Esposito v. Esposito
A court can modify alimony and child support if the payor establishes a substantial change in circumstances. In March 2010, the defendant husband, Barry Esposito, agreed to pay the plaintiff wife $6,140 per month as a property settlement and $8,333 per month, as unallocated alimony and child support. At the time, the defendant earned $11,135 net per month, which was less than the $14,473 per month that he agreed to pay the wife. The husband failed to pay, and the wife moved to find the husband in contempt of court. The court found that the husband's failure to pay was not willful. The parties' joint expert opined that the economy was going to improve. The husband, who had legal representation, expected he could pay the wife when the economy improved. The husband requested a modification, as a result of a substantial change in circumstances. The husband's company, which had 21 workers in March 2010, lost a major client, General Electric, and currently has nine workers. The husband, an architect, is not receiving his draw, and he has $19,000 in liquid assets. The wife's finances improved, in part because she reduced her expenses. The wife, who has a degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and 30 years of business experience, is underemployed, because she elected to stay home with the minor children. The court found that the husband proved that there was a substantial change in circumstances. The court reduced alimony and child support from $8,333 to $4,000 per month.