Monday, December 7, 2015

Denial of an award for enhanced earning capacity.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division determined that the court properly exercised its discretion in denying the husband any award of a portion of the wife's enhanced earning capacity stemming from her United States medical license. The husband failed to show that he contributed to the wife's attainment of her license.  Prior to the marriage, the wife completed medical school in China and had a medical license in China. Thus, the only marital property was her US medical license, and while the wife did not work from May 2004 to May 2007, as she studied for the exam, she supported herself with her own savings and financial support from her mother, and paid for the exam review course herself.

Student note:  If the husband were entitled to an award based on the wife's enhanced earning capacity, he would have to establish the value of such enhanced earning capacity through expert testimony.

Case:  Ruo Mei Cai v. Victor Fai Lau, NY Slip Op 08635 (1st Dept. 2015)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  Res judicata.