Nothing brings out the worst in humanity like a divorce—and, if you ask us, it seems like these were terrible people to begin with. From disturbing revenges to unbelievable pettiness, these divorce horror stories are the definition of “toxic.”
1. Spread It Out
I represented one guy who was on his second marriage. He had lost his first wife to cancer. He and his kids were devastated. My client was a sensitive guy with a big heart. His second wife was charming, which was why he fell for her, but it was all a facade. Then my client met a very affectionate woman during his case.
They really hit it off and were basically engaged even though his divorce was far from over. The fiancée started having health issues and was diagnosed with a form of terminal cancer. Then the ex-wife tried to use the diagnosis against my client in court—and what she said was seriously ridiculous. Her crazy theory was that he had caused his first wife’s cancer.
She accused him of doing the same thing to his new girlfriend. The second wife’s attorney refused to be a part of her theory. The attorney never addressed her argument in court and didn’t even mention it during testimony. Rather, he informed the judge that his client wished to address the court directly about an issue.
The judge allowed it, and the second wife shared her wild theory adding that she was certain my client had tried to give her cancer as well. I wish I had an artist’s rendering of the scene capturing the second wife’s crazy eyes, her attorney’s shame and embarrassment, the judge’s confusion, and my awe-inspired disgust.
2. At A Crossroads
My dad had a client who was a trucker and wanted to divorce his wife. The guy was in his late 40s and weighed 300 pounds. The man said that he and his wife were in an open marriage, but she refused to have another partner even though this man has multiple partners. He also casually mentioned to my dad that he was bisexual too.
But he’d wanted to make it very clear that he preferred women but slept with men regularly. He didn’t give a reason though. And when my straight-edge, old-fashioned dad asked, he told him a disturbing story about his last trucking run. He was alone at a truck stop on his birthday. So, his wife arranged for a man to meet with him.
In graphic detail, the guy further explained how the man bit him and it had hurt so much that he punched him. Then he kicked him out of the truck and immediately called his wife to tell her that he wanted a divorce for hiring him someone who would do such a thing. My dad said he had to try so hard to stay professional.
3. Nefarious Nanny
My very first client after graduating from law school seemed like a normal woman from our first meeting, but she ended up being quite the nightmare. My client and her husband had two kids in their preteens. My client decided one day, totally out of the blue, that she was done with her marriage and so kicked the husband out of the house.
She did everything in her power to keep him away from their kids out of spite. At some point, she took in a teenaged homeless girl to be a full-time nanny despite the fact that she was at most two years older than one of the kids who was a freshman in high school. A year later, the wife paid for the nanny’s transition.
This was when she came to me for representation. At our second meeting, she was with the nanny who she only referred to as “Mark.” I honestly believed at first that he was her son. Then the wife told me she’d tried multiple times to have the husband taken into custody thinking it would get her full custody of the kids.
She had gotten a restraining order and then kept trying to trick him into breaking it—and her plan was utterly chilling. She had the nanny call him in tears saying their younger child had been in an accident and she couldn’t tell if he was breathing. So, the husband rushed over in a panic, only to be immediately taken by officers waiting for him.
The wife’s story was that the husband threatened that he was on his way to attack her and abduct the kids. But she didn’t stop there. On another occasion, the wife bought illicit substances then paid her father to plant them in the husband’s car. The father got cold feet at the last minute and confessed to the husband what his daughter wanted him to do.
Less than a week after the nanny turned 18, the wife came into my office with them and proudly declared that they were dating and madly in love. Despite all of this, the wife got primary custody of the kids who referred to the nanny as Daddy. She also got a hefty monthly spousal support payment.
4. Be Careful What You Wish For
After seven years of marriage, without the knowledge or permission of his wife, a husband started trying to convince their nanny to join them for a threesome. He kept telling her that his wife would be really into it. He was a Wall Street guy and she was a physician, and the nanny had been with them since their first kid had been born, four years earlier.
The nanny finally made a move on the wife, who initially told her it was totally inappropriate. But a few months later, all of them got a little wild together one night and finally had the threesome of the husband’s dreams. It soon turned into a regular thing. The husband was totally happy—until the wife made a truly stunning announcement.
She told him that she and the nanny were in love with each other, and that she was leaving him for the nanny! During the custody proceedings for the couple’s children, the husband tried to argue that the nanny was an unlawful immigrant, which was ridiculous. In the end, the wife got primary custody. Three years later, the wife and nanny are still together, though they have now hired a new nanny for the children. Good luck beating this one!
5. Micro Waves Of Emotion
I was sitting in the lobby of the courthouse when my parents were in the courtroom getting divorced. The couple before my parents had come out of the courtroom and were consulting with their lawyers on opposite sides of the lobby. The woman and her lawyer stopped and talked right in front of me—and I couldn’t believe what I heard. She was wild with rage.
Her lawyer finally got her to shut up for a minute and explained that her husband was offering her a settlement in which she’d get the house, the car, full custody of the kids, all the money including their retirement savings, child support and alimony, and all their possessions, just about everything she had demanded.
He just wanted his clothes, a few dishes, and the microwave. The lawyer told her that she’d better take the offer because she certainly was not going to get anything better. The husband had made clear that if there was any argument, he was going to fight for all of it because he was offering this so he could walk away.
He told her that if she made her husband go through a court battle over those few meager things, he was going to make her pay. She started screaming in anger about, “her microwave!” The lawyer told her she could buy another microwave for less than the cost of the time that he will bill her just to have this discussion.
But no, she returned to screaming about how he couldn’t have her microwave and demanded that they go back into court and battle it out for that microwave, no matter the cost. People are stupid.
6. Thanking Her For Her Disservice
For years, she verbally attacked me. She belittled me in front of my friends and family, accused me of cheating on her almost daily with anyone and everyone we knew, and often went into fits of rage when I wouldn’t agree with her on absolutely every single thing. Fast forward 6 years. I’m deployed. I had asked her to send me my Kindle so that I could have something to read when my convoys were stopped and we were waiting around for hours.
I only ever used it out on convoys, so I never had it connected to WiFi. After about 5 or 6 months, I’d read all the books that were on there and I decided to take it to the WiFi tent and get a few more. As soon as I connected to the WiFi, a bunch of old Facebook messages came through. She had apparently been using the device at home and it was logged into her Facebook account as a result.
Nevertheless, I didn’t realize this at first and assumed that the messages coming through were for me. When I saw what they said, my blood ran cold. I could see that they were from two very good friends of mine, so I opened them. I looked at the messages and discovered that she had been sleeping with both of my friends. I couldn’t believe that after everything I took from her, this was how our relationship ended up.
I called her up, told her that I knew and had seen the messages, and demanded a divorce.
7. Alter Ego
Out of the blue while at work I get a weird email. When I open the email it lists off a name and says my husband was married to her. I checked on Facebook and what do I see? Tons of pictures of a woman with my husband. The woman and her kids with my husband. The woman and her family with my husband. I was stunned, to say the least.
It was October 6th 2017, seven months after I almost lost my life from an ectopic pregnancy. Yep, we were trying at that point to have kids. That’s when I just…snapped. After work, I went home and started throwing all of his stuff in the dumpster. He was out of town at the time so I had plenty of time to do it. I spent all of Saturday and Sunday throwing everything he owned in the dumpster.
A month later I moved to a new apartment and waited until then to tell him I was divorcing him.
8. Buyer Beware
The guy I married went instantly from being fun and adventurous to an absolute psycho. He stopped using my name and would just call me “wife” even after I asked him to stop. He started insisting that I didn’t need other friends and would say, “Aren’t you done with that?” when I would want to meet up with other people socially.
If I hung out with a guy, then I was cheating in his mind. I even caught him going through my phone to find “proof” when there was none. There were two incidents, however, that lead to the bitter end, and they’re terrifying. First, I woke up to him standing over me and calling me horrible names while I slept.
Then at a concert, he FREAKED OUT and had to be dragged off of me because I talked to an old male acquaintance for five minutes. That one left bruises, and I left him.
9. Rest Stop Rendezvous
I couldn’t find my wife after she got off work one afternoon. I tried to call her cell phone with no answer. She didn’t show up to the house until 9:30 p.m. She weaved a tale about getting stuck in traffic. I did some sleuthing and used a driving app that tracks your movements. I found out she had been leaving work early, going to the nearby rest area off of the expressway, and sleeping with a 20-something trucker she met at her previous job.
I decided to interrupt the festivities one afternoon. I showed up to the rest area, parked in front of his rig, and jumped right up to the door. The cabin shade was drawn. I withdrew the shades and saw my loving ex-wife going to town on this guy with a pipe in her hand. He had the gall to tell me to give them privacy.
Seeing my wife with some dude in a semi on the side of the road was horrific. I didn’t handle it very well. I called the authorities, they were both taken in for possession, and I promptly filed for divorce. The icing on the cake is that a few months after I left, she cheated on her new trucker friend and is well on her way to her seventh “friend.” Godspeed, you wet, musty nightmare.
10. Stormy Seas
We got married when I was 17 years old and he was 21. We were so young! He was shipping off to sea with the Navy, and I was escaping a bad home life. When he came back after his deployment, he wasn’t the same person anymore. After about six months, he gained weight on purpose to fail his physicals so he’d get kicked out of the Navy.
Fast forward a year, I’m working full time, and he is sitting at home, watching TV and drinking during the day, and telling me that he “was applying to jobs.” I was applying to universities when my laptop stopped working. I asked to use his laptop to finish an application, and while I was typing away a message popped up through his Facebook account. When I saw what it contained, my blood ran cold.
It was a provocative picture of my husband’s ex, from her. I was shocked and opened it to find that they’d been dating for a long time. They started communicating again while he was at sea in the Navy. He would talk to her and never to me, saying that he never got the time to email. I confronted him, and he made a bunch of pitiful excuses.
I had my friends come to the house that day and kick him out while I went to work. He then stalked me for the next few years, and made posts about how I was a coward, he sent emails and called from blocked numbers to tell me that “a restraining order is just a piece of paper” or that “our vows before God made me his property.”
I ended up talking to our friends, spreading conflicting information about where I was going, and moved out of state. I deleted all my personal social media accounts and lived in fear for years, watching him continually make memes about how he loved his wife and would do anything for her. It took eight years for me to finally get the divorce from him.
11. In Sickness And In Health
One of the final straws for me—and there were multiple, of course—was when I had surgery on my nose, sinuses, and throat. He stayed at my place that night and the next day so he could “take care” of me. All he actually did was whine and complain about how he couldn’t get comfortable enough anywhere to play on his laptop.
He also said that I was taking up too much space in bed, because I needed three pillows to keep me propped up in a sitting position so I wouldn’t choke while I slept on all the gross stuff coming out of my nose and down my throat. He then told me that since it was my place, I would have to get his meals ready and pretty much do everything for him like I was hosting a guest.
I had to kick him out the next day so I could actually recover from surgery instead of catering to him. He was baffled by how upset I was, because to him the surgery obviously wasn’t a big deal since I was released on the same day. I knew then, though, that if anything more serious happened, it would probably be some other reason why he couldn’t be there for me. I divorced him soon after.
12. A Horrific Second Impression
I had a friend who married one of the most horrible people I’ve ever met. The weird thing was, he was so charming at first, but within the first three months of them being together, we all started to notice a few things and we decided none of us liked him. One day, though, we made a discovery that made our blood run cold.
We saw hand-shaped bruises on her arms. Well, literally the next day they were at the courthouse getting married. We had a small gathering shortly after, which he ended up turning into their wedding celebration, bachelor party, whatever he could to make it all about him. He drank a lot, and then basically attacked her in front of all of us. Over something so small.
