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Saussy v. Saussy

Connecticut Superior Court Judicial District of New Haven at New Haven
May 29, 2009
2009 Ct. Sup. 8912 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2009)


No. FA-07 4027957 S

May 29, 2009


This decision dissolves the 22-year marriage between the plaintiff husband, Haun Saussy, and the defendant wife, Yu-Lin Saussy. A complaint for dissolution of marriage was brought by the plaintiff husband, Haun Saussy, on September 18, 2007 with a return date of October 2, 2007. The defendant wife filed a cross-complaint on October 19, 2007. Both parties were represented by counsel throughout the proceedings. The matter was tried to this court commencing on December 15, 2008 and concluding on January 21, 2009. Trial briefs were submitted to the court on February 3, 2009 and reply briefs submitted on February 10, 2009.

The court heard testimony from the parties as well as from four additional witnesses and ninety-three (93) exhibits were entered into evidence.

The issues presented to this court involve the determination of alimony, child support, post-secondary education support orders, the equitable division of real property, personal property, property held in trust, various investments and bank accounts, and counsel fees. The parties have submitted to the court a previously court-approved parenting plan regarding the custody and care of the two minor children.

This court, having carefully reviewed and weighed the evidence according to the applicable standards of law, having scrutinized and evaluated the demeanor and credibility of the parties and the witnesses, and having considered the parties' arguments, proposed orders and memorandum of law submitted by counsel as well as having also considered Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §§ 46b-56, 46b-62, 46b-81, 46b-82, 46b-84 and 46b-56(c), makes the following findings.

FINDINGS OF FACT A. Jurisdictional Findings

This court has jurisdiction to dissolve the marriage. The parties were intermarried in Nashville, Tennessee on September 27, 1986. Both parties have continuously resided in the State of Connecticut prior to the bringing of this action and the matter has been pending for over 90 days. There are two minor children issue of this marriage. Neither of the parties have been recipients of state or municipal assistance. The allegations contained in the complaint are found to be proven and true.

B. The Parties

The husband, Haun Saussy, is 47 years old and is a professor of comparative literature at Yale University. He is in generally good health with the exception of having been treated for depression in the past. The husband received the benefit of an excellent educational background, having attended Deerfield Academy and then Duke University where he majored in ancient Greek and comparative literature. He also studied in Paris, France for two years at the Institute for Oriental Language. The husband then went on to attend Yale University as a graduate student and also attended the Inter-University Program in Taiwan in 1984 where he met his wife who was his Chinese language instructor. He returned to Yale in the fall of that year to continue with his graduate studies but returned to Taiwan in early 1986 to marry Yu-Lin Saussy. The parties first held a marriage ceremony in China and then returned to Nashville, Tennessee where they held a second ceremony before the husband's family on September 27, 1986. The couple thereafter returned to New Haven where over the next few years the husband completed his course of studies and ultimately obtained his Ph.D. from Yale University.

The husband earns $148,300 per year in salary and $15,827 in deferred compensation income from the Yale University Retirement Annuity Plan (YURAP).1 In addition to his salary, he receives monthly income from the following sources; speaker's fees in the amount of $2,200, trust income in the amount of $9,595, royalties from his publications in the amount of $20, interest from investments in the amount of $725, and dividends in the amount of $6,934, resulting in an additional monthly net income of $19,659.2 His total annual gross income is $511,236 and his net annual income is $336,420. His net monthly income from all sources is $28,035.

The wife, Yu-Lin Saussy, is 49 years old and holds a B.A. in Classical Chinese Literature Studies from FuJan University in Taipai which she obtained prior to the marriage. She was Taiwanese born and educated and lived exclusively in Taiwan until she married the husband. She has no significant work history, having only been employed on a Temborary basis in the very early years of the marriage, due to the fact that she was the primary caretaker of the children. The wife, only recently and after the husband filed the dissolution complaint, has entered into a three-year contract at Yale University as a Lector in East Asian Studies at Yale University. The wife's annual gross earnings are $51,896 and she receives a retirement contribution of $3,900 per year. Her net annual income is $36,556 or $763 weekly.

Wife's financial affidavit dated December 12, 2008 and Schedule B attached [not reproduced herein].

