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Court Updates

December 13, 2011

A recent decision by the Connecticut Superior Court highlights a method for a divorced party to obtain information about an ex-spouse’s income in certain circumstances, by filing a petition for a bill of discovery. This case involved a divorce judgment where the defendant was ordered to pay alimony as a percentage of his gross income. Wachtel v. Lieberman (Owens, Howard T., J.T.R.) 52 Conn. Law Rptr. 513 (August 31, 2011). Years after the divorce, the plaintiff had probable cause to believe that the defendant was hiding income in order to pay less alimony. The defendant was a member of two LLCs, and the plaintiff petitioned for discovery of financial information as to the LLCs and to take the deposition of the defendant. The court found that the requests for discovery were reasonably necessary to a possible motion for contempt and granted the bill of discovery, so that the plaintiff could obtain more information about the defendant’s income.

This may be a good way to determine whether a motion for contempt may be successful before actually filing the contempt motion.