She told us they didn’t have their rings yet, but they would get them soon, and he walked over to her and started strangling her for “embarrassing” him. She ended up breaking down and realizing that for the entire four months of their relationship, and nine days of their marriage, he had progressively gotten more and more hurtful, and she made a mistake.
13. You Can’t Change Him
I had two good friends who were brothers, and they were party animals. They went drinking at bars all the time, slept with different women every weekend, just the whole kit and caboodle. Their idols were frat boys back in the day and any character from the movie Animal House. They just loved that whole bachelor lifestyle, and to be honest, I was a bit jealous of the fun they were having, since I had been in a longer-term relationship for many years.
Eventually, the younger brother settled down and got engaged to a really nice girl. When that happened, something broke in the older brother’s mind, and he suddenly was in some sort of “race” to get married before his younger brother. But it’s not like he changed his life around. Instead, he kept living the bachelor lifestyle, and then one day just announced to us all he was engaged to be married.
Then he dropped the real problem: He and his fiancée had set a wedding date that was just six months before his younger brother. Keep in mind, too, that none of us ever met this girl before we found out he was engaged. When we did meet her, our jaws dropped. It was clear he had not been open with her about his lifestyle.
She was a very prim and proper lady. Very shy, quiet. They worked together, so she only knew the professional side of him. Over the months leading to the wedding, his partying kept going. He was cheating on her with one-night stands, but she was totally oblivious. Our group of friends told him he needed to tell her what he was doing, but he refused.
Eventually, I was nominated to be the one to tell her before it was too late. I met her for coffee and told her how he was cheating on her and everything else he was doing. She was generally taken aback, but that meeting did NOT go well. She told me to my face that she was still going to marry him and that she could change him.
I left with a clear conscience after that. Fast-forward to their wedding day, and it is an absolute mess. He is drinking before the reception even starts and passes out in a corner sometime after dinner. As I am leaving, I say goodbye to his bride, and I can see it in her eyes. The very definition of regret and “Oh my God, what have I done.”
They ended up being together for exactly one year. Her final straw was when she really wanted to go out for a special brunch for their one-year anniversary. She made plans at a fancy place. He told her he was going out to party the night before but would be home in time to get some sleep before their anniversary started.
Well, he ended up hooking up with some girl he picked up at the bar, and when he finally made it home the next afternoon, his wife had packed her bags and left. I felt bad for her at first, but then I remembered how I put everything on the table with her and yet she still married him. I’ve never seen or spoken to her again.
The worst part? My friend ended up repeating his pattern. However, he is on his fourth marriage now, but does seem to have finally settled down this time.
14. Forget You
To be honest, I didn’t really want to be married to her. However, she was determined to get married by age 24 regardless of who it was with, and at the time I had significant difficulties saying “No.” I was working 60+ hours a week in a kitchen to help pay for everything, and I was struggling with my mental health at the time.
We grew further and further apart emotionally. Then I found out fewer than five months into the marriage that she had been unfaithful to me for at least a year—so while we were planning the wedding, she had been sleeping with other people. Then it took an even darker turn. She told me that during this time, she had had an abortion because she didn’t know if I was the father.
When I found this all out I basically had a breakdown and tried taking my own life. I also spent a few years after this blaming myself for the breakdown of my marriage and her behavior. I’m in a much better place now, without her.
15. There Goes The Honeymoon Phase
It wasn’t my marriage, but I am involved in the story. Basically, my ex-girlfriend’s boss left his wife ON THEIR HONEYMOON, because she and him were having an affair while I was dating her. They had the wedding and flew off to Bali, but he was sneaking off into the bathroom to send my girlfriend intimate pictures of himself while he was there.
I saw one of the pictures and confronted her. She admitted to it and messaged him back to tell him that I had found out. My understanding is that he basically came out of the bathroom, told his wife, “I think this was a mistake. We shouldn’t have gotten married,” got on a plane, and flew home. He left her there on her own. On their freaking honeymoon. With no explanation.
So I think the marriage lasted all of about three days. This all happened about 10 years ago. She was my first girlfriend from high school, and we had been together for 10 years, so I was 24 at the time. I’m actually fine about it now because we were unhappy and it really wasn’t meant to be, and I’m happily married. Still, the boss and my ex were having a full-blown affair and had been sleeping together for several months before his wedding.
He would also send her just generally intimate and lovey-dovey messages about how much he missed her and how much he wished it was her there with him instead of his wife. However, the message that I happened to see, which blew the whole thing wide open, did include a picture of his nether regions, as well as a bedroom picture she had sent him in return. And that’s not the end of the story.
A couple of weeks later, my friend called me with a message. You see, I had told him what happened and he had told someone, who had told someone who actually ended up knowing the “wife” in this situation and had told her. This is how she learned the truth of why her husband stiffed her on their honeymoon and never told her why.
Through that same chain of people, she got the message back to me requesting that I call her so we could talk. I had actually met her a couple of times before through my ex and her work but I barely knew her. So, I called her. She invited me over and we had a long talk. I told her everything I knew from my side. She hadn’t learned any of this until she had heard it through that friend, so it was pretty rough.
I moved on quickly, but they had a really rough and messy divorce. However, I did run into her a few years ago, and she was remarried and seemed very happy. As for the two offending parties: They did start dating publicly, which I think caused a lot of drama and friction in their personal lives. Hugely so at their work with the other employees, as you can imagine. I heard they broke up after a few years together.
Also, my wife just reminded me of another detail, since I’ve told her the story before. My ex was invited to the boss’s wedding, but I wasn’t; she said it was because they were trying to do it on a budget. I found out later that at the wedding, my then-girlfriend got really wasted and upset and started causing a scene. It was apparently bad enough that the best man had to get her in the back of his car and leave the wedding early to take her home since it looked like she was about to spill the beans in front of everyone.
16. All’s Well That Ends Badly
On our honeymoon, she didn’t want to do anything but fight, so I left two days early to be with my dog. Then she stopped wearing her ring and refused to tell people she was married, referring to me as her boyfriend instead. The final straw was when my grandpa was passing and she said, “I wish he’d just hurry up and die already. I’m tired of this apartment being so depressing all the time”
I made it four months in all before filing for divorce. We were together for about a year, give or take a little, in total. I’m not sure how I didn’t notice the red flags. The relationship seemed relatively normal right up until we got married. She had her share of issues (bad childhood, severe anxiety, all of that stuff) but I was dumb and thought I could fix them.
If there were red flags, why did I marry her? Well, I had just had a really bad breakup with my girlfriend of four years a few months before meeting my first wife. We had made plans for our future—marriage, kids, the works—and the breakup really messed me up. I was insecure and afraid of being alone, so I probably would have married anyone. Young, dumb, and unaccustomed to heartbreak.
Did I keep the dog? Of course. I may have gotten rid of the wife, but no chance in heck was I getting rid of the dog. We took her and moved her far away, and now she’s got lots of people around all the time to spoil her and fatten her with treats. She recently got a little brother. Things are better now. I took a few years of being single and just learning who I was and wanted to be. I’m happily remarried, and this time it’s stuck.
17. Stay-At-Home Husband
Not me, but my brother. He got his first serious girlfriend during his senior year of college. He was doing a lot of different stuff with her and told me that he was really happy. I told him that I thought that was great, but that he needed to remember to take things slow since it was his first relationship. A week later, he bought a ring.
Everyone in my family attempted to talk him out of it. Everyone. But I knew my brother was going to do whatever he wanted, so I just said “Sure.” They rented a house, bought furniture, moved in, got married…and after a month, they got divorced. I think it was soon enough to get an annulment, but I’m not sure. What broke them up was so small and so big at the same time.
The main thing was that my brother wanted to move out of our hometown when he was finished with college. His wife, however, was completely fine never leaving. I mean, I don’t even think she was going to school, and she would just sit at home all day and not do a whole lot else. Didn’t want to broaden her horizons at all. So, that was that.
18. A Slap In The Face
My friend’s marriage didn’t last through the reception. The groom got wrecked and slapped her child from a previous relationship…before hitting the bride in the face. The groom was a truck driver (long and short-haul) so he and the bride didn’t spend a ton of time together over their relationship. She didn’t know he was like that.
His actual attack on her happened behind closed doors and was kept pretty hush-hush until the next morning to save face. Still, she went out and filed for an annulment the next morning. This all happened about 10 years ago, and I’m no longer in contact with the bride, but last I heard she was doing better and had moved on.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the groom had also racked up several thousands of dollars in debt in the bride’s name during the relationship that she didn’t discover until things started falling apart.
19. Just Divorce The Whole Man
We got married by mail, a double proxy, which is only available from one US state. We’re both in the Armed Forces. I actually knew before we got our marriage certificate that it wasn’t working because he became insanely controlling after we moved to Germany together. He would scream at me when I’d ask him to go on road trips on the weekends to see the adorable little German towns.
He would scream at me in front of all of his friends—my friends were never even invited over. He did not allow me to have access to my own money, which went into our joint account. And when I would buy something I felt I needed on Amazon, he’d scream at me, too. For what it’s worth, I would usually just buy soaps; I have very sensitive skin and can’t use the shampoo/body wash combos that are made for men.
He would scream at me over the littlest things, like how I folded our towels after they dried. The final straw was when we went on our “honeymoon” to Greece. He brought two guy friends along. He refused to sleep with me, and even told me he really didn’t want to be intimate with me at all anymore, and then he publicly humiliated me by screaming at me in a very public venue around a lot of strangers.
He of course was cool to his friends, and they went swimming while I sat in a beach chair and cried. I just knew it. We made it about four months before I moved out.
20. Married Life Is the Real Nightmare
Failed exorcisms. The client had an inner ear condition that caused chronic vertigo, but symptoms could be treated with medication. The husband was an evangelical who was convinced his wife 1) had become possessed and that her vertigo and general crankiness at his methods were evidence of demonic possession, 2) the medications she was taking were enabling the devil to hide inside her, and 3) the only proper recourse was an exorcism.
He would hide her meds until she got dizzy and then try various methods of exorcism. This included: Sweating it out (put under blankets while incapacitated and locked in a room full of space heater). Freezing it out (pretty much the reverse with AC, fans, and bags of ice). Surprising it out (he would jump out and scare her like it was the hiccups, but instead of yelling ‘Boo!’ he would recite the Lord’s Prayer or Psalms).
The final straw was that he tried to “surprise it out of her” by pushing her down the stairs when they were heading out for dinner. This guy was some type of executive, and they still went out to dinner after the stairs incident. She asked for the divorce at an Applebee’s that night. I have often tried to picture that conversation, as she was adamant that he was a total sweetheart and never acted out of malice or anger.
21. Sole Custody Is Not in Your Stars
Staff Attorney for a judge. Not a divorce but a custody modification hearing. Ex-wife wanted sole L&P custody of the kids because the ex-husband was spending all his money on a palm reader/psychic and refused to pay child support. On cross examination, ex-wife’s attorney got him to admit that he was spending all his discretionary income on this psychic.
He said he had spent over $5,000 on “readings” and other services there. Judges frequently chime in with questions in domestic matters, so my judge asked why he was not paying support as his divorce decree required. His explanation was i) the psychic could “read” that his children were provided for without his money and ii) he would be able to repay the ex when he takes the children to Mexico permanently to “seek great riches” there.
Which my judge read as, “My psychic told me to kidnap my kids.”
