Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Waterbury, Waterbury
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
Robert Nastri, Jr., J.
The plaintiff, Julia McCarthy, commenced this action for dissolution of marriage by writ of summons and complaint dated September 26, 2014, with a return date of October 28, 2014. Thereafter, the matter was tried to the court on October 8, 2015. On that date, the court heard the sworn testimony of the parties and reviewed their exhibits. The court, after carefully considering all the evidence, renders the following decision.
The plaintiff and the defendant, Kevin McCarthy, were married on July 12, 2008 in Waterbury, Connecticut. Ms. McCarthy resided in Connecticut for more than one year before she filed the complaint.
There are three minor children issue of the marriage: Lillian McCarthy, born September 11, 2009, Leah McCarthy, born February 14, 2011 and Brady McCarthy, born October 15, 2012. Neither party nor any of the children has received financial assistance from the State of Connecticut or any of its municipalities.
General Statutes § 46b-81(c) provides the statutory framework for equitable distribution of property.
In fixing the nature and value of the property, if any, to be assigned, the court . . . shall consider the length of the marriage, the causes for the . . . dissolution . . . the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, earning capacity, vocational skills, education, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties and the opportunity of each for the future acquisition of capital assets and income. The court shall also consider the contribution of each of the parties to the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation in value of their respective estates.
The court will consider each statutory factor in making an equitable distribution of the parties' property.
Ms. McCarthy is approximately forty years old. She has an Associate's Degree in Dental Hygiene and a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development. She is currently enrolled part time in a program that will lead to her becoming a Registered Nurse.
Ms. McCarthy works as a dental hygienist three days a week. She had worked more before the birth of her first child but when she returned from maternity leave, the additional hours had been given to another hygienist. She occasionally works at another dental office. She has a gross weekly income of $1, 068 and net weekly income of $849. She is pursuing a nursing degree so that when her youngest child reaches school age--in about three and a half years--she can obtain a better paying job with benefits. Ms. McCarthy is in good health; she is not pregnant.
Mr. McCarthy is forty-five years old. In 1991, he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Business Marketing from New Hampshire College. He has been employed as a fire fighter by the City of Waterbury for slightly more than the last twenty-one years. In addition, he works as a painter for and is a member of McShea Painting, LLC. His gross weekly income is $1, 510 and his net weekly income is $871. Mr. McCarthy is in good health except for emotional stress for which he is seeing a counselor and occasionally taking medication.
Issues in the Marriage
In late 2009 or early 2010, Mr. McCarthy entered into an extra-marital affair with Chrystal Moore. Sometime in the summer of 2010 Ms. Moore became pregnant with Mr. McCarthy's child--Preston Moore, born March 8, 2011. Ms. McCarthy became pregnant with the parties' second child at about the same time. Mr. McCarthy ended his relationship with Ms. Moore the same summer. In December 2010, Ms. McCarthy received a letter from Ms. Moore describing her relationship with Mr. McCarthy and advising Ms. McCarthy of the impending birth of Ms. Moore's child. Knowledge of the affair rocked the marriage but did not end it. The parties were together for almost four years after Ms. McCarthy learned of the affair; they had a third child during that time. The court declines to find fault for the breakdown of the marriage.
I. Parenting Plan
The parties shall have joint legal custody of their minor children who will live with Ms. McCarthy. The parties' October 7, 2015 Parenting Plan and Custody Agreement is fair and equitable under all the circumstances and is in the best interests of the children. Consequently, it is approved and incorporated into this judgment. The parties' June 30, 2015 Stipulation--made an order of the court on that date--contained a parenting plan. (Stipulation, ¶ 4.) That Stipulation is also incorporated into this judgment. To the extent there is any discrepancy between the October 7, 2015 Parenting Plan and Custody Agreement and the June 30, 2015 Stipulation, the terms of the October 7, 2015 Parenting Plan and Custody Agreement shall prevail.
Each parent shall use all reasonable efforts to maintain and promote free and unhampered contact, including telephone contact, between each child and the other parent. Neither parent shall make any derogatory comments about the other parent to or within the hearing of any of the children. Neither parent will say or do anything intended to or likely to have the effect of estranging a child from the other parent, injuring the opinion of a child toward the other parent or impairing the natural development of a child's love and respect for the other parent.
Each parent shall continue to have a full and active role in making all decisions in the children's lives, including but not limited to, education, religious training and practices, camps and major medical (including optical, psychological and psychiatric) or dental (including orthodontic) treatment. These orders shall not prevent either parent from making a bona fide emergency medical decision for a child without first consulting with the other parent, so long as the other parent is informed and consulted as soon as is practicable, given the nature of the emergency. The parents shall consult with each other regarding all major decisions in the children's lives and shall provide each other with any authorizations necessary so as to allow both parents to obtain medical and educational information about the children. Each parent shall notify the other of pending events concerning the children's medical conditions, education, extracurricular activities, religious and social life and shall provide the other with copies of any documents in his or her possession relating to these areas, ...