Bray v. Bray


*********************************************** 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. *********************************************** NATALIE BRAY v. DWAYNE BRAY, SR. (AC 43309) Moll, Cradle and Pellegrino, Js. Syllabus The defendant, whose marriage to the plaintiff previously had been dis- solved, appealed to this court challenging an order issued by the trial court in connection with its denial of the plaintiff’s postjudgment motion for contempt. Under the parties’ separation agreement, which was incor- porated into the judgment of dissolution, the defendant was required to pay to the plaintiff, as child support, alimony, and/or property distribu- tion, certain percentages of the net income that he received from his employer in the form of cash bonuses and stock awards. In 2015, the plaintiff filed a postjudgment motion for contempt, claiming that the defendant had failed to pay certain amounts required under the separa- tion agreement. The trial court issued an order in connection therewith, requiring that the annual amounts paid with respect to the defendant’s bonus and stock funds be based on his effective tax rate from the prior year. The plaintiff filed another motion for contempt alleging, inter alia, that the defendant violated the dissolution judgment by deducting extra amounts from his bonus and stock payments for taxes that he did not actually pay. The defendant asserted that these amounts were properly deducted because his net proceeds were to be calculated using his marginal tax rate rather than his effective tax rate. After a four day hearing, during which neither of the parties ever mentioned the 2015 order, the trial court found that the defendant’s noncompliance was not wilful, but it issued a remedial order that required that he reimburse the plaintiff for certain funds based on its conclusion that the term ‘‘net,’’ as used in the separation agreement, clearly and unambiguously did not contemplate the consideration of his net income to calculate the amount of his bonus and stock income that was subject to distribution to the plaintiff, …

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