The parties stipulated that at or about the time of the marriage, the husband's assets included the family rock quarries valued at $760,000. After the parties returned to New Haven, the husband earned a modest income as a teaching assistant while he completed his doctorate and the wife taught on a Temborary basis at Connecticut College and then at Middlebury College during summer sessions. During the early years, the parties lived very modestly, in a small apartment they shared with the husband's friend. The wife worked in the home preparing meals and cleaning for the husband as well as for his friend and apartment mate. After the husband received his Ph.D. from Yale, he accepted his first teaching position at UCLA in California. The parties moved to California and their first child, Juliana, was born in Los Angeles on September 27, 1991. On May 31, 1995, the couple's second child, Caleb was born. In 1996, the family relocated to Stanford University, where the husband continued his academic career as a professor. While living in San Francisco, the wife obtained her master's degree at San Francisco State University. During this period, the husband traveled frequently as a lecturer and acting as a visiting professor in Hong Kong and Paris. In 2000 and 2001 the husband became increasingly dissatisfied with Stanford and eventually pursued a position at Yale University which he accepted over the wife's reservations and concerns about transplanting their children. The husband began his employment at Yale for the academic year of 2004-2005 while his family remained in San Francisco. Ultimately his family joined him in New Haven the fall of 2005.

Court Exhibit 1, Stipulation of the parties dated December 15, 2008 1.

The husband claims the breakdown of the marriage was caused by the wife's lack of support in his professional life. He also claims that the wife refused to join him at professional events, that she accused him of being selfish and self-indulgent, and that she put herself between him and the children. He further claims that her lack of support for his career moves resulted in his suffering from suicidal thoughts and depression. Mr. Farmer, a longtime friend of the husband, testified that husband had confided in him that he was unhappy with the marriage for a long period of time. In 2001, the husband was treated by a psychiatrist and was prescribed medications for depression.

Husband testified that in 2001 he had a one-year leave from Stanford (to write a book) and that he was so conflicted over whether or not to accept the position at Yale that he spent "most of the year lying on the floor of my office being obsessed with thoughts of suicide." (T. 12/15/08, p. 119.)

The wife claims, for the most part, that the parties had a happy marriage and shared common interests in Chinese literature and family life and that she always put her husband's needs first. She testified that she had witnessed emotional instability on the part of her husband throughout the marriage but that she tried to support him in his work and was proud of how successful he had become as a scholar in ancient Chinese literature. Her claims regarding husband's personality were corroborated by husband's aunt, Engenia Commack.

The wife described her husband as very insecure and "socially kind of weird." She stated that while husband enjoys social events, he doesn't know how to behave and that his "mood always up and down very much." (T 1/6/09.) The wife also described certain troubling conduct by the husband during the course of the marriage, such as his repeatedly banging his head against a wall and other bizarre behaviors.

Ms. Comack described the husband as having been a "very bright but very troubled child" who was unable to socially interact. Her testimony described the wife as a supportive and loving spouse.

The wife claims she became aware of the magnitude of the problems in their marriage in the summer of 2007 after the daughter accessed her husband's computer and discovered e-mails between her husband and another woman. This discovery led to the husband's admission of the extramarital affair.

The court accepts as credible the testimony of the wife, that in the summer of 2007, the daughter accessed the husband's computer for her personal use and found the husband's personal communications with Ms. Olga Soloviena (phonetic), evidencing the extramarital relationship and that the daughter then shared this information with her mother. (T 1/5/09, p. 136.)

The testimony of the parties reveal a marriage wherein the husband controlled virtually every aspect of familial life. The husband brought his wife to the United States knowing that she was not fluent in the English language and he determined the family was to speak only Chinese in the home. He further determined that there would be no television in the home. The wife was often uncomfortable in academic and/or social settings because she did not become fluent in English and it is apparent that the husband blames the wife for her discomfort and attributes it as fault or cause for the breakdown of the marriage.

The wife often assisted the husband during the course of the marriage by reading his works on ancient Chinese literature and discussing interpretations with him. During the course of the marriage and after the children were born, the wife remained the primary caretaker of the children and although she pursued her education, it was on a part-time basis at a state university when the children were very young.

The court notes this contribution by the wife to the husband's works but this does not diminish his scholarly works as his intellectual work product. It simply is evidence of her support and contributions to the marriage.

Marital Property

During the course of the marriage, the husband managed all financial matters with the support of family trusts, lawyers and financial advisors. The husband described himself as being financially sophisticated in financial matters and investment strategies.

