Ramin v. Ramin
A court can order that alimony in a long-term marriage is nonmodifiable as to duration and will end only when the husband or the wife passes away. The parties married in 1972 and had two children. In 1997, the husband transferred to London. The wife remained in Connecticut. In 1999, the wife filed to dissolve the marriage. Allegedly, the husband did not comply with discovery requests. In response to motions for contempt, the court ordered the husband to pay $40,000 toward the wife's attorneys' fees. The court refused to hear the fifth motion for contempt. At or about the time of the first Superior Court trial, the husband, 60, earned $232,000 per year as the commercial director of the International Accounting Standards Board. The husband lectured frequently and published articles on corporate finance. The wife, 60, earned about $64,000 per year at the law department of Louis Dreyfus Holding Co. The parties appealed the trial court's 2003 decision, and the Connecticut Supreme Court found that the trial court wrongly refused to hear the fifth motion for contempt. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded. On remand, the trial court found that the wife proved that the husband failed to disclose his interest in property in London. The court awarded the wife property in Connecticut, a $700,000 lump sum and an Acura. The court awarded the wife alimony of $7,500 per month, which is nonmodifiable as to duration, and is to continue until the death of the wife or the husband. The court awarded each party bank accounts and investments and ordered the husband to transfer his Fidelity and Smith Barney IRAs to the wife. The court awarded the husband his interests in a farm and an apartment in Germany and a BMW. The wife's attorney required Herculean efforts to track the husband's assets, and the court ordered the husband to pay $700,000 toward the wife's reasonable attorneys' fees, which were $608,870 to her trial attorney and $117,979 to her appellate attorney(s). "[T]he litigation misconduct of the [husband]," wrote the court, "has been the primary and substantial cause of these high fees."