CASE: Callahan v. Callahan
COURT: Stamford/Norwalk J.D. at Regional Trial Docket in Middletown
DOC. NO.: FA09-40173865S COURT OPINION BY: Munro, J.
DATE: May 8, 2012
A court may credit an expert’s testimony about valuation of a business. The parties married in 1987 and have three children. The wife’s therapist diagnosed her with battered women’s syndrome and post traumatic stress disorder. The court credited the wife’s testimony that the husband allegedly was physically abusive, early in the relationship. (The husband denied that he was abusive and claimed it was an accident.) The wife, 52, started as a file clerk at a bank and worked her way up to assistant vice president. The wife became vice president at Bankers Trust. The husband, 43, worked at Salomon Brothers until his mentor left and then decided to establish his own investment, trading and brokerage businesses, the Pentalpha entities, with the wife. In 1995, the husband owned 49 percent and served as the dealmaker. The wife owned 51 percent and served s the office manager. When the parties established a fourth business entity in 2005, the husband owned 100 percent. The court rejected the husband’s claim that the Pentalpha entities are worth $600,000 and credited the testimony of Barry Sziklay, who valued the Pentalpha entities at $11.7 million. The court awarded the husband the Pentalpha entities and ordered the husband to pay the wife $6 million, at the rate of $1 million per year. Alternatively, if the husband sells the businesses within six months, the court ordered the husband to pay the wife 55 percent of the proceeds, provided that the husband pays the wife a minimum of $4 million. The court awarded the wife $600,000, as an additional property distribution, the marital residence, $370,000 from the husband’s 401(k) and four motor vehicles. The court rejected the husband’s claim that the wife did not require alimony and ordered the husband to pay alimony of $60,000 per month, until the wife’s death, marriage or cohabitation, whichever takes place first. The court ordered the husband to pay the children’s college expenses. The court awarded the husband property in New York, membership in a golf club, guns valued at $200,000 and motor vehicles valued at $270,000. The court awarded each party additional investments.