Despite these claims of financial sophistication, the husband had filed at least five financial affidavits during the course of the court proceedings and when cross examined on the failure to report certain assets on prior affidavits, he blamed his former lawyers. Further, this court during the course of trial, directed the husband to submit a revised financial affidavit when it became apparent that he did failed to report life insurance policies with cash values as assets.

The credible evidence establishes that the parties have substantial assets, outside of earned income, that include real estate interests, income-producing investments, bank accounts, money market accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, motor vehicles, real and personal properties including furnishings, art works, and other special and unique personal properties. During the course of the marriage the party's assets were acquired through inheritances, earned income, investments, appreciation of assets, and profits from the multiple purchases and sales of marital homes. The current marital estate is valued in excess of $6,105,104 plus deferred assets in the amount of $1,012,557. The court recognizes that these assets are subject to current market fluctuations.

Husband's Financial Affidavit filed January 5, 2009.

The court finds that throughout the marriage, both parties made contributions to the acquisition, maintenance and preservation of the marital assets, including real estate, and that although the evidence supports a finding that the husband's economic contributions were greater than that of the wife the court also finds that the wife made significant contributions to the husband's career goals and that the wife was the primary homemaker for the family and the primary parent for the children during the course of the marriage.

"There are three stages of analysis regarding the equitable distribution of each resource: first, whether the resource is property within the meaning of § 46b-81 (classification); second, what is the appropriate method for determining the value of the property (valuation); and third, what is the most equitable distribution of the property between the parties." Krafick v. Krafick, 234 Conn. 783, 792-93 (1995). This court finds the following properties to be marital property subject to equitable distribution for the reasons discussed below.

1. The Caleb P. Haun and Yu-Lin Wang Saussy Living Trust

The first issue before the court is whether the property held by "The Caleb P. Haun and Yu-Lin Wang Saussy Living Trust" is properly considered a part of the marital estate for property division purposes. Further, whether this court must, as the husband argues, determine whether the assets contained in the living trust, must be characterized as "community property" or as "separate property" pursuant to the Property Agreement entered into by the parties on March 30, 1992, while the parties resided in California, in order to determine property division. This court looks to Connecticut law to determine whether the value of this living trust is properly subject to equitable division in this dissolution action.

Plaintiff's Exhibit 9.

Plaintiff's Exhibit 9A.

The court notes that the Living Trust at issue was created while the parties resided in California, and thus with California laws regarding estate administration in mind. Having filed this dissolution action in the state of Connecticut, where the majority of their marriage was spent, the parties and their estates are subject to Connecticut laws regarding the equitable distribution of property.

The assets contained in this trust include the following:

A. The Investments managed by Jeffrey C. Tweety

In 1985, husband's mother, Lola French, created a revocable trust naming John French and Mr. Jeffrey C. Tweety, as trustees. By way of that trust instrument, the trustees were authorized to "hold, manage, invest and reinvest" in said trust. The husband's interests in this trust was vested in 1995 after his mother's death when he acted as both executor and trustee of the trust and during the course of the marriage. The distribution of his mother's estate took place in 1997 and, thereafter, the husband actively participated in the investment strategies of those assets. At the time of distribution, the husband inherited assets totaling $692,213.71. Those assets consisted of private investments as well as marketable investments. Throughout the trial, both counsel referred to these assets as the "Tweety Investments." During the course of the marriage, the husband continued investing these moneys with the advice of Mr. Tweety into both marketable and non-marketable securities as well as a private investment company called Tembo Partners. Tembo Partners is an entity formed by Mr. Tweety, by which investors aggregate their assets for private investments not subject to assignment, transfer, or liquidation. Mr. Tweety would not offer any current valuation as to Tembo although he has reported the initial value of money invested into Tembo. The court finds the valuation of all the "Tweety investments" to be as summarized and presented in Plaintiff's Exhibit 23. The wife offered no expert appraisal or independent accounting to dispute the husband's evidence. Based on the testimony of Mr. Tweety, the husband's financial affidavit, and Plaintiff's Exhibit 23, the court finds the valuation of the investments to be between $1,382,211 and $1,566,791 as of November 2008 but recognizes the extreme fluctuations in the market and investments over the past six months.

Plaintiff's Exhibit 10.

Plaintiff's testimony 12/16/08, pp. 113, 114.

Plaintiff's Exhibit 22.

