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August 2012 Archives

Court of Appeals issued its decision in Brennan v. Albertson

On July 24, 2012, the Court of Appeals issued its decision in Brennan v. Albertson, a case that many may consider to be groundbreaking in spousal support cases. In Brennan, for the first time, the Court of Appeals held that a non-romantic, non-sexual, same-sex "relationship" can constitute a "relationship analogous to marriage" pursuant to Virginia Code ยง 20-109 (A), and thus trigger the statutory termination of a support award under that provision. While this decision may seem revolutionary, and it is tempting to predict an immediate flood of support termination actions and commensurate a sea change in the landscape of such actions, a closer look at the facts of this case demonstrates just how limited the Court's ruling is and how rarely it will ever be applied in practice.

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