February 13, 2023 | Samuel Ira

Divorce Lawyers Share The Craziest Stunts They've Seen Over The Years

Love can really sting. Just ask some divorce lawyers about the way couples treat each other when they are trying to finalize a divorce. People get greedy just to spite their significant other. They slander their ex and make up all sorts of atrocious lies just to get some property or obtain custody of the children.

And then there is the pettiness; the arguing for hours and spending hundreds upon thousands of dollars over meaningless things. Jealousy, anger, and sadness will make a person do unspeakable things in divorce cases, as it turns out. While there are divorces that end amicably, most of them cause people to reveal their worst, most ruthless selves. If these stories from internet users around the world don't make you want to get a prenup, I don't know what would.


Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#1 Man And Woman's Best Friend

I conducted a mediation where it took the couple an hour to split their personal property, retirement accounts, and custody of their six-month-old son. The rest of the day, about four hours, was spent arguing about how to split the time with the dog. For the kid, they just put, "as agreed upon by the parties," but the dog had a strict calendered schedule with strict holidays and pick-up/drop-off times. I was ashamed to be a part of that unbelievable display.

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#2 The Most Important Thing Is The Peanut Butter

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. The two hours of my time, the opposing counsel time, and the mediator time all added up to about $1,000. It all came down to a Costco/Sam's Club sized jar of peanut butter (who keeps peanut butter in the fridge?)

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#3 Massage Chairs Ruin Marriages

The case fell apart over a massage chair. They had two kids, but apparently, the chair was more important. They just couldn't let go of the darn chair. The worst part is, they had pretty much agreed on everything else—the property, the custody—it was literally just that one stupid massage chair that held them back.


#4 She Knows Not What She Does

I had a case where the estranged wife was calling my client's employer repeatedly, accusing him of theft and other white-collar crimes, in an attempt to get my client fired. The thing is, the children were with her, and she was also demanding child support, which was based on his income. Fortunately, the employer was onto her and my client wasn't let go.



#5 No Religion

When my parents got divorced, my dad had written in the divorce decree that my mother could not make any religious decisions for me, including regular church attendance, baptisms, etc. My mother was raised Mormon and my father was pretty adamant that I would not be raised in that religion too. I'm grateful my dad fought for my right to be my own person.

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#6 A Cruel Request

My friend's ex-husband tried to force their daughter to choose which parent she would live with every year on her birthday. The daughter wanted to live with her mom because the dad was always out of town for work anyway. The judge told him that in no way was he going to force this girl to disappoint one of her parents every year on her birthday.


#7 The True Meaning Of Christmas

I had a couple arguing for three hours over who got the kids on Christmas day, only to discover at the end that they were both Jewish. I mean, I guess it still somewhat mattered because it's a holiday in most places, but come on—for the kids' sake, they should have just put their pettiness aside and worked towards a compromise like adults.


#8 The Horrible Lengths To Which Some People Will Go

I clerked for a judge that handled divorce cases. We had a couple that was in the Air Force. They had one daughter that was 12 years old. Both had graduate degrees and were generally intelligent people. Well, the husband had an affair and things went sour with the relationship. The daughter was at that age when her relationship with the mother was starting to get a little strained and she mentioned how she wanted to stick with her dad because he was about to be stationed elsewhere.

The mother absolutely freaked. The first thing she did was go to the local police department and claim the father had been abusing her daughter. They investigated him and couldn't find any evidence, so they dropped the case. The mother, still furious, then went to the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations to report the same thing.

The Air Force ended up suspending the husband from duty and conducted their own investigation, only to reach the same result. They found no evidence of wrongdoing and the case was dropped. But the mother still wasn't finished—she then went to the next state over where the husband was about to be transferred and contacted the local police there with the same story.

They, of course, did their own investigation, but the same conclusion was reached and the case was dropped. Of course, that whole time, the daughter was interviewed a dozen times by psychologists, various therapists, the police, the Air Force, and who knows else. The daughter was straight up traumatized, especially after people had constantly asked her if her dad had been abusing her in great detail.

Not to mention the harm it did to her father's career. He was basically screwed from any possible promotion just because of the allegations. As well as the fact that infidelity in the military is a big no-no. But that was his own doing. Once word of all this got back to the judge, he was furious. He was a former Air Force Jag and still had contacts in the ranks.

Anyway, the couple came in front of him one day for a hearing and he outright told that her she better stop her behavior or he would hold her in contempt of court for the maximum amount of time he could lawfully hold her in a cell. He also threatened to contact the DA and recommend the filing of charges, contact her Air Force superiors and recommend reprimand to the fullest extent possible, and basically do anything and everything he could within his power to get justice for the husband. It was one of the most messed up things I'd ever seen during my relatively short experience in the legal world.


