Nailing the marriage game is hard, no doubt about it. About 9% of 30-year-olds have already ended one marriage, reports Business Insider. The national divorce rate in 2018 was 2.9 per 1,000 of the US population, which may not look so bad until you see that the marriage rate was 6.5 per 1,000. To put it simply, there’s a not-so-tiny chance it won’t work out for a large part of newlyweds.
And people on Reddit decided to find out what it is that pushes people over the brink in marriage. Two threads initiated by redditors u/dankph and u/KlyonneSpencer popped up asking divorce lawyers about the most ridiculous and outrageous reasons that their clients filed for divorce. And oh boy, you can't tell us you saw this coming. From literally crappy reasons to simply being too good-looking, these excuses will make you wonder what the heck these love birds were thinking.
I had two couples come to me.
They had been friends for nigh on 15 years.
Husband A decided he liked Wife B more than Wife A. Wife A decided she likes Husband B more than Husband A.
The reverse was also true, and Husband B preferred Wife A, Wife B preferred Husband A.
The couples had near identical assets in terms of value. They came to me all together, and I drafted two sets of paperwork. Two default judgment hearings were set on the same day. The judge signed all the papers the same day.
A week after that, they all went to a JP and remarried. The husbands swapped houses and they all went about their lives exactly as they had the week before, but each slightly happier.
My cousin divorced his wife because, after his wife's father murdered two people in a robbery-gone-wrong, she defended him and harassed the victim's family over Facebook
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 hell. 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.
Bored Panda contacted Evan D. Schein, a partner and head litigator at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP law firm based in Manhattan, New York to find out more about why people do get divorced. Evan has litigated matrimonial matters in the Supreme and Family Courts of Manhattan, Kings, Queens, Nassau, and more.
Evan told us that throughout his career as a family law attorney, he has seen many different reasons people decide to end their marriage. “I have an inside look into all the reasons people get divorced—affairs, financial infidelity, lack of communication, growing apart, lack of connection; to name a few.”
However, one particular reason still haunts him. “Out of all the reasons I have heard, a grudge years later over the wedding table seating chart still stands out for me,” he said.
Divorced guy here. I divorced my ex-wife because she decided to be a ‘Super Christian’ that spent hours each day lying on the floor speaking in tongues. Also she would have random conversations with former deceased relatives while doing mundane daily activities. The final straw was when I came home from work and my 2 yr old daughter was in the fireplace eating ashes two feet away from her while she laid on the ground chanting and speaking in her made up language.
I knew a couple who got divorced after the wife walked in on her husband who was rubbing poop from their baby's diaper all over his body...
He got drunk at the wedding, she did not like it, and decided to divorce him right after the Honeymoon (which she went to without him).
Moreover, this was all an elaborate scheme of divorce-robbery, because the guy was loaded, and so was his entire family....
They were loaded because they were a family of EXCELLENT lawyers, and he was a third generation lawyer, with all the smarts and experience of his predecessors combined.
Lets just say it did not go well for her.
These days, as we’re living in a time of crisis and isolation, everyone is experiencing tremendous stress. “There is so much unknown and uncertainty” that Evan is convinced that “this reality and these feelings will have a profound effect on marriages and relationships.”
The head litigator said, “I fully expect there will be a large increase in divorce filings.” And for those individuals who were already contemplating the idea of divorce and on the fence, “the current situation and this new way of life may very well push them in the divorce direction,” Evan explained.
I do my student practice at my family's law firm. Young woman filed for a divorce because her husband drank ONE beer during weekdays after a day of work. The guy wasn't violent, doing drugs, or anything like that. He was just a normal, polite guy who liked to have a cold one after 10 hr shift. They are very good couple and argue so rarely that this woman's friends told her to write down everything he did to upset her and re-read it every day, so she had reasons to be angry about.
My mom (lawyer) set the woman straight, told her he' just doing what all guys do and to find herself new friends instead of ones ready to sabotage their marriage.
Paralegal. A couple got divorced over a cat. Wife called cat Snowball because of white fur and only wanted the cat to eat wet food or chicken breast. Husband called cat Lily again because of white fur and believed it should only eat dry food. These two argued for a year over custody of the cat but did not give a s**t about their human kids aged 15 months, 4 years, and 6 years old.
