Kupersmith v. Kupersmith
Through a 2003 amendment to Connecticut General Statutes §46b-84(a), it clearly was the legislature's intent to allow a party to utilize a writ of execution to secure delinquent child support payments. The marriage of the plaintiff, Tara Kupersmith, and the defendant, Corey Kupersmith, was dissolved. A joint parenting plan for their four minor children and a separation agreement were incorporated into the judgment. Multiple postjudgment motions were filed. The parties' 2011 stipulation provided that the defendant owed the plaintiff $1,050,000, including $850,000 for a child support arrearage. Following the plaintiff's motions for contempt, claiming that the defendant violated the stipulation's payment terms, the court ordered a property execution of $300,000 for the plaintiff and denied the defendant's motion to vacate the execution. The defendant appealed claiming, inter alia, that C.G.S. §52-350a and §52-350f prohibit postjudgment property executions to enforce family support judgments and the court abused its discretion in awarding the plaintiff attorneys' fees. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment on the motion to vacate, but reversed the award of attorneys' fees. On its face, the 2003 amendment to C.G.S. §46b-84 (a) can be read to conflict with the Chapter 906 statutes, C.G.S. §52-350a and §52-350f, which seemingly exclude the ability to enforce a family support judgment through a property execution. C.GS. §46b-84(a) was not plain and unambiguous. The legislative history made clear that the amended language in C.G.S. §46b-84(a) was enacted to enable a party to address the default of a final order for child support, or alimony, through the postjudgment procedures in Chapter 906. Because C.G.S. §46b-84(a) is more specific and promulgated later, where the language of C.G.S. §52-350a and §46b-84(a) conflict, C.G.S. §46b-84(a) prevails. Here, the facts presented the type of family support payments in default for which the legislature sought to permit the use of postjudgment procedures in enacting C.G.S. §46b-84(a). The trial court properly determined that the writ of execution was a permissible postjudgment procedure. However, the court abused its discretion in awarding attorneys' fees to the plaintiff for defending the motion to vacate. The court found, generally, that the defendant's motion was entirely without color and he acted in bath faith, yet did not support that finding with factual specificity. The panel disagreed that the motion was entirely without color.