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Lucas v. Lucas

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
592 S.E.2d 646 (2003)


Facts

When Mr. Lucas (plaintiff) and Mrs. Lucas (defendant) divorced in March 1997, the court ordered Mr. Lucas to pay $850 per month in spousal support. At the time of the divorce, Mr. Lucas’s annual income was $128,320. In October 1999, Mr. Lucas petitioned the court to terminate the support order on the ground that Mrs. Lucas was living with another man, Mr. Davis, in a de facto marriage and Mr. Lucas’s income had decreased to $116,779. At a hearing held by a family court master, Mrs. Lucas testified that she had been cohabiting, sharing household chores, and having conjugal relations with Mr. Davis for more than two years; that she treated their home as her permanent residence; and that she contributed $300 per month to shared expenses. Mrs. Lucas’s annual income was $31,000. The master recommended that the order of support be reduced to $700. The family court adopted the master’s findings. Mr. Lucas appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Albright, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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