One of my coworkers has been married seven times. One time she divorced a guy because he was 'too good-looking' and she couldn't trust him. Another time she divorced a man because he came home with the wrong brand of hotdogs that she told him to buy. I wish I was making this up
I knew someone who broke off an engagement because her fiancé kept pulling pranks on her, like buying fake lottery tickets and stuff. In her eyes, he was humiliating her in front of friends and family. It was almost like he was running social experiments on her to see how she'd react
"I didn't like her anymore" - 2 days after being married.
My douche cousin told his wife she had three chances to give him a son. Daughter was born first. Strike one. Son was born second. Then they find out the boy cant eat gluten. So my cousin divorced her and has made zero effort to see his kids.
Friend of mine divorced his then wife because she would only speak French when her family would come over. She was Spanish, as was her family... To add, her family spoke English, French and Spanish, he could only speak Spanish and English, she got bored of being married to him, her family basically talked s**t about him whilst he was there, was only when he recorded a conversation whilst they where there and got it translated he found out what was going on.
My client divorced her husband because he insisted on bringing his mother on their honeymoon. The reason? Because his mother was STILL breastfeeding him. Yes, the husband, a grown man, was still breastfeeding
Colleague handled a case where money was not an issue but the kids were. Neither parent wanted them
I worked as a paralegal for a divorce lawyer. Case analysis was one of my main responsibilities.
I s**t you not.
A recently married couple (of 2 years) broke it off because the husband would not stop feeding the dog. The dog got outrageously fat.
Apparently she saw connection between the dog and future children.
One of our consults came in because his wife had been proposed to by one of those online scam people posing as the Prince of Turkey or something. She fell for it and was going to give him $45,000 and move to Turkey to marry him
Not a divorce lawyer, but got out of my first marriage becuase shortly after we got married he decided he didn't like the way I talked, and asked me not to talk when we were out in company unless I "could talk straight."
I knew someone who got divorced the same day they got married. The groom was dancing with his sister at the reception, and the bride asked to cut in. His sister tried to punch her in the face but missed and punched the bride’s sister. All hell broke loose. The night ended with the bride asking the groom to choose between her or his sisters. He chose his sisters
She spent $42,000 on psychic hotlines. Notable, she then wouldn’t accept any of our offers, and I continuously asked her lawyer to provide counter-offers...shouldn’t her psychic have told her how the case would turn out?!? Lol.
Still remember an early case i worked on, man divorced his wife for her Bingo Addiction. 10 to 12 times per week she went to bingo. She was 82 he was 86.
But the all time greatest. two 20 somethings, they were irreconcilable because he kept smoking her weed stash when she wasnt home.
My dad was a divorce lawyer. He had a client who wanted to divorce her husband for 2 reasons:
1. He did not have enough hair on his chest.
2. He did not drive fast enough.
Keep in mind this was in the 70's when chest hair was a bit more important.
She was kidnapped in Mexico and he refused to pay 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 how absurd that is.
Not a lawyer, but did spend six months costing Legal Aid cases for solicitors in the early 90s. This included many divorces.
The most notable one was a woman divorcing her husband because he discovered he could talk to the dead on their honeymoon and then later spent all their money on spiritualist groups.
That wasn't what made it notable. During the divorce, the woman left the house. At some point her husband approached her and claimed that as he was letting the house fall into ruin, it would be better for both of them if he sold the house and split the proceeds with her. She agreed to this without consulting her solicitor.
A few weeks later the husband gave her £5. She asked what it was for. It was her share of the house. He'd sold it to his sister for £10 and kept living there. When she went to complain to her solicitors, she found they'd done the conveyancing for him. He'd deliberately used his wife's divorce solicitors and nobody at the firm had realised.
Wasn't the reason but did happen during the course of the divorce. Neither side would follow the court orders. When they had to go back to court they were fighting over a pistol and the man'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 in to swap they were f**king tupperware.
My friend divorced her husband because she read his text messages and saw that he was talking crap about her dogs to his friends. Her DOGS
I deal with a lot of divorces at work. I once reviewed a complaint for divorce because the wife always left poop stains in the toilet.
I had a client file for divorce because every morning his wife would ask him how he takes his coffee. EVERY morning for seven years
My friend's sister was a strict vegetarian. One night her husband gave her fish and meat, but she thought it was a meat substitute. When she found out it was real meat, she divorced him
Was a loud chewer at the dinner table. He developed a complex & literally needed out as he couldn't bear to eat with her.