Testimony of Jeffrey C. Tweety, transcripts 12/15/08 pp 112-13.

B. The Higlander Capital/Pershing Account

This account is managed by Highlander Capital Management which flows through Pershing as the custodian bank. This account was previously held by FIA Capital Group, Inc. These accounts contain cash, equities and mutual funds subject to daily market fluctuations. The most current valuation is reported in the husband's financial affidavit dated January 5, 2009 as $315,410 and contains assets derived from the Lola French Trust. The original value in 1997 was $226,800 and contributions were made during the course of the marriage from income, distributions from the Tweety Investments, payments from the leases on the quarries managed by Vulcan, as well as proceeds from the sale of marital homes. The husband deposited unearned income from various sources into this account and withdrew monies from this account during the course of the marriage. From exhibits entered into evidence and testimony from Ellen Sandler, the court finds that from 1997 through 2007, the husband, who had control over the account, took in $2,281,598 from various forms of income including leases and other unearned income and made disbursements in the amount of $1,812,233 for various expenses incurred during the last ten years of the marriage.

Testimony of Ellen Sandler 12/17/08 p. 5.

Testimony of Ellen Sandler 12/17/08 p. 14 and Plaintiff's Exhibit 24a.

Plaintiff's Exhibit 24 pp. 3, 4.

CT Page 8918

C. Equitable Securities/Advisor Account

This account includes a money market account valued in the amount of $1,606,974 and a brokerage account in the amount of $150,721 as of January 5, 2009. These assets reflect, in part, the proceeds from the sale of two prior marital residences. In late 1993, the parties purchased a home in Los Angeles, California for $355,000. Upon the husband obtaining new employment at Stanford University, the parties sold the Los Angeles home for $430,000 and purchased a new home in December of 1997 in San Francisco for $830,000. The San Francisco home was sold in March 2008 and the husband testified that the property was sold for $1,895,000 and the net proceeds were approximately $1,200,000.

D. The Parties' Book Collection

This book collection consists of books in French, Chinese, German and classical languages and was valued at the time of the trust in the amount of $39,260.

Exhibit 9B.


The Caleb P. Haun and Yu-Lin Wang Saussy Living Trust, under Article I Sec. C, sets out to divide all assets into three categories; i.e., "community property," "quasi-community property" and "separate" property. The property agreement, dated March 30, 1992, clearly states, "in the event of a marriage dissolution proceeding, this Agreement shall have no force or effect insofar as it relates to any property purchased out of either spouse's separate property funds." Despite the husband's contention that the purpose of the trust was to eliminate the need for probate court in the event of either party's death, it is evident that the classification of certain properties within the trust was done in order to conform with community property laws applicable under California Law, and specifically, as the husband notes in his trial brief (page 22), under the California Family Code Section 770- 772(a).

Exhibit 9A.

The court finds from the evidence that the assets in the living trust were derived from the husband's inheritances, from the net proceeds from the sale of two marital homes, as well as from asset appreciation derived from investments and re-investments during the course of the marriage.

It is well established that in dividing the marital estate, the court applies the principles of equitable distribution. Thus, irrespective of actual ownership of property, it is within the power of the court to "assign to either the husband or wife, all or any part of the estate of the other." C.G.S. § 46b-81(a).

A number of cases have addressed the issue of what types of potential assets can be considered in entering property and/or alimony orders. In Rubin v. Rubin, 204 Conn. 224, 527 A.2d 1184 (1987), the issue was whether an order for the plaintiff husband to pay to the defendant wife a share of the assets he may acquire under his mother's will and on termination of a revocable inter vivos trust created by her was proper. In ordering that the husband pay to the wife one-third of the net estate that he might receive either from the trust his mother had created or by way of inheritance from her was invalid. The court stated that such an interest was merely an expectancy and therefore could not be divided. "Expectancy is the bare hope of succession to the property of another, such as may be entertained by an heir apparent. Such a hope is inchoate. It has no attribute of property, and the interest to which it relates is at the time nonexistent and may never exist." Rubin v. Rubin, supra, 204 Conn. 230.

In Eslami v. Eslami, 218 Conn. 801, 591 A.2d 411 (1991), the issue was whether the failure to consider the wife's interest as a beneficiary of her father's estate, which estate had not been settled at the time of trial, was error. In affirming the trial court's decision, the Eslami court, citing Rubin v. Rubin, supra, 204 Conn. 232, held that uncertainty as to the amount that the wife would eventually receive militated against consideration of that interest for the purpose of estate division.

