Smith v. Smith

In Smith v. Smith, 249 Conn. 265, 752 A.2d 1023 (1999), the Court considered equitable factors not listed in 46b-81 when determining whether to modify an alimony award. In Smith, the court held that the "needs of each of the parties" includes a party's need to travel to visit the party's children, despite the fact that 46b-82 does not expressly list the parties' "needs to travel" as a factor for consideration. Id., 284. In further support of that conclusion, the court stated that "even if . . . the parties' travel needs were not interpreted to fall under a particular statutory criterion, the plaintiff's travel expenses would qualify as an equitable consideration for the court." Id. The Court held that the Superior Court has statutory authority to retain continuing jurisdiction over orders for the periodic payment of permanent alimony, but not over lump sum alimony or property distributions pursuant to 46b-81. Id., 273. Accordingly, the trial court in that case improperly attempted to retain continuing jurisdiction in order to divide the plaintiff's interest in a certain trust if ever he were to be found to hold such an interest. Id., 276.