Congdon v. Congdon

578 S.E.2d 833 (2003)

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Congdon v. Congdon

Virginia Court of Appeals
578 S.E.2d 833 (2003)

Facts

Lynn Congdon (defendant) married John Congdon (plaintiff) in 1977, and three children were born of the marriage. After 22 years of marriage, John filed for divorce. At trial, Lynn admitted that she had committed adultery for at least five years. The evidence showed that John was cruel and profane and that he raged at his children and at Lynn. John enjoyed visiting strip clubs and, in the presence of their children, regaled Lynn with details of his visits. Family friends testified that they had never witnessed John show any affection to Lynn, but he had frequently complained at length about her. John’s family owned a successful trucking business, and John earned a salary of more than $250,000 per year in addition to dividends. John’s assets were valued at more than $6,000,000. Lynn did not have a college degree, had spent most of her marriage caring for the family home and children, and earned $10 per hour as a receptionist at the time of trial. The trial court found that there were extreme disparities between Lynn’s and John’s financial statuses. The court held that John’s misconduct was egregious and applied the “manifest injustice” exception to the bar on awarding support to adulterous spouses. The court ordered John to pay $2,300 in spousal support to Lynn until she died or remarried. John appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kelsey, J.)

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