22. A Dirty Separation
I’m an intern, but the judge I work for used to do divorce work. He has some crazy stories but this one is probably the most outrageous, though the divorce was pretty justified. Every morning, this couple would sit in the bathroom together while one of them had their morning dump. One would sit on the toilet and the other on the rim of the bathtub.
This particular morning, the wife was on the toilet and husband on the edge of the tub. They started to argue about their relationship, so the wife reaches down, pulls her tampon out and flings it at the husband. I’m told the tampon stuck for a brief second to his forehead before sliding off. He filed for divorce that same day or the next.
23. The Final “Gotcha!”
Paralegal here. There are so many crazy divorces and divorce will bring out the absolute worst in couples. When thinking of reasons why a divorce started, this one stands out to me the most: At my last firm, we did general law, which included probate. A couple did their will with our firm. We drafted everything; they were mid-70s to early 80s and married 40 years total. Divorced and remarried once.
Husband wanted us to put in his will that his kids get his entire estate but did not want us to tell his wife. He wanted to have us make a secret will and a fake will. The fake will would be signed with her present, and then he wanted us to shred it and he will come in later to sign the “real will.” He copied his wife on the email that had all of this information disclosed in it. Two weeks later, he called us and said he wanted to file for divorce instead.
Bonus one: A previous client was FURIOUS his wife was cheating on him. She wanted a non-contested divorce and wanted to use my boss specifically because she knew he was a great lawyer. He pretended to go along with her terms and contacted us literally two days before his wife and retained us. He said he didn’t care how much money the retainer was but wanted my boss so his wife couldn’t have him as a lawyer.
He called and paid first, so he won that battle.
24. Not So Sinful as To Not Get One, I See
My client was the outrageous one, so my heart went out to his poor wife. He had OCD which manifested primarily financially, so he made their lives a penny-pinching nightmare. Examples: he was obsessed with avoiding unnecessary driving (wear and tear on the car, gas expenses), so he cut the whole family’s hair at home and never let them eat at a restaurant or go to the movies.
Weirdest of all: he kept one toilet paper roll on him at all times, and you had to get one square from him before you could go to the bathroom. He never gave more than one square. Wife finally got fed up and left him when 1) he gave her bangs during an in-home haircut and 2) their daughter was so traumatized by the toilet paper thing they couldn’t potty train her.
Also: he HATED paying his divorce lawyer bill. He was also an old-fashioned mega-Catholic who considered divorce a deadly sin. He viewed my whole job as an unnecessary (and sinful) expense.
25. A Million Reasons Why Not
Hopefully soon-to-be-former divorce attorney here. I’ve seen tons of crazy reasons for people to get divorced. Some of them stupid, some of them make perfect sense. I had one person get divorced because her husband wouldn’t take her out to the movies anymore. I had one client who looked through her husband’s phone and found out he was hiring male escorts while he was on business trips.
One female client got a divorce because she hated sleeping with her husband. Her last relationship before she got married was pretty intense, and I guess her husband just didn’t match up. I’ve had a few clients who were teachers get divorced because their spouses found out they were having indecent relationships with students. All of the teachers were female.
One divorce involved an elderly couple who had both recently been widowed. They had both been married to their individual spouses for over 40 years. They married each other out of loneliness. About two years into the marriage, they realized they made a huge mistake. They couldn’t stand each other. It was weird seeing eighty-year-olds complaining about the same thing you see kids arguing about.
26. Stay for the Pay
The saddest divorce we were hired to do (but ended up not doing for reasons that’ll become apparent), was a woman in her fifties whose husband had really just let himself go. He was over 400 pounds, just did his third triple bypass, refused to do ANYTHING different, just smoked and drank all day long while watching TV.
His doctors told him he was going to die in six months if he didn’t change his behavior. He told them they were all morons and could go to heck. Meanwhile, his wife is this successful woman who makes over $10k a month on her HOBBY, while making six figures in her normal work. She lost all respect for him, all desire, and all love for him by watching his decline.
For the past few years, she could barely stand him. It also sounded like there was some verbal stuff going on where he constantly accused her of cheating and gaslighting her while cheating himself throughout their marriage (and spending all his money on substances). His accusations ramped up considerably once she lost about 200 lbs. the good old fashioned way.
We were working on her divorce, and one of her provisions was that he keeps her as the beneficiary on his life insurance (for obvious reasons). She assured us he would agree to everything she suggested in the paperwork if she talked him through it. One day, we get an email from her saying to halt the divorce.
Not because they were reconciling, but because he refused to keep her as the beneficiary on his life insurance if they divorced. So, she stopped the divorce. So that she could get the benefits when he inevitably dies in a few months. It was absolutely stone-cold, but honestly I couldn’t say I would have done things any differently than her.
We’ve had one where the opposing party (husband) found out his old wife (late 70s) was terminally ill. He started using EVERY tactic in the book to delay the final hearing so that she would die before their divorce was finalized and he wouldn’t have to lose anything. We just got another where the couple agreed to everything beforehand, signed documents, agreed to a dissolution and how to share custody.
Now, husband has a vengeance boner and wants to trash the dissolution, take everything from her, and taking away even their kid from her. Why? Because she told him “no” when he asked for their kid a full day and night ahead of schedule when she had already made plans with the child. People are totally ridiculous.
27. Spring Cleaning Comes for Everything
He was frustrated by her hoarding. She was frustrated by his utter uselessness. He filed for divorce, and she was my client. Her prized possession was a couple of rooms full of scrapbooking materials. His prized possession was a yard full of junky old cars that he never worked on. They had no children and no real assets.
They hated each other more than any two people I’d ever met, and the only terms they would agree to were these: he gets the scrapbooking stuff, and she gets the cars. My client also took the house, as he had no income and didn’t want it anyway. It was the shortest divorce decree I ever drafted. I intentionally squeezed it onto one page, and the judge and I had a good laugh over it.
Once the decree was signed and filed, she hauled all the scrapbooking stuff to the yard, and he removed it to the dump. She then called a junk shop I referred her to and had all of his cars removed from the yard. These two also fought over a toilet brush, as he didn’t want to have to buy one when he moved out. I politely instructed my client to “give him the darn toilet brush.”
28. Not Even a Stitch
When my friend was going through a divorce with her insane husband, he had texted her pictures of the gun he bought to threaten her. Even though the authorities were called, there was nothing they could do because it was “only a picture.” He was staying with a secret girlfriend at this point and my friend let him to go get his stuff from the house. She was scared to go back in the house alone so I went with her.
The first red flag was that he had changed the locks. So, we waited for locksmith to open the house and change the locks again. Well, when the door opens, we noticed all of the furniture was gone. We make our way upstairs in search of her cats. The entire second floor was empty. There were no cats, no furniture, and even her clothes were gone.
We came to find out that he hired a moving company to pack and take everything away—even the food in the fridge. Finally found the cats. He had taken them to another vet in town and put them up for boarding under his sister’s name thinking she would not be able to find them. He was finally forced to disclose what happened to her possessions. He had them taken to a storage unit far away from the home.
29. Living Life To The Emptiest
My first marriage ended. He was diagnosed with a large brain tumor. We didn’t have health insurance on him, and I was still in school. So, I quit school and got a job with health insurance, and we went through the long process of getting him brain surgery to remove the tumor. Once that was over, he was different. Not completely different; more like the person he would have been if he hadn’t had some voice telling him that he needed to be responsible.
His neurologist called me up a year after the surgery and scolded me for “letting” my spouse get away with doing the opposite of what the doctor had told him to do. I felt like garbage. He had been scheduling appointments for times when I absolutely was not able to get out of work, so I thought he was doing everything he was told to do. That’s what he told me he was doing, anyway.
For example, he told me they wanted him to get his mobility and dexterity back since the surgery had caused him to be temporarily paralyzed on one side of his body. He already went to physical and occupational therapy, but okay. What else did he have to do, I wanted to know. Oh yeah, he said. “They told me I should golf every day.”
So, he got a membership at the local country club. He did golf every day, so I thought he was doing what they wanted; but looking back, I always kind of wondered how that was going to help him get back to normal. Back to that fateful phone call. I was told by the doctor that he would no longer be treating my husband and that we would have to find someone else from now on. This was because, among other things, he had apparently told my husband that he needed to get a JOB.
He said that this would be the best exercise for his brain and for his body. Naturally, that phone call was a complete shock to me. When we sat down and discussed the entire year from surgery to that present point, I asked my spouse how he was going to improve his life if he didn’t want to do what the doctor had told him to do. I also asked if he really believed it was realistic to just golf every day for the rest of his life when we couldn’t even afford another year of a country club membership.
A few days later, he told me that he’d made up his mind. He had been thinking really hard and he’d decided that he wasn’t going to change. He said his life almost ended the year before and, therefore, he would have passed never having done all the things that he really wanted to do. Things like being a National Geographic photographer and a professional snowboarder.
He also missed the band he had been in before we had to move for my new job with health insurance. So, he announced that he would be moving back to our hometown so that he could be in his band again. Did I want to be married to a professional snowboarder who had never yet even tried snowboarding? No. But I thought he would change eventually and go back to listening to that voice telling him to get a job and be in the band in his spare time. I gave him all the money I had saved up ($4,000) and told him he had six months. If he didn’t come back to me in six months, I’d file for divorce.
He took the money and drove back “home” with the full support of his bandmates, who apparently had trouble finding a new bass player in his absence. He promptly got someone pregnant. That was the last straw for me. Six months later, I filed for divorce. He filed some paperwork asking for alimony, but he never showed up for court; so I was granted the divorce and didn’t have to pay him anything.
I regretted supporting his little sabbatical, but I also didn’t want a miserable spouse. We had always been blissfully happy until that surgery, even with all of the challenges that we faced. I was committed to taking care of him and our household. I thought we were soulmates. But I think he got scared when the doctor called me. He didn’t want responsibilities. And maybe I was getting worn out?
Eventually, I moved on and graduated college. It took me a while, but I finally had to accept that there may be more than one acceptable partner out there for each one of us. I no longer believe in soulmates. I believe that if you want to be in a relationship, you will stay in it no matter what. It’s been many, many years since this all went down. I am now remarried, happy, and stable.
I know that if something ever happens to my spouse, I will have the strength to carry us through it. Also, which hadn’t occurred to me before, I know that if something ever happens to me, my spouse will do the same without question. And that is why I don’t regret a single thing.
30. Animal Instinct
Former paralegal here. I worked for a small firm and we once had a woman come in to file a fault divorce, claiming that her husband was to blame. She filled out the paperwork but didn’t put a reason down. Unfortunately, we do need a reason to be provided for a fault divorce, ya know? So, my boss and I sat down with her and ran through a bunch of the more common reasons.
Harmful to her? No, he never raised his hand to her. Harmful to the kids? No, he was a great father. Cheating? No, he was always faithful. Addictions? No, he never drank or used any bad substances. Still has a good intimate relationship with you? Yep. Money trouble? Nope. So what was the problem, then? Apparently, the dude couldn’t quit looking at adult videos.
But that’s not the end of the story. Because it turned out that the videos the dude was hooked on were specifically videos involving goats and other farm animals. She brought in hundreds of pages showing his internet searches and saved files. It wasn’t even people with goats, it was just goats with other goats. He also liked to watch mules be bred. It was strange, to say the least.
We called him the GOAT now around our office, as in the grossest of all time. The weirdness of this case has always stuck with me to this day. After all, it isn’t every day that a marriage breaks up because the man has an unhealthy obsession with an oddly specific farm animal. I’m betting this guy isn’t allowed near petting zoos…
31. I Get the Message
I know someone who chose to divorce her husband because, in her own words, she never really loved him and she just used him to get pregnant. They have three kids together. She kept on urging him on to buy a brand new house in one of those cookie cutter neighborhoods. Her plan was to divorce him, take all three kids and the new house, and make him pay for it all.
