Esposito-Shea v. Shea (Appellate Division, Third Department)

After a trial, the Supreme Court, awarded the husband $12,600, which was 10% of the value that was placed on the wife’s law degree. While both parties had obtained experts in valuing the law degree that the wife had completed during the marriage, however while the wife’s expert had used a baseline earnings of both her historical, pre-law earnings and a statistical bachelor’s degree earnings, the husband’s expert used only her historical, pre-law degree earnings. The husband’s expert, by doing so, used baseline earning that was more than $20,000 lower than the wife’s expert, creating a greater value on the enhanced earnings. The supreme court and the appellate court determined that it was, however, correct to use the wife’s expert’s report as the wife would most likely have sought employment at her bachelors level rather than the lower paying jobs she was working prior to doing her law degree.