On the other hand, Bartlett v. Bartlett, 220 Conn. 372, 599 A.2d 14 (1991), considered the issue of whether a ruling by the trial court on a motion to modify a judgment of dissolution excluding evidence of an inheritance because the defendant had not yet received any assets from his mother's estate or from a trust from his mother's estate was proper. In overruling the trial court's decision, the Supreme Court held that proof of the vesting of the defendant's right to his inheritance was sufficient to support the motion to modify the award of periodic alimony. It did not matter that "the assets to which the defendant was entitled were Temborarily held in a trust, pending settlement of his mother's estate. The trust was merely an administrative vehicle that could not alter in any way the defendant's right to his inheritance, which vested in him at the moment of his mother's death." Bartlett v. Bartlett, supra, 220 Conn. 380.

In Krafick v. Krafick, 234 Conn. 783, 663 A.2d 365 (1995), the principal issue was whether vested pension benefits constitute property for the purposes of equitable distribution pursuant to C.G.S. § 46b-81. In holding that vested pension benefits constitute property for purposes of equitable distribution, the court stated in part as follows:

"The distribution of assets in a dissolution action is governed by § 46b-81, which provides in pertinent part that a trial court may `assign to either the husband or wife all or any part of the estate of the other . . . In fixing the nature and value of the property, if any, to be assigned, the court, after hearing the witnesses, if any, of each party . . . shall consider the length of the marriage, the causes for the . . ., dissolution of the marriage . . . the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income. The court shall also consider the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates.' This approach to property division is commonly referred to as an all-property equitable distribution scheme . . . It does not limit, either by timing or method of acquisition or by source of funds, the property subject to a trial court's broad allocative power . . .

"Interpreting the term property broadly is also consistent with the purpose of equitable distribution statutes generally. It is widely recognized that the primary aim of property distribution is to recognize that marriage is, among other things, a shared enterprise or joint undertaking in the nature of a partnership to which both spouses contribute-directly and indirectly, financially and nonfinancially-the fruits of which are distributable at divorce . . .

"Classifying vested pension benefits as property does not run afoul of the limitation, recognized in the context of inheritance and trust interests, that § 46b-81 applies only to presently existing property interests, not mere expectancies . . . As we have stated, vested pension benefits represent an employee's right to receive payment in the future, subject ordinarily to his or her living until the age of retirement. The fact that a contractual right is contingent upon future events does not degrade that right to an expectancy." Krafick v. Krafick, supra, 234 Conn. 792-97. (Citations omitted; quotation marks omitted.)

As in Bartlett and Krafick, the present matter involves a vested interest in a Living Trust. The fact that the trust makes certain classifications or characterizations of the trust property as being "separate property" or "community property" has no bearing on whether the assets in the trust may be equitably divided in this dissolution action. Neither classification takes the property out of the estate of the parties. Difficulties in the valuation of the assets held in the Living Trust due to the current financial climate do not change the fact that the assets are certainly a part of the marital estate and thus subject to equitable division. The husband concedes that "this Court is free to distribute the assets owned by the [t]rust as it deems fit, and indeed is obligated to do so."

Husband's trial brief, page 22.

This court concludes that it has the right to assign to the wife all or any part of the estate of the plaintiff husband arising from his interest in the Living Trust.

2. The Danley, Franklin Waverly Quarries:

The husband has received fully vested interests in three rock quarries by way of inheritances which have increased significantly in value during the course of the marriage. The values of the properties are based on the value of the leases given to the mineral companies which pay royalties to the quarries and the value is determined by the predicted income flow during the course of the lease. Distributions are then made to the husband based on his percentage of interest in the quarries which he has listed on his financial affidavit under "Trust U/W of Caleb P. Haun," and "Vulcan Materials Mineral Royalties." In 1981, before the marriage of the parties, after he reached 21 years of age, the husband received his first interest in the quarries through the estate of his grandfather, Cole P. Haun, by way of a trust instrument. The parties stipulated that the pre-marital value of the quarries were as follows: The Waverly Quarry $175,000, the Franklin Quarry $215,000 and the Danley Quarry $370,000. Throughout the course of the marriage the husband received additional interests in the quarries through conveyed by instruments of trust and through the estates of his grandmother and then his mother. The husband will acquire additional interest in the quarries in 2009 and again in 2016. The parties entered into evidence a Stipulation Re: Real Estate Values, dated December 15, 2008, which ascribes the current fair market value of the quarries to be as follows: the Waverly Quarry $690,000, the Franklin Quarry $2,400,000, and the Danley Quarry $5,000,000.