In the '70s, when mundane middle-class people did ridiculous things, my aunt’s husband and the father of her two children divorced her because they 'no longer saw the same things in paintings
My aunt divorced my uncle via a note. It was written on the brown paper wrapping of a pork roast, and it read, 'I’m leaving you for Diane.' My uncle wasn’t sure which to be more confused about: that she divorced him via pig steak missive, or that she was a lesbian
I worked for a law office where the owner would talk about the man who sued for divorce because his wife would no longer allow him to use a loaded gun as a... "marital aid." She had apparently agreed to it at some point, and was fine with the gun as long as it was empty, but that just wasn't good enough for him
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, 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 dollars 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".
tl;dr: Deadbeat ex-husband spent all his money on a psychic rather than child support. Told the judge he intended to kidnap his children.
Kind of in the same category - I've had a lot of younger male potential clients come in for divorce consults with their mother. Then, during the consult, the mother does 98% of the talking, and it's clear who actually wants the divorce. (I'll usually escort Mom to wait in the lobby while I talk to the son directly, and most of the time he's just there to appease his mother.)
On a related note, I once had just the mother call for a consult because she said explicitly she wanted her son to get a divorce. I politely informed her that's not how divorces worked...
Not a divorce lawyer but used to practice criminal defence work.
Once had a heavily pregnant client that attacked her husband (of less than a year) with an iron. Said client was now sitting in a police cell, sobbing and insisting that her husband deserved it and she wanted a divorce.
I asked what he had supposedly done, assuming he'd cheated or something similar. Turns out she'd checked his phone and found a single pornsite in his browsing history - from over two years beforehand...
Not the most pleasant thing to discover, but hardly worth battering him half to death and demanding a divorce.
I knew a guy from a high school job who divorced his wife of 2 months because she would sleep with a nightlight but he could only sleep in total darkness, as they apparently never lived together until after getting married. He hated her nightlight so much that he would often sleep on the couch instead, but sometimes he would claim the bed for himself and lock her out of the bedroom for the night.
He had an argument with the new inlaws during the wedding and moved out at around 5 am during the first night
My client put his wife in an assisted living facility based on a misdiagnosis, the medication of which caused the wife to be unable to care for herself. While in the facility, my client shocker started dating another woman and methinks began using hard drugs. He used a loooot of money on both of these things. She eventually got off the medication and got better. Suffice to say, she was not happy about what had transpired.
Basically a couple got married but never lived together. Shortly after marriage the husband dropped off the face of the earth and the wife had no way of contacting him. She didn't know any of his family and apparently the place he told her he worked at never heard of him. He disconnected his cell phone and she even hired a private detective to try and locate him with no success.
Finally she tried to file for divorce (for obvious reasons) but for service to be considered valid the defendant has to be physically handed service papers. Since she couldn't find out where he was she couldn't even get divorced from him. She had to sue in court just to get permission from a judge to allow service through Facebook because that was literally the only means she had of contacting her husband
My mother in law divorced my father in law so she could have “a fresh start with her dream job of teaching blind children to read.”
Turns out, what she meant by that was:
• Destroy my father in law’s pastor career by telling everyone he was abusive.
• Got married to the guy she’d secretly been carrying on with. He’s a convicted child sex offender. She has grandchildren.
She’s in a state of complete denial.
Not a lawyer but a friend is , they said the husband wanted a divorce because the wife still wiped the ass of the perfectly healthy and mentally able teenage son among other things.
One of my clients got a divorce because his partner would keep the chips they bought in the car so she wouldn't have to share them with his family during reunions
Divorce lawyer here. One client filed for divorce because he owed his bookie $70,000. He didn't want to leave his wife but he figured he would get half the house in the divorce, which was worth $700,000 and pay his debts. He had already blew through their life savings gambling. He was the worst guy.
He kept making terrible Star Wars puns.
"Divorce is strong with this one"
I represented a porn actress/webcam model who filed for divorce from her husband who also did the porn/webcam model business. He would do gay porn on the side because the pay was better. She was hesitant about it, but dealt with it because the pay was decent. Both sides had an agreement that it wasn't cheating as long as it was for work.
One day she came home early and found her husband in bed with two men... they were not filming... that was too much for her. Needless to say, the old conservative judge couldn't wrap his head around this one...
My boss just got divorced. His wife was telling people one of her reasons was the amount of toilet paper he used. She was a super coupon clipper thrifty lady and would listen when he went to the bathroom to see if he was using “too much tp”
My Dad has been married several times (more than 4). His last wife asked him to rub her feet and he said no. She told him to get the f*ck out. He was super excited and said ok bye, you will hear from my attorney.
Obviously that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Makes me laugh every time someone ask why did they split up?!! No feet rub for you!!