She also expected to have him pay child support on all three kids going forward. She went to the lawyer and asked him to initiate the process without the husband’s knowledge. Her lawyer wasn’t comfortable with this at all, considering he had all their financial information and saw that the husband was making just enough for all five of them to get by on.
Before the husband was able to sign the papers to buy the new house, the wife’s lawyer “accidentally” left a message on his phone instead of hers, going over the final draft of the divorce. Thanks to this message, he avoided having his life as completely ruined as it nearly became. Also, where I live, both parties have to be aware of the divorce according to the law.
You can’t just sneak attack on your spouse, like this woman was attempting to do. They have to have at least some knowledge of it in order for it to be legitimate. Even if one spouse just straight up shouts, “I’m gonna divorce you!” That would count. So I don’t think the lawyer is in a situation where he could get in trouble for doing what he did.
32. A Slight Miscommunication…
My cousin divorced her husband because she was gay. She always was and always had been, but she still got married to a man in order to appease her fanatically religious parents. Under the circumstances, she didn’t want to admit that this was the reason she was filing for divorce. Instead, she completely blindsided the guy with the outrageous reason she put down.
She claimed that she dated the first guy that fell in love with her. They got engaged after like six months, had the whole white wedding shebang, and got married quite young. I think she was just 21 at the time. Six months after the wedding, she tells him basically “Thanks for playing along, now here’s the divorce papers and I’m running off to another state with my lover, who was the maid of honor by the way.”
He was not playing along. He had no clue.
33. It’s All in the Game
Lawyer here. One of my craziest divorce cases that always sticks out in my memory is the one where the husband and wife both played some sort of online role-playing game. It was sort of like the Sims I think, but a little more elaborate and adult. I don’t know anything about online games, but that was the gist of it as far as I can tell.
The wife got heavily involved with the game, spending something like 10 hours a day on it. She refused to reduce her daily playing time, no matter what her husband said. What tipped things over the edge? He set up a fake profile/avatar and went online to stalk her in the game. He found her avatar sleeping with some random guy’s avatar.
To be clear, nothing unfaithful ever happened in real life. Neither of the members of this couple were exactly oil paintings to look at, if you know what I mean. Nevertheless, this fictional affair in the game was enough for the guy to initiate a fairy acrimonious divorce. In all my years in this field, I don’t recall ever having another case as bizarre as this one.
34. Less Is More
One divorced couple came in because the ex-husband wanted to lower his spousal support payments due to his lowered income, great financial responsibilities, and the fact that his ex-wife was declining to seek paid employment, all of which sounded reasonable at first. His income did decline due to “cuts” at his company.
But his new wife who technically worked as his assistant was now making quadruple her salary, more than he ever had. He tried every trick in the book. He claimed that his ex-wife had “unpaid renters” living with her and could charge them rent. These renters were their twins living at home who had just graduated high school and were staying for college.
This was even though the ex-husband was actually allowing his step-daughter and her two children to live with him and his wife. They didn’t expect her to pay rent, and he was paying for her to go to college too. His ex-wife produced evidence that he had told his own children to figure out paying for college themselves.
He claimed that his ex-wife worked as a nanny for free by choice and should be getting paid for work elsewhere. The kids who she watched for free were their three shared grandchildren from their eldest child, two of whom were severely disabled. He claimed that when he married his new wife, he gained over 15 new dependants.
This was technically true, but those dependants were all in Mexico and included his new wife’s grown siblings and their families, none of whom he had ever met.
35. Shattering Exit
During my first year of law school, lawyers from different practices came to give us a peek behind the curtain of different areas. One divorce lawyer told the story of a rather well-to-do couple that spent months and months and many tens of thousands of dollars fighting over absolutely everything all the way down to a single ceramic ashtray. He couldn’t remember the significance, but somehow it had come through the husband’s family.
Even after everything else had been decided, they spent many more months and nearly $100,000 fighting over just this ashtray. Then, after a court hearing, the wife finally won the ashtray. She promptly strode outside to the white courthouse steps…and smashed the ceramic ashtray. She left the pieces all over for the husband to see on his way out. Decided that day I would not be a divorce lawyer.
36. As Long as It Takes
My friend’s dad Alan is a lawyer and does mostly divorces and custody cases. He had a couple come that had already figured out division of property, custody, support, etc. Alan figures it’ll be a quick afternoon and he’ll be home in time for dinner. He’s reviewing everything with them and gets to the question of which parent should be called first if the child gets hurt or sick at school or camp.
Well, for some reason this turned into a huge issue. Each parent wanted to be the one who was called first. The couple argued for an hour, for which Alan was being paid hundreds of dollars. After an hour, Alan suggested that they split, take a break, collect themselves, and start discussions anew on another day or maybe talk about it on their own and come see Alan when they figured it out. Nope, the couple insisted on ironing it out right then and there.
They fought for SIX HOURS while Alan just sat there and listened. They refused his help, they refused to come to an agreement. By this time, it was almost 8 PM and Alan said, “I don’t care what you two do, but I’m going home to my wife right now.” For some reason, that seemed to make something click for them and they did eventually resolve it.
Not sure why it took six hours and a couple of thousand dollars to do it, but they did. Guess everyone has a hill to die on.
37. Can’t Wipe Your Cheat Codes Away
I worked at a computer repair store as a sales technician. A guy came in with a desktop and he wanted Windows reinstalled. I asked if he wanted me to back up all of his data first and he told me that he had everything he wanted and to just do the wipe. I put it in the queue and he paid then left. I started it about an hour later since an XP install was only about 45 minutes off the network.
I didn’t bother doing anything else except deleting the original partition and making a new one and installing Windows. About an hour after that, his wife came running in asking if we had a computer with “Smith” as the last name. I told her I did and she showed me her ID and said that her husband brought it in to try and destroy all the proof of him cheating and stealing money from their business.
When she asked if I had wiped everything yet, I told her I just did a Windows install and didn’t actually really wipe anything. I called her husband and told him the situation. I told him his wife was here to get the computer. He asked me if I reinstalled Windows like we spoke about and I told him I had. He told me, “I don’t care. Give her the computer. There isn’t anything left on it anyway.”
I said alright and hung up. I told her that he said I could give it to her and then explained to her how reinstalling Windows doesn’t magically delete everything and explained to her how I could recover all of her files in a couple of hours. I ended up staying late that night and she bought me pizza and soda.
I ended up recovering every file he tried to have me destroy and made multiple copies for her. She ended up calling him from the store and reading off some of the messages he had tried to delete from his emails. I was worried that he might try to come back in and confront me, but nothing else ever came of it.
38. Back to the Health Board
When I got divorced, my alcoholic wife of 18 years had started another affair. This time it was with her addiction counselor…so my lawyer and I laid a devious trap for them. Just in case you don’t know, intimate relations between a counselor and patient are very frowned upon by the regulatory bodies. And I was more than angry after putting her through rehab, which cost $25,000, which I didn’t have to do, only to have her fall back into her old behavior.
Shortly before the divorce was finalized, I filed a complaint with the state body licensing health professions. Knowing they were in some peril because of their unprofessional relationship since I had already gotten him fired, she had backed off her exorbitant demands. I paid her a very modest settlement, kept the house, got custody of the three tweenage kids, plus got child support.
Her lawyer naturally included a clause in the divorce where I had to agree to not say anything negative about her lover and their relationship. But the lawyer messed up and never asked if I had already filed charges and thus didn’t require me to rescind them. The lawyer had assumed I was just bad mouthing them to neighbors and friends and it never occurred to him that we were doing much more.
When the Board of Health Professions responded to my complaint shortly after the divorce was finalized, I told them that it would take a subpoena to get me to testify. They were all too happy to oblige. Then they stripped his license and placed him on a register of sanctioned health professionals. He never worked again.
They were broke within a handful of years and she divorced him when the money ran out, but in the interim his mother had passed, leaving fair sized estate, so it took longer than I expected. The frosting on the cake was that his wife and I traded notes, notably hotel receipts from the time of their affair, that helped each of us in our respective divorces. Justice was served.
39. Relationship Breakdown
I have a friend who went through a nasty divorce and his ex was vengeful despite that he had done nothing “wrong” like cheating, lying, etc. He got laid off from a good job and the loss of status embarrassed her, especially as he took to being a stay-at-home dad and their kids adored him—never mind that she had MBA and six-figure job herself.
She would rack up credit cards to show high expenses and then return it for cash or store credit so that the refund didn’t go back on the card. That way she could try to get more support. Since he needed any work he could get, he took a job at Home Depot. Later on, he landed an IT consulting position that was part time but paid about what he made at Home Depot working full time.
She petitioned the courts to try and force him to have a full-time job, basically wanting to force him to spend 30 more hours to earn same. The worst was that part of his custody granted him dinner one night a week with the kids around 5-7 PM. He asked for it to be school pick-up to 7 PM instead, and she refused. Even though from 3-5, they were at home with a nanny who had to be paid for that time while mom was at work.
40. Detestable Diminishment
One of my father’s friends tried to salt the earth before getting divorced. A rental house and a cabin were deeded to relatives, the cars they drove every day were sold to other relatives for tiny sums, stocks handed over to a trust “for the children,” etc… He even vanished a chunk of cash from the company he co-owned with his wife using phony invoices and stopped paying himself a salary, electing to burn through their personal savings for over a year instead.
He then learned that judges really, really hate when you try to hide or intentionally diminish assets and they will absolutely refer you to prosecutors for fraud. I don’t think he did any jail time in the end, but his ex-wife got EVERYTHING plus the satisfaction of firing him from his own company.
41. I Want My Mother Outback
My mom was an evil mastermind with this divorce, let me tell you. My parents had been separated but living in the same house for a while and it was around the time of year when our family would normally go for a camping trip. She convinced my dad that we would break the trip up and he would get a week, then when he returned, she would get a week with us, the three kids.
Secretly, during my dad’s week, she got her friends to help her clear the entire house out, and I literally mean clear it out. There was nothing left, not a single clothes hanger, no couches, TVs –quite literally nothing. She chose this vacation setup really well too. Camping meant we didn’t need money or have access to cell service, of which she took advantage as well and emptied the bank accounts and hid all the money away.
She didn’t stop there though. She also maxed out lines of credit and all credit cards. Normally, this would take a while, but she was quite smart in this approach. Earlier when planning this divorce, she had convinced my dad to quit his job, which was quite high paying I should add, to start a company. This company was still new and needed a ton of expenses paid so the banks didn’t think twice about this ridiculous amount of money being transferred as it wasn’t out of the norm anyways from their new set up with the company.
Then, when it came time for my dad’s trip to end, she told him he needed to call her when he got back in cell range. Upon calling, she told him that she was on the way out in the same direction anyways so we could just meet halfway to spare us kids a bit of driving time on our way to the next trip. This was odd considering after a week of camping, we all wanted to shower and clean up but she was very adamant.
We met up and swapped vehicles. Then my dad was on the way home alone, while we were off to hide away at a location different than where she had told my dad. When he got home, he thought we had been robbed. It didn’t sink in. He called the cops and started phoning family because of how empty the house was. He broke down and didn’t know what to do.
That’s when my mom’s dad came over and told him the brutal truth. He said she left him and took everything. She hid us and I believe tried to steal us but that part is a bit fuzzy for me. Eventually, it somewhat caught up with my mom, the judge was shocked at what she did. She even went as far as trying to convince us kids that my dad was abusive and had us interrogated by a cop wanting us to lie about him.
