You should be so lucky to have an ex-wife who discovers, after a marriage with you, that she’s a lesbian. This sounds snarky, sure, but it has sound legal reasoning behind it. A recent Virginia Supreme Court ruling tells the whole story. It is one of many insane (but true) facts related to spousal support (aka alimony).

Luttrell V. Cucco: Cohabitation & Gender

Michael Luttrell separated and divorced Samantha Cucco in 2008, after signing a Property, Custody, and Support Settlement Agreement (PSA) that stipulated he would no longer pay spousal support if Cucco “cohabitated” with someone—had the trappings of a new marriage.

Luttrell got wind of Cucco’s engagement to another woman, and sued to end spousal support. Though he lost in a round or two in lower courts, Luttrell eventually got the Virginia Supreme Court to uphold his side, noting that the law about spousal support and cohabitating is gender neutral.

Marvin Gaye: Singing for Someone Else’s Supper

A lot of nonsense has been written about musician Marvin Gaye and one special album. Gaye rode the money and fame roller coaster up and very, very far down. He had difficulty meeting spousal support payments to his ex-wife, Anna Gordy. He (and his lawyer) worked out a mutually satisfactory agreement with her (and her lawyer) that he would pay her $600,000, more than half of which was to come from the advance on his next album. The remaining portion would be from royalties on that same album.

He went into the recording studio and, tempted as he might have been to make a less-than-stellar album, produced an artistic triumph, Here, My Dear.

He did not sing for his supper, but he sure sang for his ex-wife’s supper. The album had to sell well, because otherwise he would be on the hook to Anna and have no way to pay her the alimony she was due.

Not to totally bum your buzz, but Gaye died bankrupt, still owing Anna $293,000. Even in death, his “income” went not to Anna but the IRS, for back payments.

Speaking of the IRS and Alimony

If you are facing spousal support payments, or are deep in the swamp of monthly checks mailed out from your hard-earned paycheck, take heart: the alimony you pay is a tax deduction for you, and must be reported as income for your ex-wife.

Your divorce lawyer will review this with you, but you can also visit the IRS (no, not in person!) and see that “Alimony is deductible by the payer, and the recipient must include it in income.”

We do not encourage you to report to the IRS your wife if you suspect her of not reporting your spousal support payments as income. Leave it to the IRS to put your tax return and hers together (which their computers will do quickly, rest assured). When you report the payments as deductions and she does not report the payments as income, the burden will be on her. You may get a notice from the IRS asking for supporting evidence of payments (canceled checks are ideal!).

Piacere: Paid in Pizza!

An Italian judge has ruled that the ex-husband can pay his ex-wife in pizza instead of Euros. You may think that’s insane, but you can read it in Italian. For those who are not fluent in the splendor of the original Romance language, we provide this translation, free of charge:

As reported in Il Gazzettino, the Padua judge, Chiara Bitozzi, ordered the 300 Euro ($322) monthly payment in pizza from the professional pizza artist because he could not otherwise afford the spousal support.

Rumors that the ex-wife planned to then marry—and divorce—a gelato maker are, as far as we know, untrue.

I Scream

Alimony, or spousal support payments, can take just about anything into account. Our Virginia court system tends not to divert much from the straight and narrow, but one cool judge in Mumbai, India ordered a divorcing man to pay spousal support, child support, plus ice cream support.

The wealthy businessman claimed his ex-wife spent his money frivolously, on ice cream. The $2.22 per month ordered by the judge was stipulated for buying more ice cream, beyond the $1,255 in monthly support payments.

Ooooo, She is Pricey!

We end on a high note—or at least a high number: $3,121,750 in spousal support payments a year. That is how much Christina Estrada will collect every year from Walid Juffali, a Saudi businessman who divorced Ms Estrada in 2013. The payments are to cover such “reasonable” expenses as:

  • $4,994 annually for sunglasses
  • $144,849 for handbags every year
  • Wimbledon and Ascot tickets for $57,440 each year
  • $103,642 for a year’s worth of cocktail dresses

Not a Saudi businessman? Not made of ice cream or pizza? Contact The Firm for Men at 757-383-9184 to arrange an appointment with one of our men’s family law attorneys who can help you navigate the perils of spousal support. We’ve been serving Hampton Roads including Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Portsmouth for over a decade!

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