Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of New Haven, Meriden
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
Corinne L. Klatt, J.
The plaintiff who was a resident of Cheshire, Connecticut initiated this action for dissolution of marriage with a complaint that was returned to the court on December 31, 2013. At the time the defendant was a resident of Cheshire, 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 September 30 and October 2, 2015. Both parties appeared at trial and were represented by counsel.
The court has fully considered the criteria of C.G.S. Sec. 46b-40-82, 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 Henderson, and the defendant were married on December 29, 1990 at Bangor, Maine.
2. Both of the parties have 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 failure of the marriage.
4. There are four children born to the wife since the date of the marriage: Samuel, born September 8, 1992, Anne-Marie, born October 6, 1994, Charlotte, born April 12, 2004, and Benjamin, born May 7, 2007.
5. Neither party has received financial assistance from any State or local agency.
6. The Guardian Ad Litem has submitted proposed orders regarding custody and parenting time; which the court finds to be in the two minor children's best interest.
7. Both parties are in good health.
8. Plaintiff has a two-year degree in business management and a bachelor's degree in Marketing. After all the children were born, she attended local community college and received certificates in landscape design and horticulture.
The plaintiff is currently employed seasonally by a local plant nursery. She has held this position for the past ten years. She refers to her employment as part-time: depending on the month of the year, she will have anywhere from minimal hours to full-time. She grosses approximately $12, 000 per year from this employment. She does receive unemployment for the time period when the business is closed for the season. Plaintiff supplements her income with private landscaping jobs, earning her approximately $2, 000 per year.
For the entirety of the marriage, plaintiff remained at home caring for the children. Her part-time employment was intended to merely get her out of the house; it was not intended to pay for the household expenses.
Defendant has a bachelor's degree in marine engineering; his employment history has been entirely in the electric power plant industry. While there were periods of unemployment, for most of the marriage the defendant was steadily employed in this industry. The couple relocated to several different states over the course of the marriage; in essence following his jobs. Defendant has been employed by Yale University at their power plant since July 2005. He currently grosses approximately $100, 000 per year. For the entirety of the marriage, his income provided the main financial support for the family.
9. Assets owned by the parties:
a) The marital residence located at Oak Avenue, Cheshire, Connecticut; the home is valued at approximately $285, 000 and secured by a mortgage in the amount of $269, 000;
b) 2011 Volkswagen;
c) 2003 GMC;
d) 2005 Subaru;
e) Various retirement accounts totaling $218, 624;
f) Various checking and savings accounts totaling $1, 163.
The parties have previously divided their personal property to their mutual satisfaction and each party shall retain those items currently in his/her possession. In the event that there is any dispute with regard to any undivided personal property, the parties have agreed to binding arbitration with the costs split equally between them.
10. The court finds that had the family remained intact, the parties would have provided support to each child for higher education.
11. The plaintiff's father testified that her parents would be willing to help with the mortgage payment should the plaintiff be awarded the marital home. The court finds these payments to be recurring gifts to be included in plaintiff's income.
12. The plaintiff was the primary caretaker of the home and children as the defendant's employment often left him away from the household for long stretches of time. Plaintiff made many of the normal major decisions of the household on her own without defendant's involvement; the defendant simply went along with her decisions. When the disputes arose that led to the deterioration of the marriage, plaintiff reacted poorly when the defendant would object or disagree with her decisions. This dynamic appears to continue between the parties. As such, the parties would benefit from co-parenting counseling before their animosity involves the children.
The marriage is hereby dissolved on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. The parties are declared to be single and unmarried.
Custody and Support
The court adopts the parenting plan as recommended by the GAL and incorporates it into the judgment. (Court Exhibit #1.)
The defendant shall pay child support in the amount of $369.00 per week in accordance with the child support guidelines as prepared by plaintiff's counsel. (" Attachment" Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines.*) Said child ...