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Peixotov. Peixoto

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

October 2, 2018

KATHERINE B. PEIXOTO
v.
MARK M. PEIXOTO

          Argued May 24, 2018

         Procedural History

         Action for the dissolution of a marriage, and for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Stamford-Norwalk and tried to the court, Hon. Stanley Novack, judge trial referee; judgment dissolving the marriage and granting certain other relief; thereafter, the court, Colin, J., granted the plaintiff's motion for modification of alimony and child support, and the defendant appealed to this court. Affirmed.

          Barbara M. Schellenberg, with whom, on the brief, was Rachel A. Pencu, for the appellant (defendant).

          Katherine B. Peixoto, the appellee (plaintiff), filed a brief.

          DiPentima, C. J., and Elgo and Pellegrino, Js.

          OPINION

          PELLEGRINO, J.

         The defendant, Mark M. Peixoto, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the postjudgment motion for modification of alimony filed by the plaintiff, Katherine B. Peixoto.[1] On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in granting the modification of alimony after it ‘‘improperly construed the legal standards set forth by the Connecticut Supreme Court in Dan v. Dan, [315 Conn. 1');">315 Conn. 1, 105 A.3d 118 (2014)].'' We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         The following procedural history, along with the facts as found by the trial court, Colin, J., inform our review. ‘‘The marriage of the parties was dissolved on December 2, 2014. At that time, the parties had been married for nearly nine years. They have two minor children (now ages eleven and nine), who reside primarily with the plaintiff-mother in a two-family home in Westport . . . . Although the defendant resided in New Jersey at the time of the dissolution of marriage action, he did not file an appearance in the proceedings; thus, the matter proceeded as an unopposed hearing before the court . . . on December 2, 2014. A financial affidavit for the defendant was not filed at that time. The court entered certain financial orders.

         ‘‘The defendant was ordered to pay (1) child support in accordance with the child support guidelines in the amount of $320 per week; (2) $240 per week for childcare expenses . . . which represented one half of the childcare expenses at that time; and (3) periodic alimony in the amount of $500 per month until the death of either party, the remarriage of the plaintiff, or December 31, 2019, whichever first occurs.

         ‘‘The plaintiff now seeks an increase in these financial orders and alleges in her motion that ‘[a] substantial change of circumstances has arisen since the entry of the orders of the court on December 2, 2014, in that the defendant's income has significantly increased.' She now seeks (1) child support of $471 per week in accordance with the current child support guidelines; (2) 55 [percent] of the cost of childcare expense . . . and (3) $1500 per month in alimony. The plaintiff also seeks to have these increased orders become effective retroactively to the date of filing of her motion.''[2]

         The court also found: ‘‘The current child support guidelines provide for a presumptive child support award of $471 per week from [the defendant to the plaintiff] and a division of unreimbursed medical expenses and childcare contributions as follows: 55 [percent] to be paid by [the defendant] and 45 [percent] to be paid by [the plaintiff]. This is based on the following net weekly incomes: $1350 for [the plaintiff] and $2683 by [the defendant].

         ‘‘The [defendant's] net weekly income at the time of the divorce in December, 2014, was reported to be $1669. However, that understated the defendant's actual income. The child support guidelines worksheet submitted to the dissolution court was based on the defendant having a gross annual income of $125, 000 per year. The defendant's actual base salary at that time was $150, 000 per year. This is the same base annual salary that the defendant now earns from his current employment.

         ‘‘The defendant's gross annual income in 2016 was $201, 465. The dissolution court in 2014 assumed a gross annual income of $125, 000. Thus, the plaintiff has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant's income has substantially increased since the date of the dissolution ...


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