Not me, but a friend my mum has divorced her husband because his mother still coddled him at age 40, with his consent. They lived with his mother (common in Asia).
By coddle I mean that she would walk straight into their room after his shower and powder his back for him.
They couldn’t lock their bedroom door because his mother would come in as and when she wanted. If they locked the door, she would knock repeatedly asking what they were doing.
Lol what would they be possibly doing??? Playing poker???
My 90 year old client (the husband) and his son retained me to initiate divorce proceedings with his 88 year old wife. They’d been married 60 years. The wife had recently taken to beating him with his own cane, because their daughter poisoned her into thinking he was hiding money from them. The battle came down to husband and son versus wife and daughter.
At their first court appearance, my client showed up in an old 1950s style pin stripe suit and fedora. He was a farmer his whole life, and this was clearly the only suit he owned. He was such a meek and lovely old gentleman.
I had to pass my client onto a new lawyer midway through the proceedings because I accepted a job in a different country, but I understand the divorce was eventually granted.
My mom told me that the breaking point of her marriage was when she found out my dad spent $65 a week at Starbucks
I know a couple, both lawyers. Got separated because the the husband can't stand the wife's loud and energetic personality.
Most people are interpreting outrageous as an overblown minor annoyance, but I'll put one out there on the other end.
When I was working at the DA's office, there was a woman who had sex with her son's 15 year old friend. The awkward part was that the husband was the high school baseball coach for both of the boys. My job at the time involved going through the evidence, including all of the text messages, where they eventually decided upon divorce. The only thing I really recall is that the man interrupted the text conversation about the affair to say "BRB. I'm going to get a McRib." The texting resumed about 40 minutes later.
Needless to say, criminal law is weird and I decided to pursue another specialty.
My neighbour filed for divorce because he smacked his lips when he ate and slurped his coffee and soup. She thought if she didn't she would end up in jail for batter
Not a divorce lawyer, but have done marriage therapy. Had a soldier stationed at Guantanamo Bay that 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 spanglesh. 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.
Worked in matrimonial law for a year and a half before I had to leave bc it just overwhelmed me with how awful humanity is.
I'll never forget filing papers that described her soon to be ex husband's behavior, including: "masturbates on the living room couch without closing the door and leaves sticky tissues everywhere" with further description of their 3 young children potentially walking in on him.
A friend of the family got divorced by her husband because she couldn't outperform him on the golf course.. we all think he was cheating and just wanted an excuse but she did say he would often yell at her in public while golfing and mock her for her "attention to detail" whatever the [hell] that means in golf... He would also force the family to go golfing on most weekends so it's hard to say if that was the real reason or not. She doesn't even like golf but was, and still is, afraid to tell him that.
I was a legal assistant when this case came in, but this lady divorced her husband of two months because he got her an iPad case for her birthday instead of the expensive jewelry she wanted.
Taught the parakeet certain cuss words for his wife. Hahaha. The parrot lives with the man now.
“The dog he 'bought' me pissed on the carpet”
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 room or two full of scrapbooking materials. His prized possession was a yard full of junk 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.
My aunt had a case where the wife had glued all of the outdoor hoses together so he wouldnt spend more time washing his vehicle anymore. When the glue didnt work she just cut them all up. When he bought new ones ahe filed for divorce.
Not me but my friend who specialises in family law. Wife wanted to divorce husband because he kept taking their dogs for walks while she was at work, making it (unintentionally) so they’d rather cuddle the husband instead of her after a long day.
Lawyer here. One of mine that sticks out is that the husband and wife both played some sort of on-line role-playing game, sort of like the Sims I think but a little more elaborate and adult ('Second Life' maybe?). I don't know anything about online games.
The wife got heavily involved with the game, like 10 hours a day, and wouldn't reduce her time playing no matter what he said. What tipped things over the edge however was that he set up a fake profile/ avatar and went online to stalk her in the game and found her avatar having sex with some random guy's avatar.
Nothing ever happened in real life (neither of them were exactly oil paintings to look at) but that was enough for the guy to initiate a fairy acrimonious divorce.
Not a divorce lawyer, but was told of a client that filed for divorce with his wife because she kept eating his food
My aunt was dating an unemployed dude for a while. He was staying in her house rent free. They got married and were getting ready to go on the honeymoon when the new husband tells her he’s not going because he has to take care of his plants at the house. Big fight. Aunt goes on the honeymoon with her sisters instead.
