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Boreen v. Boreen

Appellate Court of Connecticut

September 3, 2019

MAYA BOREEN
v.
KEVIN A. BOREEN

         Argued April 23, 2019

Page 1041

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1042

         

          Appeal from Superior Court in the judicial district of Stamford-Norwalk, Hon. Stanley Novack, judge

         COUNSEL:

          James H. Lee, for the appellant (plaintiff).

          Thomas M. Shanley, for the appellee (defendant).

          Judges: DiPentima, C. J., and Alvord and Diana, Js. DIANA, J. In this opinion the other judges concurred.

          OPINION

Page 1043

          [192 Conn.App. 305] DIANA, J.

          The plaintiff, Maya Boreen, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the postjudgment motion filed by the defendant, Kevin A. Boreen, to terminate alimony, to determine overpayments, and to set a repayment schedule on the ground that, under the parties' separation agreement, the defendant's alimony obligation terminated upon the court's finding that the plaintiff was " living with another person." The plaintiff claims that the court (1) erred in finding that she was " living with another person" pursuant to General Statutes § 46b-86 (b),[1] and (2) improperly concluded that the only remedy available upon a finding that she was " living with another person" was to terminate the defendant's alimony obligation. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         [192 Conn.App. 306] The following procedural history and facts, as found by the trial court, are relevant to this appeal. The twenty-four year marriage between the parties was dissolved on September 29, 2009. The parties executed a separation agreement, which was approved by the court and incorporated in the dissolution decree by reference. The separation agreement provides that

Page 1044

the defendant was to pay alimony to the plaintiff " until the earliest of the [defendant's] death, the [plaintiff's] death, the [plaintiff's] remarriage or 'living with another person' as defined in [Article] 2.2 [of the separation agreement]." Article 2.2 of the agreement provides in relevant part: " The [defendant's] obligation to pay alimony shall terminate on the date . . . the [c]ourt determines [the plaintiff] commenced 'living with another person.' . . . For purposes of this Agreement, the [plaintiff] shall be deemed to have been 'living with another person' in the event a court of competent jurisdiction makes a finding that the alimony should terminate or be reduced pursuant to the provisions of [General Statutes] § 46b-86 (b)." [2]

          In December, 2009, the plaintiff began dating Robert Rodriguez. On March 13, 2017, the defendant filed a motion to terminate alimony, to determine overpayments, and to set a repayment schedule, claiming that, although the plaintiff still maintained her own home, she had been living with Rodriguez within the meaning of § 46b-86 (b) since July, 2013, such that her financial needs had been altered. At the hearing on the defendant's motion, Rodriguez testified that, although he began dating the plaintiff in 2009, he had only owned and maintained a home in Wilton since July, 2013. The [192 Conn.App. 307] plaintiff's home, which she purchased in August, 2011, is also located in Wilton. Rodriguez testified that the couple spends " between three and four" nights together each week at one of their respective homes, but that neither of them contribute to the maintenance of the other's residence. He further testified that the plaintiff typically cooks for the couple twice per week and that he pays for their meals when they eat out more than half, and possibly as much as 75 percent of the time. Further, the plaintiff, who works part-time as an artist, keeps a rent-free art studio at Rodriguez's home in Wilton.

          Importantly, Rodriguez admitted that in approximately January, 2015, he added the plaintiff to his health insurance policy and indicated on the enrollment form that the plaintiff was his " domestic partner." Before receiving health insurance coverage as a domestic partner under Rodriguez' policy, the plaintiff's insurance company required her to pay annually a $6000 deductible and a 20 percent co-pay. Under Rodriguez' health insurance policy, the deductible is $750 per incident. The plaintiff's total estimated share of the health insurance premium payments that had been made on her behalf by Rodriguez was, at the time of trial, in excess of $26,000. Although Rodriguez testified that the plaintiff had agreed to reimburse him for her portion of the health insurance premium, that agreement was not reduced to writing and the plaintiff had made no reimbursement payments to Rodriguez at the time of the hearing on the defendant's motion.

          The court granted the defendant's motion in a memorandum of decision dated October 31, 2017, finding that " at least since January, 2015, the parties have been living together, and that the arrangement has altered the financial needs of [the plaintiff] within the meaning of General Statutes § ...


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