#9 All For The Money

I had a guy who cheated on his wife transfer all of his money to his girlfriend before the wife found out about their affair. He then filed for bankruptcy to avoid having to give his wife anything in the divorce. For someone to actively ruin their credit score just in order to spite their partner... That's got to be a new low.



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#10 You Can't Sell Someone What Already Belongs To Them

The ex-wife hid his artwork (which he had purchased long before the marriage) and in the mediation, she tried to sell it back to him. Obviously, the law was against her because, despite the fact that she hid it, the artwork was still technically his property. Yet, she still spent hours trying to make her clearly delusional plan work.



#11 Chalk It Up To Sentimental Value?

My now ex-stepmother was getting an 80/20 settlement and refused to accept until the agreement was revised to include a bag of old beer can koozies and a dry-rotted pool float. She was crazy, which is why dad was paying her to go away. Or maybe, those things just had real sentimental value to her. We will never know.

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#12 A Special Kind Of Hate

A rich couple had a really bad falling out. The husband hated his ex-wife so much that he hid all of their money and, last I heard, he's still in jail for contempt of court for refusing to give up the location. It must be a special kind of hate to risk an indefinite sentence (since you can be in jail as long as you're held in contempt, which he kept ensuring each court appearance) just to deny your ex-money.

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#13 He's As Ungrateful As They Come

The husband and wife get divorced. Initially, the wife went into the marriage with her own house and three cars, while he went in with nothing. She mortgaged the house in her name (as the bank wouldn't give her anything if his name was on it too) to let her husband start a trucking business. He ended up becoming successful.

They filed for divorce, and she told him she just wanted enough money from him to square her mortgage; he could have the business and everything else. He instead sold EVERYTHING to his friend for next-to-nothing so that he had nothing on his name and didn't have to pay her squat. She's now going to lose the house.


#14 Vegetarians Mean Business For A Reason

A woman demanded that her child be fed a vegetarian diet as part of the custody agreement with her ex. It does seem a bit crazy, but considering that their kid had never had meat and he was threatening to ply her with hotdogs on visits (which would make her violently ill), it's not as crazy of a demand as it sounds.


#15 Taking It Out On The Daughter

I was a clerk for a family court judge. We had a woman try to get an injunction to keep the father from taking the daughter on a trip to Disney World to play in a concert. It was sad. The whole thing ended up messy between husband and wife, but at least, at the end of it, they agreed to send the daughter to Disney World. Always put your kids first.


#16 Moving To Trial Over A Dog

The couple worked as upper-middle-class engineers, so nobody was going to go hungry at the end of it. Of course, we presumed it'd be a quick, painless negotiation. Nobody told us the husband was a raging addict with no social skills. Nobody told us that the wife was very attached to the dog.

We divided up the house, all possessions, the bank accounts, everything in under a week, except for possession of the dog.She was convinced he'd put the dog down. He kept saying it was man's best friend, not woman's. This case got slated for trial over who got the dog. I mean, that's downright extraordinary.

A divorce case going to trial is weird. That it goes to trial with no kids is weirder. That it goes to trial where both parties are financially stable and well-off is, like, a comet-hitting-you unlikely. That it goes to trial solely over the possession of a dog is, so far as I can tell from talking to other attorneys, unheard of.


#17 Set The Bed On Fire

In mediation, two hours were spent arguing over the marital bed. The wife had a new bed and that was the only bed the husband had, but she wanted it so she could burn it. At the end of it all, the husband decided to just hand over the bed to her because he just wanted to divorce her already. It seemed as if that just made her all the more angrier.


#18 Country Clubbers Sure Can Be Weird

I interned with a divorce lawyer while in law school. We had one case where the couple divorcing had a country club membership. They fought tooth and nail over the membership number. Just to be clear, when they separated (even before they divorced), the country club issued a new number so they could each be on a separate account. Still, for some reason, both wanted to have that certain number.


#19 Here Is The Absolute Best Use Of A Prosthetic Leg

A couple that was divorcing was going through their depositions. They were fighting over custody of the kids, which typically involved each spouse trying to make the other look like a horrible person. The husband was trying to claim the wife was addicted to illicit substances. The wife reacted by removing her prosthetic leg and banging it on the table, screaming.


#20 Not The Time Or The Place

The wife's new boyfriend proposed to her while he was being questioned during her divorce proceedings. Classy.


#21 Makes You Wonder Where That Need For Vengeance Came From

I was an assistant at a family law office and saw a lot of crazy people. One that sticks out is the woman who paid extra to have her husband served with the divorce papers over Thanksgiving dinner at his parents' house, right in front of their three children, his parents, and his siblings. She was also sitting at the table and he had no idea she was filing for divorce.

#22 Third Time's The Charm?