The whole situation was crazy. She ended up blowing all the money on fancy trips and shopping sprees with her friends, and when the judge ordered her to pay it back, she fled the country. Now she lives in Australia and doesn’t have to pay anything.
42. That Was Easy
I worked at Staples for six months in college and my favorite story from there was the only time I ever sold a chair mat because the cheapest one wasn’t very good and the nice one was around $120. One day a guy walks in who looks homeless. He looks distraught. I give him my normal, “Doing alright today, sir?” He tells me that he needs a chair mat so I walk him back to show him the options.
I told him that no one had ever bought one because the $30 mat is flimsy and the nice mat is over $100. He looks deeply into my eyes and says, “My wife left me today. She cheated on me and she’s going to take everything. Give me the most expensive mat you have. If she wants it, I’ll cut it down the middle so she can have her half.”
I didn’t really know what to say, but I came back with, “Well, we do sell protection plans for $9.99…if anything happens to it…” He interrupted me and said, “Whatever, add it on there. Every dollar spent is one she can’t have.” I hope he’s alright. I probably caught him on the worst day of his life. I got props from the bosses for not only selling a chai mat but also for the protection plan.
43. Charging Away
My good friend found out her husband wanted a divorce when she was contacted by the bank. He had attempted to take her name off all accounts, vehicle ownership, mortgage, and everything without her knowing. Of course, it didn’t work and she snapped. It was just after this that we had a girl’s weekend planned. She put all of it on her credit card.
She paid for meals, hotel, skeet shooting, hitting the town and drinks, everything. It was her way to show how she felt about him. It was a really bad divorce too. He assaulted her, screamed at the kids constantly, switched to a low paying job to reduce her amount of any child support, etc. His family is loaded and he immediately hooked up with a new woman who also has money so his lifestyle maintained just fine. She came out the other side fine but it was a rough couple of years.
44. No Looking Back
I did an internship with a family law judge in law school and sat in on this one case where the ex-husband wanted to lower his spousal support payments due to his lowered income, great financial responsibilities, and the fact that his ex-wife was declining to seek paid employment, all of which sounds reasonable on the surface.
It turned out that while his income had been lowered due to “cuts,” his new wife, who technically worked as his “assistant” and had done so prior to the divorce, was now making quadruple her salary—more than he ever had. He claimed that his ex-wife had “unpaid renters” living with her and could have money to survive if she charged them rent, but the “renters” were the couple’s shared 18-year-old twins who were living at home having just graduating high school and were going to keep living at home while starting college in the fall.
He later had allowed his step-daughter and her two children to live with him and his wife rent free and paid for her college. His ex-wife produced evidence that he told his own kids to figure out paying for college themselves. He claimed that his ex-wife worked as a nanny for free by choice and should be getting paid for work elsewhere.
The kids she watched for free were their three joint grandchildren from their eldest child, two of whom were severely disabled. He claimed that when he married his new wife, he gained over fifteen new dependants, which was technically true, but those dependants were all in Mexico and included his new wife’s grown siblings and their families, none of whom he had ever met. This dude was shocked when spousal support wasn’t decreased.
45. Big Hero Zero
I once mediated the case of a hrroible guy vs a green card mom. It must have started out as the perfect dream for someone who would usually have a hard time getting to where he was. He landed a hot Asian wife, brought her to this country, but once that green card came through, things changed. They had a daughter together and the case was mostly about her.
The mom had zero respect for this guy and try as I might to maintain my empathy, I’ve never felt a greater urge to stuff another human into a locker. Two of his demands really stand out. He asked for the following injunction, “-wife- shall be enjoined from discussing husband’s weight in a derogatory manner, specifically, she may not refer to him as fatty, tubby, pudgy, or Baymax.”
Normally I wouldn’t take an offer like that to the other side. I’d normally help a guy come up with something more sensible, but everyone, including his lawyer, just could not take this guy seriously, so I wrote that out verbatim and trotted over to the mom’s room. Of course, she thought it was hilarious. She had a super thick accent and said, “My daughter call him Baymax because he look like Baymax. I can’t fix that. He have to fix that.”
Then at the end of the day when everything is pretty much settled, the very last thing that they have to do is start dividing the things in the house. Of course, the dad has a meltdown at this point over a Nintendo Switch for the daughter. The mom made the very sensible proposal that the daughter take the Switch with her to each parent’s house as she goes back and forth. He freaks out and demands the Switch stay with him at all times because “there’s no way the mom can take proper care of it.”
Mind you, the attorneys are billing enough to pay for three Switches an hour at this point. I don’t know what happened to the guy but I do know calling him Baymax could land one lady in contempt of court after the most hilarious enforcement trial of all time, and he owns what’s probably the most expensive Nintendo Switch in the world.
46. Sobering Judgment
There was a case that involved a young couple who had a child together. The woman wanted a divorce from the young man because he enjoyed the “thug life.” He had recently been busted and charged for possession with the intention to distribute drugs, which was a felony, and in possession of a firearm, meaning it was an unlawful carry.
The guy didn’t want her to leave him so he hired a local big-name top divorce attorney—granted, they were from a very rural area. He got a temporary divorce order entered that said she couldn’t have overnight guests if they were male, which is something common in rural conservative areas, but I think it’s mostly a thing of the past in more urban places.
When the young woman started seeing someone new, the young man gets very upset and on top of all the other attorney fees, has his fancy lawyer ask for a hearing to accuse her of violating a court order and to seek full custody of their children. The young woman, on advice from a mutual friend, hired me for this hearing. It turned out to be a case that I’ll never, ever forget.
I sat down with opposing counsel and she basically tried to strong arm me with her experience and laid out egregious terms that include the mother must not only give up primary custody, but must have visitation with a supervisor as well as pay child support and attorney fees. She knew I was a new baby attorney in town because I’m fairly certain I had been licensed for less than a year. I balked and she said that she’ll see us in court.
I went into the hearing with a copy of his probation arrangement on his possession with intent to sell and unlawful carry. He hadn’t told his attorney about this so she was unaware. She called him up and established how my client had her new boyfriend over on x,y,z nights. The VERY conservative judge was not pleased.
Then, opposing counsel passed the witness. I ask him if he had a job. He didn’t. I asked him, “What do you do for money?” He’s vague and said, “Things here and there.” I acted surprise and said, “Oh? Ms. opposing counsel is awfully expensive…do you sell drugs?” He just looked at me and played dumb,”…what?” I repeated my question, “Have you ever sold drugs to make ends meet? He pauses with an, “…uhhh no.”
That’s when I introduced a copy of his guilty plea and straight probation sentencing. The judge was now staring daggers into him—and I was just getting started. I leaned over to my client who was sitting next to me and whispered, “If you took a drug test today, be honest, would you be completely clean?” She told me she would be. So, I asked the young about when he last did drugs. His attorney tried to object, but the judge overruled him.
I knew that this judge will drug test people on the spot as he was also the misdemeanor drug court judge. The young man tells me, “It’s been years, I’m clean,” so I followed with, “If you were tested, you’d be clean?” He says he would be. The opposing counsel asks the same of my client and we agree. Judge has them both tested.
He tested positive for drugs. My client was clean. The judge denied his motion and asked me to send in new temporary orders that required the young man to maintain employment and start paying child support and placed him on supervised visits. The icing on the cake? The opposing counsel actually called me and left me a voicemail congratulating me on, and I quote, “Handing her butt to her for the first time in a long time.”
47. Calm Down, John Proctor
I’m in court for one of my first times after passing the bar exam and handling a routine child support case. The events that transpired did not involve my client from that day. First, I have to explain that in Massachusetts, when one party is unrepresented in Family Court there is a pre-trial meeting with the probation officers so they can assist the judge in framing the case.
These probation officers are trained social workers who act as mediators in these instances, so they’re nothing like criminal probation officers. So, these two parties are meeting. You can see the guy is just angry over everything but they are making progress working out the divorce. Then all of sudden he stands up and throws his chair over and swears at her, yelling, “You took my house, you took my kids, you even took my dog. I will kill you if you think you are keeping my name too!”
Within seconds, he is restrained by court guards and escorted to a private room. He ended up getting busted for threatening to kill her. It was all because she wanted to keep his last name instead of going back to her maiden name to make it easier on the kids.
48. Big Bluff Up
My dad went through some financial troubles. One day he decided he could have more money if he chose not to pay mortgages, property taxes, car notes etc. Eventually, he was busted for tax evasion and my mom found out and immediately filed for divorce. My mom was a shopaholic and took “no” about as well as a toddler being told they can’t have ice cream. She insisted my dad didn’t make enough money and kept maxing out her AMEX weekly. Thus, my dad came up with an utterly brutal solution.
During the divorce, she said she wanted the nice cars. My dad basically said great, take them. Then she told my dad she wanted the house. My dad begged and pleaded with her not to take the house. He point-blank told her that the house was days away from foreclosure. He told her that she couldn’t afford to take that hit on her credit, but she really wanted to stick it to him so she thought he was bluffing. After a week of mediation, he finally gave in and said, “Fine, take the house.”
The house and the mortgage were transferred into her name and the house was foreclosed on and a lien was placed on the house. Through some shady deal, she short sold the house without informing the new owner of the lien, failed to claim it on her taxes, and spent the money. When the new owner finds out, she’s going to be in a lot of trouble and then there’s a chance the IRS can come to collect capital gains. This is all because she wanted to mess with my dad.
49. The White Widow
My oldest sister has been married five times. The first one was at 19, and they divorced because they were young and not ready to be married. The second marriage, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be married, and despite my mom advising her to walk away, she got married anyway. He cheated, she left. Her third marriage lasted 10 years, but they fought a lot. He was a doctor, she’s a nurse, and they were two intelligent people who couldn’t talk to each other about their problems. But her fourth one hurt the most.
The fourth husband was my favorite. He was kind-hearted, and the most loving and supportive spouse you could ever hope for. Well, I think she got bored and met someone while she was on a work trip. She sent us an email saying that her and her fourth spouse were starting to feel like they were just “friends” and she was moving to New Zealand to start a new life.
She wasn’t fooling us; we knew there was a new dude. About six months later, she announced she had a new boyfriend, and a year after that we saw that they had been married. The kicker in all of this is, during my wedding, my very sweet English grandmother said to her. “Oh, I do hope that your marriage to (fourth) works out.”
This upset my sister, but I don’t blame my grandma for pointing out her revolving door of husbands. I wish I could invite her fourth husband back into our family, we really miss him and his family.
50. Mom And Dad Know Best
My first marriage lasted three months. She just kept allowing her parents to come over whenever they felt like it by giving them a key, and they came in and started taking anything they thought I shouldn’t have. They took my $80 bottle of Crown Royal. They tried to take my gun I was going to use for work. They took one of my TVs.
I also had pots and pans and a knife set that cost me darn near $1,100, and they took all but one pan and left my knives. The worst thing they ever took, though, was really embarrassing. They kept coming in when no one was home…and took condoms from the bedside drawer. Like nope. Boundaries. Plus, she was so sheltered her entire life that she didn’t know how to live without anything.
51. Lace And Lies
First I caught her sneaking out of bed at night to get online. As a computer guy, I ended up finding the name she was looking for. It was on an Armed Forces installation. Well, I had friends in the building where she worked, and I tied the name to a co-worker of hers. I knew it was something more than just working together.
