Mountz v. Mountz
A court can find one party at greater fault for the breakdown of the marital relationship, as a result of excessive shopping. The parties married in 1993 and have no children. The husband, 48, earns $130,000 gross per year as an engineer at Pratt & Whitney. Until recently, the wife, 53, earned $22,000 gross per year, working for the New Britain Board of Education. The court found that the wife, who is tri-lingual, possesses an earning capacity of $20,000 gross per year. Allegedly, the wife purchased so many clothes that she filled the closets, covered the couch and created piles of clothes. After the parties borrowed money from relatives to pay the bills, the wife allegedly continued to shop excessively. The court also found that the wife lacked motivation to excel, because she apparently registered to take a test, to obtain certification that would help her career, and she elected not to take the test. The court found the wife at greater fault for the breakdown of the marital relationship. The court dissolved the marriage and ordered the husband to pay alimony of $175 per week and all the household expenses, until the marital residence is sold. The parties agreed that the wife would receive 60 percent of the net proceeds of sale, and the court incorporated that agreement into the judgment of dissolution. After the marital residence is sold, the court ordered that the husband pay alimony of $425 per week for two years and then $300 per week until the wife's death, marriage, cohabitation or Dec. 31, 2020, whichever takes place first.