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Court Awards Wife Her Husband’s Interest in Several Businesses

In a recent decision rendered in the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Stamford, the Court awarded to a wife her husband’s interest in three separate limited liability companies. The parties were married in 1988, and are the parents of two adult children. The wife was a real estate broker, while, according to the court, the husband was unwilling to seek, obtain or maintain gainful employment. Rather, the husband owned and/or had an interest in several businesses, as well as several properties pursuant to his interests in various limited liability companies. During the proceedings, both the husband and his associates obstructed efforts to ascertain his assets, liabilities, income and expenses. The court found the husband’s behavior so egregious as to constitute litigation misconduct. As a result of the husband’s unwillingness to cooperate with the judicial process, the court was forced to appoint an expert to determine the value of his interests in several limited liability companies and partnerships.

Although the court did not necessarily find the husband at fault for the breakdown of the parties’ marriage, it did indicate that it held his conduct during the proceedings against him in formulating its final orders. Ultimately, the court ordered the husband to pay 100% of the costs incurred for their son’s college education, including costs already incurred by the wife, ordered him solely responsible for the cost of the court appointed expert retained to valuate his business interests, ordered him to pay a considerable sum toward the wife’s counsel fees, and awarded the wife the marital residence.

The Court also ordered the husband to transfer to the wife his entire interest in three separate limited liability companies, with the wife entitled to receive all income and distributions from the entities thereafter. To the extent the companies owned any real property, the court further ordered the husband to transfer his interest in the same to the wife, while remaining solely responsible for all financial obligations and liabilities, as well as any taxes or fees associated with the transfer. Additionally, due to the husband’s misconduct during the proceedings, the court ordered him to keep a detailed record of all cash transactions, including the date of each transaction, the name of the person making payment, the reason for the payment, the serial numbers and denominations of all paper currency received, and the place of deposit.

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