Brennan v. Brennan
A court can order one party to contribute to the other parties attorneys fees, as a sanction for litigation conduct, pursuant to Ramin v. Ramin, a 2007 decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court. The parties married in August 1988 and have two children. The plaintiff wife, 51, works as a real estate broker. The defendant husband, 55, owns business interests in seven or more separate business entities in the home improvement, maintenance and restaurant industries. After the wife filed to dissolve the marriage, the husband allegedly canceled all of his bank and financial accounts, lived with a relative and became the Stamford Yacht Club paddle ball champion. The husband did not provide the wife with direct financial support during the dissolution, and he remains without discernible income. The court appointed an expert to investigate the husbands financial interests and found that the defendant husbands efforts to thwart efforts to ascertain his assets and income constituted egregious litigation conduct. The court dissolved the marriage and awarded the wife the marital residence. The court ordered the husband to pay 100 percent of the post-secondary education costs of one of the parties children and to provide for the childrens medical insurance. The court ordered the husband to pay $69,180 toward the wifes attorneys fees and $17,053 for the court-appointed expert. The court awarded the wife the husbands interests in three business entities. The court awarded the husband his interests in other businesses and ordered that he indemnify and hold the wife harmless from debt. The court awarded each party bank accounts and investments. The court awarded the wife the husbands interests in the Stamford Yacht Club membership. The husband may purchase his Stamford Yacht Club membership from the wife, provided that he complies with court orders within 60 days and pays the wife $36,000.