Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of New Haven, Meriden
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
Corinne L. Klatt, Judge.
The plaintiff who was a resident of Meriden, Connecticut, initiated this action for dissolution of marriage with a complaint that was returned to the court on June 17, 2014. At the time the plaintiff and defendant were residents of Meriden, Connecticut.
The court finds that it has jurisdiction and that all statutory stays have expired.
A limited contested trial was held before this court on July 22, and July 23, 2015. Final argument and proposed orders were submitted on August 10, 2015. Both parties appeared at trial and were represented by counsel.
The court has fully considered the criteria of C.G.S. Sec. 46b-40-86, as well as the evidence, applicable case law, the demeanor and credibility of the witnesses, and arguments of counsel in reaching the decisions reflected in the orders that issue in this decision.
The court finds that the following facts were proven by a preponderance of the evidence:
1. The plaintiff, whose maiden name was Masterson, and the defendant were married on June 6, 1992, in Wallingford, CT.
2. One of the parties has resided continuously in the state of Connecticut for at least one year prior to the commencement of this action.
3. The marriage of the parties has broken down irretrievably without the prospect of reconciliation. Neither party is more to blame for the breakdown of the marriage.
4. There are no minor children of the marriage. One child is under the age of 23 and is not college bound.
5. Neither party has received financial assistance from any State or local agency.
6. Plaintiff is in good health. She has been employed as an LPN by the state Department of Veteran Affairs for the past sixteen years. Plaintiff's position is part-time, approximately 23.5 hours per week, and currently earns approximately $30/hour. She does have the opportunity for overtime and gross income is approximately $43, 450 per year. She maintains the medical insurance for the family through her employment. Throughout the marriage, she was the primary caretaker for the children and household; her employment provided a work schedule that would accommodate that role.
7. The court has difficulty finding defendant's testimony credible in many aspects.
While he was not forthcoming in many of his responses to simple questions regarding his education and training, it appears that defendant has a high school education and has earned a number of technical degree or certificates in electronics. He was briefly employed in some electrical position. Throughout most of the marriage however, he was employed as a long-distance truck driver. His employment schedule required him to be away from the home for extended periods of time. Testimony established that the typical schedule was three weeks on the road, two or three days home, then away again for three weeks. Over the past three years he has earned gross income between $45, 000 and $60, 000 per year.
Defendant claims he left his most recent employment in May 2014, because he was required to make beer deliveries and that he believed performing this task would jeopardize his ability to remain a recovering alcoholic. At the same time, he indicated he spends nearly $20 weekly purchasing alcohol for entertainment purposes. The defendant's income tax return for 2014 claimed gross wages of $22, 779, unemployment income of $18, 225, for a total gross income of $48, 688.
Defendant was involved in a rear-end collision at the end of May 2014. The accident caused the herniation of two discs in his neck; he is currently treating with a chiropractor in Meriden. Dr. Pepin testified as to the injury and subsequent disability, indicating that while currently the defendant only suffers from mild soreness, he did not believe that defendant would be able to return to his employment as a truck and delivery operator. Defendant has applied for Social Security Disability and is waiting for a decision regarding the application.
Defendant's testimony regarding a heart condition was also contradictory and at times, nonsensical. He claims that in 2007, he had to have " stints" placed in his heart that were necessary because of a " blockage." But defendant denies any knowledge or understanding of a heart disorder. Defendant's motor vehicle application for a CDL license in 2013 claimed no medical conditions related to his heart.
This court finds that defendant's testimony was totally lacking in credibility; he appeared to simply make up his testimony as he went along. He appears ...