The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

by Roy, Christopher

 

AC42950 - Ross v. Ross ("The defendant, Benjamin Ross, appeals from the judgment of the trial court issuing postdissolution financial orders, as well as awarding attorney's fees and costs in favor of the plaintiff, Lauri Ross. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) abused its discretion by failing to apply the child support guidelines, (2) erred by modifying the unallocated alimony and child support order without first unbundling the child support portion from the original order, and (3) abused its discretion by ordering the defendant to pay the plaintiff's attorney's fees. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42299 - Casiraghi v. Casiraghi ("The plaintiff, Christopher Casiraghi, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered on three postdissolution motions for contempt filed by the defendant, Paula Casiraghi. Specifically, the court granted two of the motions for contempt, concluding that the plaintiff wilfully had failed to pay in full his unallocated alimony and child support obligation to the defendant or to make required installment payments toward the satisfaction of a lump sum property distribution award. The court denied a third motion for contempt that alleged that the plaintiff wilfully violated the parties' separation agreement (agreement), which was incorporated into the dissolution judgment, by making a postdissolution investment in a CrossFit franchise, but nonetheless made a finding that the investment had breached the parties' agreement.

On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) determined that he wilfully had failed to comply with his financial obligations to the defendant despite a lack of any finding by the court regarding his assertion that he lacked the ability to pay, and (2) found that his investment in the CrossFit franchise breached the parties' agreement despite also finding that he was current on his financial obligations to the defendant at the time that the investment was made, which, according to the express terms of the agreement, rendered the investment permissible. For the reasons that follow, we agree that the court improperly granted the defendant's motions for contempt regarding the unallocated support orders and the installment payments on the lump sum property award because the court failed to consider and to determine whether the plaintiff had the ability to pay. We further agree that the court's finding that the plaintiff breached the agreement by investing in the CrossFit franchise was clearly erroneous. We accordingly reverse those aspects of the trial court's judgment, including the court's remedial orders, and remand for further proceedings on the improperly granted motions for contempt. We otherwise affirm the judgment of the court.")