I worked a few family law cases. The paralegal said to me, "You have an appointment with a new client. She says you got her divorced ten years ago from the same man." Depressing. When we sat down to discuss her options, I just straight up told her, "As your attorney, I advise you not to marry him again." I think she really needed to hear that from somebody.



#23 That Must Have Been Some Nice Gym

As part of the divorce, the judge allowed the wife to use the ex-husband's employer's workout facilities. However, his employer didn't like her because she was rude and abusive to both the staff and other patrons. They also caught her on surveillance video breaking into her former husband's office and going through his customer's files (probably trying to find out how much he actually made as a salesman).

That was the last straw, so they voided her passcard. One morning, she actually tried breaking the glass door to get in. It was stronger than the trashcan she threw at it. That was also on video. Her attorney filed a motion to force the employer to let her use the facility. The judge said, correctly I think, that the divorce agreement only binds the ex-husband, not a third party such as his employer, so the employer had every right to deny her access.

#24 Imagine How That Daughter Must Have Felt

The married couple fought over their kids, ONLY DUE TO THE FACT THAT their son was on the road to becoming a professional football player. They both admitted it to my face and eventually the kid emancipated himself since he couldn't take the drama anymore. They both spent about $180,000 in all kinds of legal fees and bribes to their son, while TOTALLY ignoring their daughter. In the end, they divorced poor with an angry daughter who moved to her brother's place.


#25 The Big Spoon Problem

When I was in school, one of my law professors told us why he'll never work in family law. He called it "The Big Spoon Problem." His coworker was acting as a divorce lawyer for a couple, but the reality was, he was the husband's attorney, so he asked my professor to stand in as an attorney for the wife, to protect her interests.

Everything had been worked out, and the settlement was ready to go when the wife suddenly asked, "Wait... What about the big wooden fork and spoon?" See, the couple had one of those big fork-and-spoon sets in their kitchen, and they hadn't included who got it in the settlement agreement. They exploded at each other, each arguing heatedly why they should get the pair, and both agreeing that they couldn't be split up.Eventually, they got physical and my professors stepped in between, getting punched in the face by the woman.

The settlement agreements broke down afterward, and it had to go to court. Obviously, the problems were more serious than who got the big wooden fork and spoon, but it's amazing how a catalyst like that can set some people off.

#26 Talk About Well-Played

My uncle has been a lifelong videographer and still works as a news photographer. During the early to late '90s, he stopped shooting news and started doing freelance work. This was before everyone had a camera and editing software. Eventually, he became a sought-after photographer. In the '80s, when he was working as a news photographer, he met and married a news anchor and they had two children.

After leaving the news business to freelance, he decided to start a video editing business with his wife. That went extremely well for a while and they were making money hand over fist. He would be asked to shoot for channels such as Food Network, HGTV, DIY, etc. and then edit it into the show. She would work as the middle man for his clients and as a bookkeeper. Eventually, she would turn out to be a secret substance abuser and adulterer and their marriage would end in divorce. At this point, my uncle was making a couple of hundred grand a year with their business. She decided to sue him for alimony (mostly because he was worth a good chunk of change) but also because she helped him build his business.

Her demands were ridiculous; something like 75% of the business for the next so many years. My uncle's lawyer was afraid she was going to win because she had played such a big role in building the biz. Fast forward to court day, her lawyer stands in front of the judge and lists off what she wants in the divorce. Once he is finished, it's my uncle's turn.

He blindsides her and offers to give her 100% of the business. The judge and both lawyers are confused and ask him if he is sure. Without him shooting and editing, there is no business. So basically, she would be left with a lot less than she was asking for. The judge reasoned that his offer was fair and that she could take it or leave it. She ended up getting nothing.


#27 The List Fiasco

To split their personal property, the couple sat down and made two lists, with the wife keeping the items on list A, and the husband keeping the items on list B. At what was supposed to be the final mediation meeting (with attorneys on both sides), the wife decided that the lists weren't fair and that the husband was getting "all the good things." The husband agreed to trade lists so that she could have "the good things" list, but she decided that wasn't fair either. Much money was spent having the attorneys reshuffle the lists until the wife was satisfied.


#28 Petty As They Come

My client once requested that his wife return some old jackets to him that were stored in the garage at the marital home. A couple of days after she did so, he wanted me to write her attorney a nasty letter inquiring why she had not included the coat hangers with the jackets. It was probably one of the pettiest things someone had asked me to do for them.


#29 That Is Clearly Not Attempted Murder

I was a legal assistant a few years back and we had a divorce for a couple from Hong Kong. The wife was irrational, demanding, and was nothing but (understandably) contemptuous toward her husband, who had been cheating on her long term. We had to send our process server to his mistress' house at least three times.

