Blondeau v. Baltierra

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*********************************************** The “officially released” date that appears near the be- ginning of each opinion is the date the opinion will be pub- lished in the Connecticut Law Journal or the date it was released as a slip opinion. The operative date for the be- ginning of all time periods for filing postopinion motions and petitions for certification is the “officially released” date appearing in the opinion. All opinions are subject to modification and technical correction prior to official publication in the Connecticut Reports and Connecticut Appellate Reports. In the event of discrepancies between the advance release version of an opinion and the latest version appearing in the Connecticut Law Journal and subsequently in the Connecticut Reports or Connecticut Appellate Reports, the latest version is to be considered authoritative. The syllabus and procedural history accompanying the opinion as it appears in the Connecticut Law Journal and bound volumes of official reports are copyrighted by the Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut, and may not be reproduced and distributed without the express written permission of the Commission on Official Legal Publica- tions, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. *********************************************** SOPHIE BLONDEAU v. MICHAEL BALTIERRA (SC 20282) Robinson, C. J., and Palmer, McDonald, D’Auria, Mullins, Kahn and Ecker, Js.* Syllabus The plaintiff sought to vacate, and the defendant sought to confirm, an arbitration award dividing the parties’ equity in their marital home and allocating various child support expenses in connection with the parties’ marital dissolution. The parties, who were married in France, had entered into a premarital agreement that ‘‘designate[d], as the law to be applicable to their matrimonial regime, the French law . . . .’’ That agreement also provided that, in the event of divorce, each party’s separate property would remain the separate property of its owner, and that any property acquired in both parties’ names was presumed to belong to them jointly, in the absence of proof to the contrary. While married, the parties purchased their marital home in Westport, Connecti- cut. The plaintiff provided most of the down payment using funds her father had given her, but the parties took title to the home jointly, and the defendant made all of the mortgage, tax, and insurance payments. The plaintiff thereafter commenced the present action to dissolve the marriage. Both parties sought to enforce the premarital agreement, and the trial court approved their agreement to submit the matter to arbitra- tion. The arbitration agreement contained a choice of law provision providing that substantive issues would be governed by Connecticut law but that the arbitrator shall apply the French Civil Code ‘‘with regard to any claim by the parties that the [a]rbitrator either vacate [the] premarital agreement or effectuate [the] premarital agreement and if effectuated determine what property is included within the scope of the premarital agreement pursuant to [the] French Civil Code.’’ The arbitrator issued a written award, finding that, pursuant to the premarital agreement, the marital home constituted joint property because it was acquired in both parties’ names and …

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