Husband's testimony. Transcripts 12/18/08, p. 60.

Court Exhibit 1.

Court Exhibit 1.


In Standish v. Standish, 40 Conn.App. 298, 670 A.2d 1330 (1996) the court held that the fact that property has not yet come into control of an individual does not make it a mere expectancy. A court must consider an inheritance by a party where the assets had vested, even if he had not yet received them, in determination of alimony awards. Further, the Standish court discussed the definition of property for purposes of C.G.S. § 46b-81. Citing Krafick v. Krafick, supra, 234 Conn. 783, Judge Gruendel stated "the term [property] is used to denote everything which is the subject of ownership, corporeal or incorporeal, tangible or intangible, visible or invisible, real or personal; everything that has an exchangeable value or which goes to make up wealth or estate. It extends to every species of valuable right and interest."

The court finds that the husband has a currently vested interest in all future inheritances to the quarries, however, the court also agrees with the husband in that the valuation of the quarries in 2016 is not possible as of this date because value is based on the leaseholds which cannot at this present time be determined. The court therefore finds the valuation of the quarries to be as stipulated to by the parties.

The court finds the present valuation of the husband's interests in the quarries to be as follows: Waverly Quarry 44.375% or $304,893; The Franklin Quarry 47.1875% or $1,132,500; and the Danley Quarry 38.75% or $1,937,500 for a total of $3,374,895. The court further finds that the husband's interests in the quarries is fully vested and his interest will increase in 2009 and again in the year 2016 resulting in a final 50% interest. Based on the financial affidavits submitted by the parties the court further finds:

See Husband's Reply to the Wife's Trial Brief, 2/3, p. 4.

Husband's testimony 12/15/08, p. 62.

3. Real Property

The former marital home has a fair market value in the amount of $672,500 with an outstanding mortgage in the amount of $500,163 as of December 15, 2008. The parties also own an apartment located in Paris, Prance at 92 rue du Temple, 75003. The value of the apartment in June 2008 was in an amount of $459,993.

Financial Affidavits of Plaintiff and Defendant.

4. Retirement Assets

The husband holds various retirement assets including the Equitable IRA in the amount of $16,070, the TIAA-CREF account through Yale University valued at trial to be in the amount of $17,718, the Fidelity Account through UCLA valued at $6,162 and the Fidelity Account through Stanford valued at $45,698. The wife holds a single IRA (Equitable) valued at $6,821.

5. Other Assets

The court finds that the parties hold approximately $49,500 in various bank accounts as listed on their respective financial affidavits.

The husband holds in his name a Brokerage Account labeled as Diversified Trust valued at $439,639.

6. Life Insurance Policies

The husband is the owner of the three life insurance policies listed on his financial affidavit and filed in this court on January 5, 2008. The court finds the surrender value at time of trial to be in the amount of $158,795.


1. The court finds that the husband's claim that the breakdown of the marriage was due to his wife's lack of support is not supported by the credible evidence. This court finds the husband to be at greater fault for the breakdown of the marriage as evidenced by his mental state and by husband's extramarital relationship with another woman. The marriage between the parties having broken down irretrievably is hereby dissolved and each are declared to be single and unmarried.

2. The parties shall have joint legal custody of the minor children, Juliana born September 27, 1991, and Caleb born May 31, 1995. The parties have presented to the court a Parenting Plan, dated November 7, 2008, for their two minor children. The court, Swienton, J., previously accepted the plan and entered final orders pursuant to the agreement by the parties on November 12, 2008. This court finds the agreement to be fair and equitable under the circumstances of this case and to be in the best interests of the children and hereby orders the Parenting Plan attached hereto and marked as Schedule A to be incorporated in this decree and made a part thereof.

Editor's Note: Schedule A has not been reproduced herein.

