Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of New London, Norwich
Josephine R. Miano
Aaron M. Talbot
Filed Date September 28, 2015
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON APPLICATION FOR CUSTODY (No. 101), AMENDED MOTION FOR CONTEMPT (No. 130), AND MOTION TO MODIFY CHILD SUPPORT, PENDENTE LITE (No. 131)
Susan A. Connors, J.
This matter came before the court on the applicant mother's (" Mother") Application for Custody filed October 29, 2014 and her amended motions for contempt and to modify child support. Mother seeks to hold the respondent father (" Father") in contempt of court for failure to pay his child support, child care and unreimbursed medical expense obligations in accordance with court orders. Additionally, she seeks to modify the child support order retroactive to August 6, 2015, the date of filing of the motion, alleging a substantial change in circumstances founded on a claim of increased earnings on the part of Father.
A trial was held over the course of two days on September 22, 2015 and September 23, 2015 during which time the court heard testimony from both parties, the child's therapist and the child's former preschool provider. Mother was represented by Attorney Kelly S. Therrien of Farrell, Geenty, Sheeley, Boccalatte & Guarino, P.C. Father was self represented.
The court has considered all of the testimony offered during the trial and the pendente lite proceedings of which it took judicial notice and its observation of the demeanor and attitude of the parties. All of the exhibits have been carefully reviewed and considered. After considering the statutory criteria, proposed orders and applicable case law, the court makes the following findings and enters the following orders.
1. The applicant is the mother of the minor child, Mark Aaron Miano-Talbot born May 18, 2010 and the respondent is the father.
2. The applicant and the respondent are living separate and apart.
3. The child has resided within Connecticut since birth and the court has jurisdiction over issues regarding his custody and care.
4. There are no other cases pending in any other court affecting custody of the minor child.
5. Neither the state of State of Connecticut nor any municipality has contributed to the support or maintenance of the parties or their minor child.
6. The allegations of the application have been proven.
7. Both parents are loving and appropriate parents who are bonded with the child and both have suitable homes for the child.
8. The parties were in a tumultuous relationship with one another.
9. In late Fall of 2013 they engaged in an argument that occurred in the garage area of the family home. The minor child was in his car seat in his Mother's vehicle at the time. Mother had come back from grocery shopping and had asked Father to watch the child so that she could go get her hair done. He responded that he either would not or could not. An argument ensued. Mother struck Father over the head with a pair of Father's work gloves. In response he charged at her and choked her. He left marks on her. As a result of the incident Father was arrested and attended anger management classes.
10. The minor child told his preschool provider about the incident which precipitated a note being sent home to the parties and a meeting taking place between the parties and the preschool teacher.
11. On other occasions the minor child acted out with aggressive behavior at preschool precipitating additional notes being sent home to the parties informing them of the same.
12. In large part as a result of the incidents referenced in Paragraphs 9-11 above, Father's parenting time with the minor child has been limited to approximately nine (9) hours per week.
13. Father is in his early forty's and has no other record of violence directed towards anyone other than Mother. This court does not condone Father's behavior or any form of violence, but does not believe that Father poses a risk to the child.
14. There was no evidence that Father in any way has physically harmed the minor child.
15. The minor child is not fearful of Father.
16. The minor child desires more time with Father.
17. The credibility of Mother was called into question by her inability to recall certain events. Most notably she testified that she did not receive checks directly from Father representing payment of sums owed. When presented with the canceled checks signed by her, she testified that the reason she did not recall receiving them was because she had perhaps deposited them into the child's 529 account as opposed to one of her own ...