CASE SUMMARY: Mahoney v. Mahoney, 11-P-524

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mahoney v. Mahoney, 11-P-524

The Husband in this case is a minority shareholder of Mahoney’s Garden Centers which has several locations in Massachusetts.  Pursuant to a temporary order of the Court, he was to pay $3,400 per month in unallocated support and $75,000 for the Wife’s attorney’s fees as an advance against her share of the assets.  The night before the Wife’s Complaint for Contempt, the Husband paid the support arrearages.  The Appeals Court, while starting that it does not condone last minute compliance, found that the trial court was in error to find the Husband in contempt.  The trial court’s judgment of contempt regarding payment of the Wife’s legal fees was upheld because the Husband failed to present evidence that he was “reasonably diligent and energetic in attempting to accomplish what was ordered.”  The Husband had claimed that his request for a loan from the family business had not been resolved at the last family meeting but was on the agenda for the following month.