3. For the purposes of determining child support calculations, this court used only the net earned income of the parties. The court finds the husband's net earned income to include his salary, speaker fees, and royalties from his published books to be $2,084 per week. The wife's net earned income is her salary and is $762 per week. The combined presumptive minimum child support is in the amount of $527 per week and the father's share is in the amount of $386 per week. The court further finds that an upward deviation from the presumptive guidelines pursuant to C.G.S. § 46b-215a(3) is in order in that the court finds there are substantial assets, including the income-producing property including the quarry royalties, interest income and dividends as listed in the husband's financial affidavit and that the application of the presumptive amount of child support would be inequitable in light of the substantial assets. Commencing on the date of this decree, the husband shall pay to the wife $600 per week for his child support obligation pursuant to the Child Support Guidelines. This obligation shall remain in effect until such time as each child completes the twelfth grade or attains the age of nineteen, whichever occurs first. C.G.S. § 46b-84(b). Further, the father shall maintain medical insurance for the benefit of the minor children and shall pay 61% of all unreimbursed medical expenses. The mother shall contribute the remaining 39% of any unreimbursed expenses. In addition to the foregoing, the extra curricular expenses, including summer camps, educational camps and other activities the father shall contribute 61% of costs and the mother 39%. The parties shall consult with each other in regards to the scheduling for any such extracurricular activity, and consent by the other shall not be unreasonably withheld.

See attached Child Support Guideline Calculation Worksheet, Schedule B [not reproduced herein].

See Worksheet, Child Support Guidelines prepared by the Connecticut Judicial Service Center, dated 3/23/09.

4. On January 5, 2009, the parties further stipulated and agreed before this court that this court had jurisdiction to enter orders regarding the contribution to be made by each party for the payment of the minor child's (Caleb's) high school tuition, in addition to the child support guidelines. Hardisty v. Hardisty, 183 Conn. 253, 439 A.2d 307 (1981). The court orders the husband to contribute 61% of the tuition costs, fees and books and the wife shall contribute the remaining 39%.

5. The court finds that if the parties had remained together it is more likely than not the parents would have provided support for the children for higher education. The parties shall contribute to the post-secondary educational expenses under C.G.S. § 46b-56c as follows: the father shall contribute 80% and the mother 20%.

6. The court finds that there is a need to award alimony to the wife. Taking into consideration the factors set forth in General Statutes § 46b-82, including the age, health, education, previous earnings and work experience of the wife, as well as the property settlement herein and in light of the facts and circumstances of this case, a finding of an award of alimony is appropriate. Ippolito v. Ippolito, 28 Conn.App. 745, cert. denied, 224 Conn. 905 (1992); Milbauer v. Milbauer, 54 Conn.App. 304 (1999). An alimony award must be based on the net income of the parties. Ludgin v. McGowan, 64 Conn.App. 355, 358 (2001). The court finds the husband's earning capacity, employment history, and retirement benefits are of much greater significance than the wife's. Even having considered the equitable distribution of the marital estate, the court finds that the wife does not have the ability to maintain her current needs without an alimony award. The wife's earning capacity, which is only evident for the next three years, is less than one-third the earnings of the husband's. The evidence at trial clearly established that the wife does not have academic credentials commensurate with her husband's nor did she have an employment history during the 22-year marriage. The court finds no basis in the record to terminate alimony at a future date and orders alimony until death of the parties, upon the wife's remarriage or cohabitation under the meaning of C.G.S. § 46b-82.

Commencing on June 1, 2009, and continuing monthly thereafter, the husband shall pay to the wife the sum of $1,800 monthly as periodic alimony until the death of either party, the remarriage of the wife, or cohabitation as defined in C.G.S. § 46b-86(b). It is the intention that the alimony order shall be modifiable in the event the wife's contract with Yale University is not renewed and that she is unable to earn a salary of at least $50,000 per year.

7. Pursuant to C.G.S. § 46b-84(f), to enforce security for his alimony and/or support obligations hereunder, the husband shall maintain a life insurance policy with the collective face amount of $2,000,000 and shall name the wife and children as equal beneficiaries thereof for so long as he has an obligation to pay alimony or child support under the terms of this decree. In the event that his alimony obligation hereunder ceases, for whatever reason, he shall name each child as a beneficiary in the amount of $250,000 so long as he has an obligation to pay child support to that child under the terms of this decree. For purposes of the enforcement of this provision, a child support order shall include an educational support order pursuant to C.G.S. § 46b-56c.

