Divorce Mediation Blog

Can’t Blame a Guy for Trying, But the Courts Do their Job in Dilanian v. Dilanian

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Levine Dispute Resolution - Alimony

The recent decision, Dilanian v. Dilanian, from the Massachusetts Appeals Court describes a litany of unreliable evidence from which a trial judge drew negative inferences about the malfeasance of a divorce-litigant husband, finding that he tried to obscure and shelter both assets and income from his wife and from the court. The Appeals Court agreed with the Probate and Family Court judge, and upheld her decision.

The self-employed husband depressed his apparent income after the divorce filing, by decreasing his profit distributions and increasing his retained, undistributed earnings, without legitimate explanation. You can’t do that!

On a defined contribution plan, the sole- business-owner husband presented documents with the number of retirement plan participants yo-yoing periodically, attempting to reduce his share of the pension pool, for equitable division with his wife. Can’t do that either.

By post-trial motion, the executor-trustee-beneficiary husband tried to take back his inaccurate trial testimony in which he overstated his rights in his father’s estate, which the court had accepted, and later sourced to the husband’s own inexcusable neglect. That doesn’t work.

But the howler in the bunch, of which the Appeals Court made but passing note, the pension plan-administrator husband tried to dilute his share of a defined benefit pension plan by including his late father as a member of the plan, thus trying to divert a chunk of the pension from the court’s equitable division powers.

Only problem was that the plan documents that the husband himself offered in evidence showed that his father was no longer alive when the plan was created.

None of this is particularly surprising in the Probate & Family Court, where Stephen Colbert’s notion of “truthiness” has a long history. But, the audacity to lie in plain sight of a dated document that he himself put into evidence is, simply put, Trumpian.

To borrow a cliché from left wing TV, the “institutions held”: the trial judge sniffed out the rouse, and the appellate court backed her up.

Good for them.

Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:

Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles

recent posts


Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth Major League Baseball Arbitration alimony Baseball med-arb MLB labor agreement Uniform Arbitration Act family law annulment divorce mediator lawyer-attended mediation family mediation Self-adjusting alimony orders resolve disputes Matrimonial Arbitration disputes IRC §2704 conciliation child support Levine Dispute Resolution Center fraud high-risk methodology divorce mediators Massachusetts family and probate law disputes divorce lawyers Alimony Reform Act Divorce Child Support Guidelines DOMA Obamacare COLA Boston medical benefits Massachusetts alimony family law arbitrators divorce arbitrators divorce mediation divorce arbitrator how baseball arbitration works private dispute resolution Same Sex Marriage Defense of Marriage Act divorce and family law mediators divorce litigation divorce process family law mediation litigation traditional negotiations lawyer mediator family law arbitrator divorce agreement divorce arbitration health coverage LDRC arbitrators divorce mediations Chouteau Levine med/arb Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Levine Dispute Resolutions pre-ARA alimony health insurance dispute resolution Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act rehabilitative alimony Baseball Arbitration Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC Massachusetts divorce lawyers alimony law lawyers special master alimony reform legislation Massachusetts alimony and child support divorce judgment General term alimony mediation separation alimony orders alimony statute facilitated negotiations Levine Dispute Resolution Family Law Arbitration Baseball Players mediators mediations divorce and family law family support Massachusetts divorce mediators arbitrator support orders Massachusetts lawyers SJC Divorce Agreements Cohabitation The Seven Sins of Alimony divorced self-adjusting alimony arbitration