Well, one day I saw her stuffing something in her purse in the closet. She straight up told me she was going to his house, as she didn’t think I knew or suspected anything. I called her out, we argued. I demanded that she show me what was in her purse, because I had a bad feeling about it. Its contents destroyed me. It was lingerie I bought her, which she was taking to go screw another guy. That ended us.
52. An Open Book
Mine only lasted 18 months. I was a pushover, she drank too much. We were different, but it was working out for a while. A year in, my dad passed and I lost my job in the same week. Obviously, I was super stressed out. We took an RV trip vacation to get moving, process things, and create some fun couple moments.
Two weeks into the trip, she said she wanted an open relationship. I said I’m dealing with a lot right now, but I will think about it because we love one another. Later that same day, she said. “Let’s make a baby right now.” I said, “Shouldn’t we talk about the open thing before having a baby?” Her reaction was utterly cold-blooded.
She exploded. Told me I was denying her intimacy and was a horrible person, all that. Well, we got home and she wanted to download Tinder together because that would be fun or something. I said that sounded like the opposite of fun. Warning signs always exist, but people make choices. Her choices turned “She’s fun” into “She’s unstable and destructive to herself and others.”
53. The Sins Of The Father
My cousin was pressured into marrying the guy who knocked her up. They were both 21 at the time. When their son was a couple of months old, she was making dinner for her and her husband, and asked her husband to feed the baby, who was crying. He said, “No, I’m busy.” What was he doing that was so important? Playing WOW.
They separated when their son was about four months old. She’s now happily married to someone else, and that man adopted her son, partly because the biological dad wanted nothing to do with him.
54. A Stranger In Your Bed
A month after we got married, he wanted to re-enlist. I was against it, but he convinced me it would be for the best, and that I would be able to finish nursing school and we would be financially stable. While he was away for training, I was boxing up our apartment because we were about to get stationed over in Germany.
As I was packing, I came across documents from his prior service. When I read the papers, I was chilled to the bone. They talked about a previous marriage that I knew nothing about. When he called later that day, I asked him about it and he completely flipped. He became so full of rage that never went away after that.
I tried to talk through it and understand why he kept the marriage a secret. His answer always changed. I just never could understand and he seemed so uninterested in helping me. I was so unsettled, and I filed for divorce a month later. Later on, though, I found out that he had been married three times before me. You think you know someone.
55. Time To Get Over HIM
My cousin was married after a really quick relationship. His family had money, and I think she wanted a nice life. A few months later, though, she was in a horrific car crash that took her nine-year-old sister, their grandmother, and left her with severe injuries. Like, it shattered most of her face, and she may have broken a hip and her back too if memory serves.
She was in a medically induced coma when her sister’s funeral occurred. Less than a month or two after she gets out of the hospital, her husband—they were married about six months at this point—says to her, “You need to get over the accident.” Well, that was certainly the end of that. I was really proud of her for leaving him.
56. Rolling With Someone Else Now
Divorce lawyer in London. Had a client who indulged in some recreational substance use. His dealer lives in the same apartment building as him. Went down one day to pick up some stuff. When the drug dealer (female) came to the door, he could hear his wife in the background. Turns out that his wife also liked that life and was getting her fix in with the neighborhood dealer.
But it doesn’t end there. Because they all get on so well, they start having parties and hanging out. Parties become orgies each week. The husband and wife put their kids to bed and head downstairs to the dealers flat for a feast of flesh. A couple of months go by, and the wife comes home and says she is leaving him to be in a full-time relationship with the dealer!
Dude is now stressed, but he can’t score no more from his dealer who stole his missus!
57. Dine in, Dash out of Your Marriage
My father’s best friend divorced his wife over her cooking. Apparently, every day he would come home to amazing cooked meals. In reality, she couldn’t cook at all and was ordering food from different restaurants. She even went as far as dirtying pots and pans to make it look like she cooked all day. She got away with this for almost a year before he caught on.
This was back in the day before you could check your bank statements online, and since she did all the billing, he didn’t notice all the money she was spending on takeout.
58. Two Sides to Every Horror Story
I am a lawyer that handles quite a few divorces (among other things), and I’ve seen all sorts of reasons for marriages ending. The only thing that is consistently true (and relevant to this question) is that it is NEVER for just one reason, and it is NEVER one-sided. In fact, I’ve started telling potential clients in our initial interview that I am well aware that I am going to uncover some dirt on my client in the process—not to scare them, but to put their mind to ease that I’ve seen worse.
The fact that you haven’t been 100% an angel up to this point doesn’t scare me, and I’d rather find out about it from my client beforehand than later on from their spouse at the worst possible moment. All this is just to say that when you hear about people divorcing over one stupid argument or mistake, usually that’s just the straw the broke the camel’s back.
That said, some of the lighter straws I’ve seen include: A guy who is 100% convinced that his wife (our client) is actually a lesbian in love with his sister and just using him as a cover (but he also claims she is sleeping with me to pay for her fees, and with every male whose phone number is in her call history).
A woman who is divorcing my client because he was “too sad” after his father passed last year (my client had to break down her door to get his father’s ashes a few weeks after he left the house and she refused to let him back in or give them to him). A woman who claims my client was emotionally abusive towards her because he refused to yell at her, and sat in silence ignoring her when she screamed at him (he has this recorded, time-stamped for the dates and times she insists the incidents occurred, and she’s listened to them and his complete silence as she goes on tirades and insists this proves her point that he was “emotionally distant and abusive”).
59. Separation Anxiety
I used to work in a general practice firm, and the guy who worked across the hallway from me was a family law attorney. He was a good attorney, but every day I would hear him yelling on the phone at his clients. One day, I asked him why he did when it was obviously stressful. He pointed out that it’s honestly pretty easy work. There’s one chapter of statutes dedicated to it, and you need to know a little Civil Procedure and that’s about it.
It’s an amazing segment of business. Not only is not that difficult from an intellectual rigor perspective, but holy moly…those family law attorneys make serious bank for being willing to put up with the headaches. I would routinely hear him yelling at clients like, “Don’t go over there. I’m INSTRUCTING you to not go there. If you go there, I will fire you as a client and when you go to jail, I won’t take your call.” (For the record: this was in a fairly affluent suburb).
Most of the disputes that would drive him into my office for a “break” would revolve around parents wanting to know their recourse for ex-hubby dropping the kids off four minutes later than agreed and how the client planned to get “even.” I also recall one time a client had gotten his cell phone number and called him on a Saturday evening with some “emergency” (spoiler: his ex had done something egregious like took the kids to the pool without his consent).
So, on Monday morning, the attorney sent the client an invoice for $500 for a Saturday phone call (which probably lasted like five minutes). He did it so the guy would call him and say “What’s this?!” and then the attorney could explain to him that is what he charges for non-emergency weekend calls, this time he’d waive it but if he ever did it again he could be sure to get a bill that he’d end up paying.
60. You Can Put a Price on a Soulmate
She was kidnapped in Mexico, and he refused to pay the ransom. Eventually, her family managed to pay, and she was left on the side of the road. It is not outrageous as in petty, but outrageous as in how absurd that is. I don’t know how much they wanted as ransom, but it was substantial, as the conversation between her family and him was how he had it liquid, and they had to liquidate investments to get that amount.
This happened about seven years ago. He wasn’t with her on the trip. She was traveling with cousins and went downstairs alone to get ice cream and wait for them to get ready. I do not know all the details. She was extremely distraught talking about it and it was not necessary to pry. It was clearly traumatic, so even though I had a million more questions, I left it alone.
61. Just Throw out the Whole Man
My great-great-grandparents had an interesting case. He was abusive, like “pimp her out and then beat her for infidelity” levels of torment. This was the 1910s, though, and in our state, you couldn’t initiate a divorce for cruelty. In fact, the only possible grounds for divorce was infidelity. A few times, she tried just leaving him anyway.
Once he came home from work and she, plus all eight of their kids, were just gone. But he always found them, and since they were still married, he had every right to grab the kids and go back home with them. Finally, she moved out and went to live with another man. She flaunted the new guy around town until her no-good husband got embarrassed enough to sue her for divorce on the grounds of infidelity.
Although she couldn’t read or write, she put her X on those papers the minute he served her. It was a major local scandal (very Catholic community, divorce was rare), but she got what she needed to be safe.
62. Take a Rest From the Restroom
So, this girl I went to school with marries this rich guy from Ohio. She moves in with him, and they seem to get along well. Six months later, she files for divorce. Up to that point, all I’ve heard from her was how good it was going. Anyways, it turns out our buddy had a fetish for going off on urine. He asked her to urinate on him in the tub.
At first, she agreed to it as she thought it was a onetime thing. But he kept asking for it more and more. She tried to decline it respectfully, but he wouldn’t get any of the hints. She finally used the tub being too small as a reason. Next day she comes home with two dozen construction guys and their heavy equipment tearing the bathroom walls.
A week or so later, they finish up the bathroom. She comes home to a sign left on the fridge with a note to drink up, she got some watering to do. I don’t know what exactly she put down as the official reason in the paperwork but that was definitely her biggest reason to walk out of that relationship. Oh, I forgot to add, he also wanted to bring a horse to do the deed as well and at times, asked her to make animal sounds while she stood on top of him.
63. Too Big To Fail
I worked at a company where two employees were engaged. After they married, she sent out an all-users email advising us of her name change. Then, almost exactly a year later, she sent another one that notified us she was changing it back. Apparently, right up to the wedding, she was seeing someone else on the side whenever she could.
It seems that both she and her fiancé knew it was a mistake, but it was one of those enormous weddings and her father was paying out just a huge load of money. They were even having dance lessons for when the bride and groom have the first dance, that kind of deal. The whole thing was like a super-tanker that couldn’t be stopped, so they had their day and split up soon after.
64. Jewels are a Girl’s Best Scam
My friend and his ex-wife settled their divorce with her getting the house, a hefty chunk of retirement, all the gifted jewelry, and the Harley she had gifted him for his birthday. A few weeks later, a “robbery” occurred—but the only thing that was stolen was the jewelry that he had gifted her, which was intended for their daughter.
She tried to file an insurance claim on the jewelry but forgot to get appraisals so the maximum insurance paid was $1,500 for over $20,000 of jewelry. Suspicion is she staged it, but is now stuck with “stolen” jewelry she can’t legally sell, nor wear, nor give to the daughter without tipping the dad off to the scam.
65. Outpouring of Spite
There was a case where the husband and wife were getting divorced after multiple attempts to reconcile. The husband was an attorney but not in family law. One of the attempted reconciliations included the wife losing some weight and sending the husband some naughty pictures. Once divorce litigation started, the husband sent these pictures to his wife’s minister father, asking if he knew the kind of person he’d raised.
During litigation, the husband also drove around at night, with their two small children in the car I might ad, to find the wife’s car at a friend’s house. He then proceeded to pour airplane acid all over her hood.
66. Will Against Time
This was more of an estate issue, but there was a case with a deceased man who was married to a woman for nine years. These are what I call “late in life marriages,” where a woman with nothing marries a retired man with a house, retirement income, and time to vacation. The man brought a fully paid for house into the marriage.
He took out a mortgage to presumably afford vacations and new wife expenses. The bank required both names on the mortgage so he deeded it to them as joint tenants. Two years later, she left him for another man and was never heard from again. A couple months ago, he found out he’s going to die. He immediately filed for a divorce, which was never finalized, created a deed to his children, which wasn’t valid because it needed her signature, and a will which described in detail how terrible she was and disinheriting here completely, which all didn’t matter because the state allows a wife to void the will and take half of marital property.
