Virginia Supreme Court rules law on cohabitation applies to same-sex couples

virginia supreme courtThe Supreme Court of Virginia has ruled in favor of a Fairfax County man seeking to stop paying spousal support after learning his former wife was living with and engaged to another woman.

Representing its client Michael Luttrell of Fairfax County, the ACLU of Virginia had argued that state law pertaining to spousal support must be applied equally to same-sex relationships now that Virginia recognizes legal marriage of same-sex couples. The Supreme Court’s decision reverses that of an appeals court that had ruled that Mr. Luttrell could not cease his payments because “cohabitation” could only occur between a man and a woman.

“The court made the correct ruling in this case, which is to recognize that all laws regarding marriage must be applied equally regardless of the gender of the individuals involved,” said Gail Deady, the ACLU of Virginia’s Secular Society Women’s Rights Legal Fellow. “Marriage equality means marriage equality.”

Mr. Luttrell had paid monthly spousal support since his 2008 divorce from Samantha Cucco. He filed suit in 2014 after discovering his ex-wife had been cohabitating with and was engaged to be married to another woman for more than a year.

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