8. The husband shall promptly notify his employer of the change in his marital status and cooperate with the wife in obtaining continued health care coverage as available to her through state and federal law. The wife shall be responsible for any payment of her health insurance premiums.

9. The wife is awarded all rights, title, and interests in the real property located at 67 Sage Hollow Road, Guilford, Connecticut. The husband shall execute any documents necessary to effectuate said transfer. In order to release the existing mortgage on the property, each party shall be responsible for obtaining funds, either by way of financing or by using the assets as ordered through this decree, to pay equally the mortgage and all taxes, costs and fees associated with the payment of said mortgage. The parties shall record the release of the first mortgage within sixty days of this decree. The wife shall thereafter be responsible for 100% of the maintenance, taxes and upkeep expenses associated with said property but only upon the date the mortgage release is filed on the land records.

10. The husband is awarded free and clear of any claim by the wife, all rights, interests and title to the apartment located at 92 rue du Temple in Paris, France. The wife shall execute any documents necessary to effectuate said transfer within thirty days of this decree. The husband shall pay for all expenses regarding this property from the date of this decree and shall hold the wife harmless therefrom.

11. Each party shall retain the home furnishings in their respective dwellings free and clear of any claims by the other with the exception that the parties shall each retain the following items as referenced in Schedule C and attached to this decision. 12. As to the assets described above and contained in the Caleb Haun Saussy and Yu-Lin Saussy Living Trust, the court orders the Trust be revoked and the assets contained therein be divided as follows:

Editor's Note: Schedule C has not been reproduced herein.

a. With respect to the "Tweety Investments" managed by Jeffrey C. Tweety and held by the Caleb Powell Haun and Yu-Lin Wang Saussy Trust, the parties shall equally divide all assets described with a value as listed in Exhibit 23.

In regards to the assets given no valuation and listed in Exhibit 23 as Series G, Series I, Series J, Series L, Series M, Series N, Series O and Series R and as the Waterlemon Development LC, and having been described as "non-marketable securities," the husband shall exclusively retain all rights and interests in said investments, free and clear of any claims by the wife.

b. As to the investment accounts managed by the Highlander Capital/Pershing Accounts, the value of all accounts shall be divided 70% to the wife and 30% to the husband.

c. The Equitable Securities/Advisor Account shall be divided 60% to the wife and 40% to the husband.

d. The Book Collection — The husband shall be entitled to this collection free and clear of any claims by the wife.

13. The husband shall convey 40% of his present interest in each of the Danley, Franklin and Waverly quarries to the wife.

14. Bank Accounts:

The wife shall be entitled to 100% of the following accounts as listed on her financial affidavit including the Bank of America Accounts Nos. 2835 and 1448, Bank of Taiwan account, the Equitable IRA, and the Citigroup Barney Account.

The husband shall be entitled to 100% of the following accounts as listed on his financial affidavit; Bank of America checking #0559 and Bank of America CD #1708.

15. The following joint accounts listed on the husband's financial affidavit shall be divided equally between the parties:

Bank of America CD #5507

Bank of America CD #5888

Bank of America checking #3778

Societe Generale checking #7165

Suntrust checking #3804

SunTrust MMA #6013

16. The Retirement Funds: Within thirty (30) days from the date of this dissolution, the husband shall transfer to the wife, by way of QDRO or other tax-free spousal transfer, 55% of the Yale Retirement Plan (TIAA-CREF), UCLA Retirement (Fidelity 403(b)), and Stanford Retirement (Fidelity 403(b)) as listed on his financial affidavit.

The husband shall retain his interest in the Equitable IRA #502 free and clear from any claims of the wife.

17. Each party shall be responsible for their respective attorneys fees and costs incurred in connection with this action.

18. An Immediate Wage Witholding Order pursuant to C.G.S. § 53-362(b) is hereby ordered to secure the child support and alimony orders.

19. The court further orders the financial affidavits of the parties unsealed pursuant to P.B. § 25-59A(h).

1 Exhibit G5.

2 Husband's revised financial affidavit filed January 5, 2009. 33

Summaries of

Saussy v. Saussy

Connecticut Superior Court Judicial District of New Haven at New Haven
May 29, 2009
2009 Ct. Sup. 8912 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2009)
Case details for

Saussy v. Saussy

Case Details


Court:Connecticut Superior Court Judicial District of New Haven at New Haven

Date published: May 29, 2009


2009 Ct. Sup. 8912 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2009)