He passed before anything could be done. She now owns the only remaining assets of the house and a marital car. Even though the son moved into the house and took care of his dying father for two years, his heirs will receive nothing. She will receive a hefty house and a $20,000 car.
67. False Overconfidence
There was a guy who was making $150,000 a year, got a Thai mail order bride, and had three kids. He has an affair and decided that he didn’t want an immigrant wife and mixed-race kids so he initiated divorce proceedings. The woman’s only priority was to have custody of the kids, so against her attorney’s advice, she was willing to take a deal where she would get a car and $1,200 in child support without spousal support, and a $3,000 lump sum from their joint account so she could rent an apartment.
There’s ZERO chance that he actually wanted custody of the children because he’s already shacked up with the girl that he’s having an affair with. She wanted full custody so badly that she was willing to live with hree kids in a modest two-bedroom apartment and pull the kids out of expensive extracurricular activities they were doing to economize, as well as getting a survival type of job after being nothing but a housewife since coming to the US. Not to mention that one of the kids had some talent in an Olympics event to the level where she was getting professional coaching lessons.
The husband ended up going in front of the judge against the advice of his own attorney who told him that he’s nuts to turn the deal down. But because he didn’t want to give her $3,000 and figured that the judge will decide between what she wants and what he wants all without realizing that there’s a formula based on income that judges use to determine child support payments.
At court, the judge awarded the wife the $3,000 lump sum and $1,700 of child support…for each kid. So, because he didn’t want to give his ex-wife $3,000 for his kids to have a place to live, about 50% of his take-home pay was going to his ex for the next 10 years and more. The attorney I worked with was all about money and never did anything for free but this was the one case where he represented the woman for just a nominal fee.
68. Left Everything Behind
A client and her ex-husband owned a successful renovation company. Marital issues happen and they decide to get a divorce. After looking at the money in the banks, the value of the company based on its past, the value of their house, and everything else, they made an agreement where she would get the company and house, while he would walk away with the ready cash.
He then takes off for a sunny place to start his life again, but soon after, the wife finds out that the husband had been planning to leave her for a while. He stopped paying the vendors and the payroll taxes, which is where the money in the bank accounts originally came from. Their company had been existing on credit for over 6 months while he emptied the bank accounts.
Employee’s paychecks started bouncing within weeks of him leaving so they quit. Jobs weren’t getting finished so customers were demanding refunds. Within 12 months, she’s looking for someone to buy the home in a short sale just to get enough cash to close out the payroll accounts before she could declare bankruptcy.
69. Building Attention to Detail Skills
This wasn’t my case but I followed it closely because it was an acquaintance’s divorce proceedings. He and his now ex-wife shared some commercial property that was worth a lot of money. They were both on the paperwork and had access to the same information. Well, something hit the fan and the property was in arrears and I think some lien was filed. The husband would try to talk to his then-wife about the whole thing and she would blow him off.
Not only would she ignore him and the finances, she started cheating on him. Throughout the actual divorce, it’s contentious and they get down to fighting for the primary residence, for which market value was much less than the commercial building. She demanded the house and the husband effectively offered to give her the commercial building if he could keep the residence.
She never paid attention to how bad the commercial building was and for some strange reason, her lawyer didn’t do any due diligence so they took the deal. I don’t know if the asset allocation included any saving conditions or caveats for the ex-wife, but I did like to see that her own disinterest may have led to bargaining for an underwater property instead of a paid off house.
70. All in the Family
We had a family “friend” who was a lawyer and my parents agreed that he would be the lawyer for both of them as a mediator. So, as the assets were being divided my dad got absolutely slammed. She was going to get the house, cars, half his retirement, and an insane amount of alimony to the tune of about $2,500 a month for the rest of her life. My dad has a good job as a municipal employee, but that was probably about 70% of his paycheck.
Eventually, the dark truth came out. It turns out that my mom and the “family friend” actually conspired to rip my dad off and make it seem like that’s what a divorce settlement looks like. She was going kick back more money under the table after the dust had settled. Dad just didn’t know how these things worked. So, after some convincing, he finally went out and got his own lawyer. He got a very fair divorce settlement after that. Mom still to this day can’t understand why we don’t talk to her much.
71. Stuck In The Moment With You
This couple was breaking up, and the husband moved out of the house. The wife went to work the next morning as usual. When she came back home in the evening, she found the husband had been to the house and to take his clothing and belongings as she had expected. But he also did something else that she’d never expected—he’d gotten the pettiest revenge ever.
He’d super-glued her belongings together. He glued the TV remote to the table, the phone to its cradle, the pillows to the couch, and even glued the vacuum cleaner to the carpet. She had to report it all as property damage. The officer went with her through the house documenting dozens of items glued to various things.
But for days, she was discovering more things stuck together. So, she then called me to amend or update her report with complaints like, “The oven mitts were glued to the wall!” or “He glued the sheets together in the linen closet!” I’ve seen people do and say really awful things to each other, but that was diabolical.
72. What’s Mine Is Yours
When I worked at a firm, I observed a divorce that lasted decades. The husband had won a huge settlement after being in an accident that caused brain damage. His wife spent the next several years draining his account and taking over property by forging his signature or getting him to sign papers he couldn’t understand.
She then forged some letters from a tax authority and convinced him that he was about to go to prison. She then told him to flee the country. He finally came back years later to find out everything that he’d owned was in her name, and one of the documents he’d signed were their divorce papers. He was left with nothing.
73. Due In Time
The wife worked as a teacher and was paid well over $100,000 a year. The husband worked as a general laborer and made about half of what she did. During their divorce, he gave her the house free and clear with the understanding that when she retired, he would get 55% of her pension to offset his interest in the house.
She agreed as she had to retire for him to get any money. Years later, the wife retired without telling the husband. When their son realized what she was doing, she told him not to tell his father. He agreed until a few years later when he learned that his father was in trouble with his finances due to economic issues.
So, he’d let slip that his mom has been retired for a few years now. So, the husband contacted his attorney. Then she was in a mess after upsetting the court as she’d previously agreed to the terms. In the end, he got 65% of her pension for the rest of their lives and she had to pay him all the money that she owes him.
74. Official Family Property
My ex came out as gay and decided he wanted to be a costume designer. Ok, well bad for me, but more power to him. He decided the historical collection of paper dolls my grandma had left me should go to him because he wanted them as models. My lawyer had to claim the shoebox of paper dolls as nonmarital property as an inheritance.
His lawyer made a claim about how they were “co-mingled” and thus marital property because I had put things in the box that I had bought during the marriage such as a coloring book. So, in an otherwise uncontested divorce, there is a giant paragraph in the decree awarding me my nonmarital, inherited box of paper dolls.
75. Can’t Have It All
The husband was an annuities investor and had money and his home before he met his wife. He also had a prenuptial agreement that was ignored during the division of assets. He was also divorcing her for infidelity witnessed by both their children and captured on the house’s security cameras. He lost his case in the end.
The judge determined to split their assets equally. So, they had to sell their house and all of their possessions and divide the profits between them. This was in addition to alimony and child support payments coming from half of his pre-tax wages that he earned. She was also awarded half of his retirement and savings.
The wife received 70% of custody and jurisdiction over visits. She got his three luxury cars leaving him only one. The husband had to foot the bill for all court costs and fees for them both. So, to get revenge, he quit his job, sold his brother the $2.7 million house for $50k, and switched his life insurance recipient to his brother.
76. Shady Simplicity
My ex tried to file for an emergency order for “kidnapping” our 2-month-old son because I’d moved back home after our split. He had been to my mother’s house numerous times and knew that I was there. He tried to get a judge to order me to move back to the county where he lived even though I had no job or place to live.
The judge told him to never bring that type of request before his court again or his lawyer would lose his license. He then conspired with his lawyer to draw out the divorce proceedings over five years. We were only married for a year and a half, and his girlfriend who lived with him called to tell me this was their plan.
It took a long time and over $60 thousand in fees for my divorce. This was because he had me served first, and therefore, I was the respondent. He then left the state and refused to show up for court dates. His lawyer removed himself as his representation. So, the judge told me that we had to push back the proceedings.
They needed to give him a chance to show up. So, it took four years just to change my status and plaintiff for things to proceed. My lawyer deals with multi-million-dollar divorces for ridiculously rich people in Beverly Hills. He told me that he’d never had a more complicated case for a couple with no assets involved.
My ex now actively avoids employment, jumps from job to job avoiding the wage garnish, and puts all assets in his parents’ name to avoid paying child support.
77. Worthless Attempt
The divorce ended with the wife getting the house, a generous retirement payment, all the gifted jewelry, and the Harley that she had gotten him for his birthday. A few weeks later, there was an incident at the house. Someone broke in and took her jewelry from her husband and only that. It was meant for their daughter.
She tried to file an insurance claim on the jewelry but forgot to get appraisals. So, the most she could get from insurance was $1,500 for over $20,000 worth of jewelry. There’s reason to believe that she staged the incident and now has jewelry that she can’t sell, wear, or give to their daughter without admitting to it.
78. Friend Or Foe
Before they were married, the fiancée almost called off the wedding because the groom forgot to uninvite his friend who was an attractive single woman. Apparently, he was the designated driver for one night when his fiancée was out of town. He dropped everyone off at home and that was the friend who was the last to go.
It made sense because she lived the closest to him less than ten minutes away. There was no history between them, and they’d only interacted in group situations. His fiancée was convinced that they were guilty. This was even after he called her before leaving the bar and again half an hour later when he came back home.
She’d known this for sure because they had a doorbell camera…that she was watching. She asked him all these questions about what they’d talked about at the bar, when they were in the car, and when they were alone in the car. After her interrogation, she casually told him that she didn’t want her to come to the wedding.
He agreed to uninvite her—but that’s where he made a fatal mistake. He forgot to do it. So, he hoped that it all would blow over by the wedding day. But on the day of, the bride saw the friend arrive from her suite and threw a tantrum. The wedding planner locked the bride, groom, best man, and maid of honor in the room and told them to work it out.
It did not go well. The bride wanted the groom to tell her to leave. He pointed out that doing so would disrupt the day and it’d be easier to just pretend she didn’t exist. Wrong answer. The best man got the groom’s phone and called the friend to explain what was happening. She left and never talked to the groom again.
The ceremony began late after the bride’s makeup was fixed. The marriage didn’t last. He realized that the accusations would never end. He couldn’t talk to any woman, friends, coworkers, or even her friends, without her suspicion. We suggested she’d cheated, but he got upset and tried fighting us. No one will know now.
79. Sticks And Stones
A couple came to marriage counseling trying to work things out before resorting to divorce. The husband was not short of reasons of why he wanted the divorce and went on non-stop. He claimed that he was doing yard work and asked his wife to carry, “a couple of sticks” that he trimmed from the bushes to a pile he made.
He grabbed a big stack and brought it to the pile that he was going to mulch. His wife grabbed a couple of sticks, and he asked her to carry more. So, she grabbed a few more. He kept emphasizing that he said, “a couple!” Because she obviously didn’t realize that he didn’t actually mean “a couple” but closer to a bunch.
Another qualm was that his wife told him that they had enough money to buy a new car. Excited, the husband sat with her to price cars and choose one. She rejected every one that he showed her. They were out of budget. When he got frustrated, he asked what the budget was. She told him that it was $2,000. That ended the marriage.
80. Inconsistency Is Key
My co-worker’s wife saw a picture of him at a pool when he was in high school looking really athletic. He was toned, muscular, and tan, but over the ten years after high school, he stopped lifting. So, he lost his muscle tone and got skinny. She wanted him to get back to working out because she liked the way he looked.
