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 Opinion

by Roy, Christopher


AC42539 - Leonova v. Leonov ("The defendant, Stanislav Leonov, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, dissolving his marriage to the plaintiff, Alina Leonova, which included a finding of contempt against the defendant, and from two postjudgment orders awarding the plaintiff attorney's fees incurred in connection with postdissolution proceedings and her defense of this appeal. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) abused its discretion by improperly basing supplemental alimony awarded to the plaintiff on the defendant's gross, rather than net, bonus income, (2) acted in excess of its statutory authority when it ordered the parties to establish and to contribute to education savings plans established pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 529 (§ 529 plans) for the benefit of each of the two minor children, (3) acted in excess of its statutory authority when it found the defendant in contempt for an alleged violation of the automatic orders set forth in Practice Book § 25-5, despite the fact that there was no contempt motion pending, (4) abused its discretion when it found the defendant in contempt for two violations of the automatic orders where the defendant's financial expenditures fell within the 'usual course of business' exception to the rule, (5) abused its discretion by failing to attribute an earning capacity to the plaintiff in determining alimony and child support, and (6) in violation of the directive of General Statutes § 46b-62 (a) and relevant decisional law, improperly awarded the plaintiff attorney's fees for representation during the marital dissolution proceedings, postjudgment matters and this appeal. We agree with the defendant's third claim only. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of dissolution only with respect to one of the contempt findings, and remand the case to the trial court with direction to vacate its finding that the defendant was in contempt with respect to one of the violations of the automatic orders alleged by the plaintiff. We affirm the judgment and postjudgment orders of the court in all other respects.")