff also holds an MBA. The plaintiff, an engineer, has worked for several companies. Currently he is the 97 1/2% owner of Marketmaps LLC as well as its only employee since October 1998 when his position at his most recent employer was eliminated. For the last two years he testified his adjusted gross was about $75,000. His financial affidavit filed at time of trial lists gross weekly wage of $1,322 and weekly net after taxes of $1,042.58 Although he testified to physical ailments the court concludes they do not interfere with his ability to work.

For several years after their marriage the defendant was a teacher in the Ossining, New York school system. During the marriage plaintiff’s employment caused the family to move several times. During these years the defendant was a homemaker after the older child arrived. Prior thereto she had also worked in a bank. Currently she has obtained employment with a local bank at $12 hourly rate. She had a serious bicycle accident requiring several operations to repair facial injuries. She also testified to having carpel tunnel syndrome but no medical report was offered in evidence. She acknowledged receiving $10,000 as a gift from her mother in 2000 but, at her request, no gift has been made since. The court infers that the gift comes within the purview o Unkelbach v. McNary, 244 Conn. 350 (1998) and can be depended upon for the future.

The marital home was sold and Attorney Larry Hirsch of New Canaan is CT Page 8693 holding $80,309 of the proceeds in escrow. The parties jointly own a time share in Pompano Beach, Florida with a value of $5,500. The plaintiff has cash accounts that total $67,819.12; two IRA accounts that total $212,576; household furniture $1,000; a 2000 Chevrolet assigned $8,160 and his LLC valued at $1,000. The defendant lists three bank accounts totaling $110,879.06; 150 shares Pharmacia Monsanto stock at $43 per share; U.S. Savings Bonds $5,350; two IRA accounts totaling $43,145; $5,250 for a 1995 Plymouth and the undistributed house sales proceeds escrow account $80,000.

The responsibility for the debts of each party is an issue. The plaintiff lists several debts relating to the college education of their children as follows;

Sallie Mae — Stafford Loan $17,125.

Key Loan — Student Loan 5,023

MEFA — Student Loan 20,779

Citi Bank — Stafford Loan 6,110

In addition, he lists Silver Hill — Helen Rehab co-pay $4021 and attorneys fees plus eyeglasses ($738) $5,566.50

The defendant lists Doris Shedden (for Caron Foundation) $16,250; Cohen Wolf PC $6532.50; Chase Manhattan $750 and the same co-pay to Silver Hill $4021.

For several years the defendant did not work and, due to her alcoholism, probably could not work steadily. The plaintiff was the only credit worthy party and as such entered into the various loans listed above to enable the two children to attend college. The court finds it equitable that the parties share the responsibility for payment of the college loans and will enter an order regarding same as part of the judgment. The court will consider each parent’s income, assets and other obligations as directed to in (4) (c) (1) of the statute. The plaintiff has the greater earning capacity and the greater ability to acquire assets in the future.

The defendant drew $14,000 from their equity line of credit during the pendency of this action. She accounted for $10,00 as having been spent for legal fees and most of the balance was used for a security deposit and initial rent payment. The court finds such uses not prohibited by the automatic orders and need not be addressed in the judgment’s orders. CT Page 8694

The defendant had extensive dental work done for which the insurance carrier issued a reimbursement for $3,200 that was retained by her. The court will address this issue as part of the judgment’s orders.

The causes of the marriage breakdown are found in the defendant’s alcoholism that had been developing over the last ten years. This action for dissolution is the third one initiated, the earlier two having been withdrawn. The defendant was admitted to Silver Hill for three to four weeks for treatment. The bicycle accident described above led to her experiencing depression and an exacerbation of the condition. She eventually joined AA and has not had a drink of alcoholic beverage since December 23, 2001. By then the marriage had broken down irretrievably. The plaintiff was an enabler for he mixed drinks and failed to realize the consequences. The court is not finding greater fault on either party.

The remaining issue is the plaintiff’s request that the court enter an order pursuant to § 46b-56c Conn. Gen. Stat. Entitled Educational support orders. Their son is within the age bracket provided in (a) of the statute. The court has jurisdiction to enter such order at the time of entry of the decree of dissolution as provided in (b) (1) of the statute. No initial order for parental support was entered prior to October 1, 2002 as limited in (k) of the statute. The order is imposed on the parents and is an order separate from an order of support authorized by § 46b-61 all as provided in (b) (1-2-3-4) of the statute. The court may not enter an educational support order unless it finds as fact that it is more likely than not that the parents would have such educational support if the family were intact. In this case it is a fact that such assistance was furnished by the family while still intact. In this case Ryan testified as to his college plans. Although he had failed once the court finds his testimony credible and concludes the order sought is reasonable. He has enrolled as required by (e) of the act. An order will be made as part of the decree.

Having reviewed the evidence in light of the relevant statutes and case law the court enters the following decree.

1. Judgment is entered dissolving the marriage on the ground of irretrievable breakdown. Each party is declared to be unmarried.

2. The plaintiff shall pay $1,200 monthly to the defendant as periodic alimony, first payment due July 1, 2003 for the month of July, until the death of either party, the remarriage of the defendant or her cohabitation as the latter is defined by statute and case law. A CT Page 8695 contingent wage withholding shall issue.

3. The plaintiff shall maintain life insurance in the face amount of $300,000 naming the defendant as sole primary beneficiary for so long as the plaintiff has the obligation. This order is modifiable and is not a division of assets.

4. The Silver Hill bill balance shall be paid from the escrow.

5. The plaintiff shall be reimbursed $44,483 for the college expenses he borrowed for the two children’s education to be paid to him from the escrow

6. The balance remaining in the escrow shall be divided equally between the parties.

7. Each party shall pay their remaining liabilities as listed on their respective affidavits.

8. The parties’ four IRA accounts shall be totaled and the total divided equally between them via a rollover or a QDRO if required. Cost of the preparation of the latter shall be shared equally.

9. The plaintiff shall retain his Marketmaps LLC and the defendant shall transfer to him any interest she has in said business.

10. The plaintiff shall retain the balance in the Chase joint checking account, his individual Chase account and his A.G. Edwards account.

11. The defendant shall retain her three bank accounts, the Pharmacia/Monsanto stock and the U.S. Savings bonds.

12. Each party shall retain their respective autos as presently registered including the Chevy Malibu.

13. The Pompano Beach, Florida timeshare is ordered sold with the net proceeds divided equally.

14. An educational support order is entered requiring the plaintiff to provide 75% and the defendant to provide 25% support for Ryan to attend undergraduate school, this order to terminate on the day said child attains twenty-three years of age and limited as found in (f) of the statute.

15. Any remaining balance, if any, on the pendente orders entered in CT Page 8696 this case shall be paid in full in 30 days.

So Ordered.

HARRIGAN, J.T.R. CT Page 8697