She comes home and tries to kick him out of her house, he refuses to leave. She tries to get the police involved. Dude is live-streaming on Facebook how he is being trapped in his own home. Police tell my aunt there is basically nothing they can do, can file for eviction after a divorce. Dude gets to live in her house with his precious plants for like 3 months until everything legally gets worked out.
My dad split my mom because "she takes too long to tell a story". He was actually having affair #4795809374 and that came out shortly after. But this was one of the main reasons he gave when they did a counselling session together.
I have a client whose wife filed for divorce because my client hasn’t successfully quit smoking yet.
Heard this one while mobing for deployment. Guy signs over Power of Attorney to his mother before leaving. As soon as he was out of the country mother files for divorce of the wife because they never got along. Dude is in the middle of the desert and didn't know until he came back in three weeks after the fact.
My Grandfathers brother was a judge who presided over state issue marriages from time to time, one couple he married returned six months later to "Confirm" the wedding and end their trial marriage, when he thusly informed them that there was no such thing and that they had been married for six months they subsequently broke up
He loved his pinball machine collection more than her. Also it turns out some pin ball machines can be worth a s**t load of money.
I got into scams because of a lawyer in my old office represented a woman whose husband left her because she got involved in a romance scam that started as a pen pal. It was a weird marriage. He was clearly a closet gay who married her for her money because she was ugly as all hell. They kept separate lives for 30 years.
She began corresponding with someone she believed was a 3 star General serving in Afghanistan. It went the typical way scams like this do: she fell in love and he needed $$$ to move from Afghanistan back to the United States. She eventually would transfer him about $70,000 over the course of 8 months.
Even when my friend brought me into the conference room to lay out the case as being a scam, for which I had piles of proof for, she continued to transfer money including a $8000 transfer the day after.
The judge ruled she owed her husband dollar for dollar what she gave the scammer, so $70k plus he issued a temporary restraining order barring her from transferring marital assets. My friend dumped her as a client when she showed interest in appealing the TRO and trying to expedite her divorce so she could "marry" the scammer.
Not the most outrageous, but I had a client incur about 20 additional hours of billable hours because he and his ex-wife were battling and went to trial over their Star Wars Collection. This was the only issue at trial, they were able to work out custody, child support, the house, but the Star Wars collection went to trial.
The Judge ended up splitting it in the most assholish way possible, basically giving each side half of what they wanted and then mixing and matching everything else and breaking up 'collections'.
When speaking about it at a conference, the Judge admitted she did it because if they were going to act like children, she would treat them like children. The thing is, the value of this collection was over $100k, so hardly kids stuff.
Neither side had it in them to appeal (nor was the case law on either side given judicial discretion in property distribution).
I’m not a lawyer but I was once buying a computer from someone on craigslist and when I got to his house it was full of computers everywhere. There where monitors laying on the floor and half built computers laying around, full built computers all over the place. And I’m talking expensive gaming computers not your every day all in one computers. We got to talking about why he had so many and the guy said he was just obsessed with them and he confessed that the reason his wife divorced him was because “she said I was too obsessed with my computers”
I had some friends get divorced Becuase she legit hated Dale Earnhardt and he legit hated Jeff Gordon.
Knew a couple a little over a decade ago who I was close friends with. The wife wanted children and after several months of trying plus a doctor visit later he was found to be infertile / unable to have children due to his sperm. She filed for divorce several weeks later.
Then one random hookup later she got pregnant from a one night stand while the proceedings were still going. He used that in the court battle which assisted with him taking the majority of their possessions post split due to her actions
Client said her husband was dealing meth... well technically “cooking” meth
NAL, but the story of the couple in Algeria always gets me. Groom sees his new wife the morning after the wedding without makeup, takes her for an intruder, and proceeds to sue for over $10k for psychological trauma
Clients husband was divorcing her because she had transitioned from a woman to a man, then back to a woman again after regretting the first transition. The husband realized he preferred men and couldn’t cope with the second transition back to a woman. Two great people who just couldn’t make it work together I have to add
Not a divorce lawyer, but there's this famous case that all law students know about. The wife asked for annulment of marriage, because almost a year into the marriage, they still haven't had sex. The husband has been avoiding it for almost a year, and later on the court found out that he actually only has a 2 inch penis.
not a divorce lawyer, but I had a friend whose parents divorced for irreconcilable differences over time spent playing Everquest.
NAL, but my old neighbor divorced his wife because she no longer wanted to dye her hair blonde. Probs more reasons, but that was his final straw
Not that outrageous, but our client’s wife (soon to be ex) of 20 years left him for her gym instructor, whom he introduced, and who’s also a woman.