He said that it was something that he missed doing and agreed to get a gym membership. But he was going to the gym for four days a week and only worked out for two of them. On the days when he didn’t work out, he sat in the sauna to get sweaty, watched some videos online, then went home. She asked how the gym was once.
And he accidentally let it slip that he was fudging workouts twice a week. She apparently found that to be a deal breaker and filed for divorce.
81. Not A Lucky Divorce
This woman won $1.3million in a lottery pool and filed for divorce 11 days later. She never mentioned her lottery winnings to her husband. She also did not disclose the proceeds during the divorce. She would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for a letter that arrived at their former marital residence over two years after the divorce…
The letter was an offer to buy out her lottery annuity with a lump sum payment. The husband promptly lawyered up and the family court awarded 100% of the prize proceeds to him.
82. Shaking Like A Dog
My mom was a divorce lawyer. One specific story I remember was about a couple fighting for custody of their dog. The guy already lost custody of the children and then lost the case for custody of the dog. When the ex-wife’s mother came to pick up the dog, he told her that she could get him out of the freezer…Yes, that’s right, he froze the dog.
83. Bear With Me
I used to clerk for a judge, and we had a week-long divorce trial between a couple. The husband was a wildlife photographer and the wife was a stay-at-home wife who “remodeled” the house. They had no kids. Anyway, one day the husband was photographing a grizzly bear but must have gotten a little too close and the bear mauled him.
He spent several months in the hospital and rehab. As if surviving a bear attack wasn’t enough, his wife had him served with divorce papers shortly after he got out of rehab. Of course, she wanted half of everything. The guy had lost an eye…what more could she possibly have taken?
84. Plastics Are Forever
Neither side would follow the court orders. When they had to go back to court, they were fighting over the husband’s grandmother’s bowls. I assumed for weeks that these bowls were some sort of heirloom or expensive china. When they finally brought the bowls into the courtroom to swap them, I discovered that they were Tupperware. Who knew plastic was more precious than diamonds?
85. Attorney On Demand
A previous client of ours was livid that his wife was cheating on him. She wanted a non-contested divorce and wanted to use my boss specifically because she knew he was a great lawyer. So, our client pretended to go along with her terms but contacted us literally two days before his wife and retained us. He said he didn’t care how much money the retainer was going to be.
He just wanted my boss so his wife couldn’t have him as a lawyer. He called and paid first, so he won that battle.
86. The Love Has Dried Up
My aunt was a divorce lawyer. She worked a case where the wife glued all of the outdoor hoses together so that her husband wouldn’t spend any more time washing his car. When the glue didn’t work, she just cut up the hoses instead. And when this woman’s husband bought new hoses, she finally filed for divorce. The only question I have is…”Was it a nice car?”
87. Reply All?
There are so many crazy divorce stories and they always bring out the absolute worst in couples. Like this one: A couple did their will with our firm. We drafted everything for them as they were an older couple; they had been married for 40 years total. The husband wanted us to put in his will that his kids get his entire estate, with one small caveat: He did not want us to tell his wife.
Instead, he wanted to have us make a secret will and a fake will. He had a whole plan. He would sign the fake will with her present, and then we would shred it. Then he would come in later to sign the “real will.” There was just one hitch in his Ocean’s Eleven scheme…he copied his wife on the email. Two weeks later, he called us and said he wanted to file for divorce.
88. The Defenestration Separation
I would never disclose a client’s details because, you know, confidentiality. But I did have a mediation professor who told me this gem of a divorce story. She was mediating a divorce and the couple was so close to making a settlement. Until it all went out the window…literally. You see, this couple had purchased a lovely Victorian home together.
The husband, while unemployed, had painstakingly restored all of the old windows. Restoring the windows was a very time-consuming and labor-intensive task. Fast-forward to division of assets: The couple agreed to split the sale of the house equally, but he demanded a larger share because of the value of the windows. She said she should have that money, because she was supporting them at the time.
He returned that she could keep the entire house, but he was getting those windows. Then she said, “You can shove those windows up your…” Well, anyway, you get the idea. They went back and forth while my poor professor tried to mediate them into a neutral position.
89. That’s Just Pea…NUTS!
I worked a divorce case that was frustrating enough to make anyone pluck out their eyelashes. It took the couple two hours to decide who would get the groceries left in the fridge. The estimated value of the groceries was around $40. Two hours of my time, opposing counsel’s time, and mediator time added up to about $1,000. It all came down to an oversized jar of peanut butter.
All I could think of the whole time was, “Who keeps peanut butter in the fridge?!”
90. The Hand That Feeds You…
I once had a case where the estranged wife just didn’t know what was good for her. She was calling my client’s employer repeatedly, accusing him of theft and other white-collar crimes to try to get my client fired. The funny thing about it all was that she was also demanding child support…which was based on my client’s income. Income from the job from which she was trying to get him fired.
91. A Hairy Situation
My dad was a divorce lawyer. He had a client who wanted to divorce her husband for two very odd reasons. For one, she claimed that he did not have enough hair on his chest. And the second reason was that he did not drive fast enough. In all fairness, this was 1970s when chest hair was a bit more important. The speeding thing, that I can’t explain.
92. Fighting For Fido
I was in a mediation once where it took the couple an hour and a half to split their personal property, retirement accounts, real property, and custody of their six-month-old son. The rest of the day, about four hours, they spent arguing about how to split the time with the dog. For the kid they just said, “as agreed upon by the parties” but the dog had a strict schedule.
93. Join The Mickey Mouse Club…Of Divorce
I was a clerk for a family court judge. Believe me when I say that the kids always suffer in a divorce. We had a woman go to extreme lengths to spite her ex-husband, even if it meant disappointing her daughter. She even tried to get an injunction to keep the father from taking their daughter on a trip to Disney World. Like it is whenever love ends, it was so sad.
94. Sold out of Love
Wife was pilfering money from the marriage, to the tune of about $1,000 per month. It had gone on for a few years before I figured it out. (I thought she was saving the money, she was really stashing it in her dad’s accounts.) Not satisfied to simply stash away her own salary, she began to buy stuff on the joint charge card, then sell it on eBay. I paid the card.
I started the divorce without telling her. During this time, I took my name off the joint card without telling her and began using my own credit card. When the bills came in for that month, I informed her that I would not pay the credit card bills anymore, that she had her own job and her own money and she could pay her own bills.
There was the expected ruckus about that, but I stuck to my guns. A week or so later, she had a screaming foot-stomping tantrum about how it wasn’t worth her time to work her eBay business. (Because she now had to actually buy her own inventory instead of just selling stuff I bought). Yeah, I cracked a smile.
The story ends thusly: I later traded the stolen money—and my silence about the felonies she committed while transferring the money—for shared custody, zero payments to her, and zero claims on real estate, etc. She walked away with less than she’d have gotten if she was honest. I even got the house.
Our divorce was final four months ago.
95. Fateful Nightcap
We had some visitors one night. It was getting late, so I went to bed, and left my husband and a mutual female friend downstairs drinking. I went down to say one last goodnight, and they were in the backyard. I opened the back door, and they fell on top of me, clothes in the process of being removed, her lipstick all over his face and neck. We’re in mid-divorce.
96. It’s That Time of the Month (for a Divorce)
Had a soldier stationed at Guantanamo Bay who met a local. Fell madly in love. They decided to get married so she could come with him back in the States once his tour was done. She was working on American dishes and was making spaghetti. He comes home from work one day, and she’s making it. She puts the meat in, puts the canned sauce in, and then pulls an unlabeled bag out of the freezer and adds it to the sauce.
At this point in the session, she’s hysterically crying with broken Spanglish. She’s trying to explain she didn’t know any better. Through the hysteria he informs me her mother and grandmother told her if she wanted to keep her man, she needed to put her menstrual blood in his food. It was so hard to keep my composure. I was trying to hard not to gag.
They both described they were madly in love, but he couldn’t let it go. They ended up getting a divorce. Having done this for 14 years, I have found it 100% accurate that truth is stranger than fiction.
97. The Wedding Photographer
I represented the husband in a divorce. On the day of the trial, opposing counsel presented shocking evidence. The wife’s attorneys produced photographs that they claimed proved adultery. The photos were of my client, the husband, wearing lingerie and a long brown wig, engaging in act of intimacy with another man. I was able to successfully exclude this from evidence…because the wife was the photographer.
98. Rebutting In
I had a client who, despite being a large man, had been domestically mistreated by his much smaller wife throughout their marriage. After the divorce, she turned her anger on their son. He ran away one day to live with his dad, and we filed to restrict his ex’s parenting time and ask for a permanent modification to the custody agreement.
At the permanent hearing, she denied hurting the child or my client in front of the child, said she never threatened anyone ever, and that she never made disparaging remarks about my client in front of their son, either. But there was one big thing she didn’t know and couldn’t tell her attorney. My client had recorded multiple instances of her doing all of these things.
So I called my client back up for rebuttal right after her testimony and played an audio recording of her screaming at my client, threatening to break his face in, and calling him a loser, all while the child could be heard in the background begging her to stop. I looked over at the other attorney and she had her face in her hands. We won.
99. The Bad Husband
I lost respect for this friend when it came out that he was cheating on his disabled and housebound wife. But that was just the beginning of the nightmare. She managed the finances and managed the electronic toll-road bill that showed he was in the wrong state when he was said he was at work. When she confronted him, he denied it until she then pulled out the phone bill with his texts and calls to a number in the general area of the state he had been in.
He then divorced her and tried to screw her out of her share of his Navy pension and insurance. They were married for longer than his time in the service (25 years) and was she entitled to half of it. He went out of his way to hurt her. She passed less than a year later in a nursing home while he was moving in with a completely different woman than the one he originally cheated on his wife with.
Real classy guy. He showed up to the first wife’s funeral with #2. He also claimed to go out “whaling” while in the Navy—he and his fellow sailors would apparently search out and bed the largest lady they could while on shore leave. The winner who took home the biggest got bragging rights until the next round of leave. Horrific.
100. A Matter of Trust
My sister was only married for two weeks. Originally, she was married to a really crazy jerk. She stayed with him for too long, and the divorce has been bitter. Her ex-husband was convinced that she had some kind of a secret trust fund that she was living off of, and he was demanding half of it. There is no such trust fund.
I mean, in what will hopefully be many, many years from now when our dad dies, there may be some money from his trust fund—but he’s very much still alive, so this guy was in no way entitled to any of that. Anyway, a little bit of time passes and my sister hooks up with another guy, who is apparently friends with her ex.
The ex decided to tell his friend about her mysterious “trust fund” and, intrigued by it, this new guy somehow convinced my gullible sister to marry him. New guy was clearly hoping that he would be more successful than his friend was in getting access to the trust fund—you know, the one that doesn’t actually exist.
Within days of marrying my sister, this new husband brought his ex-girlfriend and his child to stay with them—his ex who supposedly needed a place to stay since she was in an abusive relationship. Very shortly after, we learned the truth. Her new hubby has secretly still been with baby mama for the entire duration of the relationship with my sister—and the guy only went out with her because he thought that she was a trust fund kid.
So, within just a couple of weeks of the nuptials, they were both at each other’s throats. He then threw out a bunch of her stuff, kept all of her expensive belongings, and filed a restraining order against her so that she couldn’t ever come back to the house—despite it having been her house all along. I’m not saying that my sister deserved all of this, but she does have a bit of a habit of stretching the truth.
Let’s just say I’m not fully convinced that these guys just got the idea that there was a secret trust fund out of thin air. Anyway, that’s the story of the time my sister was married for just two weeks!