The time it had gotten truly ridiculous was around Thanksgiving. The guy was quite a cook and liked to entertain. While the couple was not speaking to each other, they were still cohabitating. He had been boiling up a tin of condensed milk; a traditional, if not, dangerous way to make dulce de leche, and had forgotten about it and went to work.

He had called the home landline, her cell, and her work phone to tell her to turn off the burner but she ignored it. She had got home and saw the mess it had made on the ceiling and called us to ask if we could sue him for attempted murder. They were both just horrible people who shouldn't have been married to each other, let alone anyone else.

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#30 The Case Of The Magic Pots And Pans

There was a divorcing couple in a 'Community Property' state (everything acquired during the marriage is divided equitably, including all assets accumulated by either party), and they had agreeably divided their property, without much hassle or fuss. However, there was one 'sticking point' that neither the husband or wife could agree on: Who got the set of cooking pots and pans.

The attorneys for both parties even offered to buy a new set of pots and pans for whoever relinquished ownership of the cookware, but neither husband nor wife would hear of it. The disagreement got so heated and went so far that it finally fell to arbitration by the court and judge to determine which party got the set of pots and pans.

Both divorce attorneys apologized profusely to the judge over this 'sticking point', and the judge was not too pleased with his time being wasted making a judgment over a set of cookware. So the judge ruled that one party would get the pots and pans, and the other party would get the lids to the pots and pans. Since it was an arbitration, both parties had to take the judgment.


#31 A Friendly Divorce Is A Truly Strange Thing

My ex-husband and I got divorced after four years. We had no kids and we were still dirt poor, so we went to a divorce center. We paid a couple of hundred bucks and did it ourselves. We are still friendly three years later. People we know genuinely think our "friendly divorce" is one of the weirdest divorces they have ever seen.

#32 The Awful Things People Do To Avoid Paying Child Support

When my parents divorced when I was young my mom got custody of my two youngest sisters and left me and my other sister with my dad so she wouldn't have to pay child support. Even though my dad wanted all four of us together and even told her she wouldn't have to pay child support.


#33 Control Freaks To The Max

My parents have been split up since I was about a month old. Neither of them wanted me to be anything like the other so we went back to court every other year. Everything from not being allowed to be a member of a church (my dad's Catholic, while my mom's Lutheran) to which kinds of books and movies I could watch were determined. My dad didn't want SciFi, witchcraft or anything fiction based. I went to the library and indulged in it anyways... I'm such a rebel.


#34 Proof That Divorce Can Really Make People Cruel

I dated a divorce lawyer, and my favorite story from his work was the man who was super mad that the division of assets was 50/50. His wife's lawyer had a forensic accountant who found his multiple offshore money stashes. In retaliation, he demanded half of the dog. Not joint custody. Half of the dog, who was his wife's much beloved, very spoiled little buddy. He burned through thousands of dollars of legal fees just to make her cry, by demanding that the dog be put to sleep and its ashes split, 50/50.


#35 So Much For That Nest Egg

I know a couple who are recently divorced. They were together for 20 years with no kids. They worked their way up to become quite wealthy. However, she was the clear breadwinner and in a senior position in an excellent job. He also had a good job, but could never make nearly what she earned or close to what her earning potential was.

She spent about two years prior to leaving telling him she wanted out but found it hard to make the move. He would always find some reason to get her to stay. She met someone and literally walked out the door one day. I don't think he believed she would ever actually do it, so he was extremely angry, especially learning that she walked out the door into the arms of another man.

Her first offer on the table was 50/50 split. He would have come out way ahead on this deal—the house they shared had appreciated by several hundred thousand pounds, along with the flat they rented out. But his anger got in the way and he spent the next three years insisting on more. At one point, he had some cockeyed views that he was entitled to 75%.

Even worse, some terrible things about their marriage would never have been forced to come out had he just signed straight away, mostly regarding his physical and emotional abuse. I was surprised at the physical, but in fairness, not about the emotional, since he was a pretty controlling man. I was glad she stood her ground, although the divorce went on for three years in the end.

At about the 18-month mark, I know he had spent £20,000 in lawyers so I imagine she was about the same. Who knows what the final bills were for both. At some point, he was to hand over some of the furnishings and when she arrived to collect them, they had been cut up and urinated on, amongst other damages. Yikes.

This guy was seriously shooting himself in the foot with these antics. I was also pleased to hear that because he was being so difficult, she decided to go for the calculated financial contributions which meant when the divorce was finalized, she ended up with the lion's share, equitable to what they both put in based on earnings. He is a jerk so he deserved what he got.


#36 She Wasn't Sneaky Enough

This was my experience during my divorce. We had filed for divorce in Utah which is a communal property state. So the debts incurred, even though they were for her and her school, were also my responsibility. My attorney and I were fighting to get all the debts placed on her. During the proceeds, we discovered she had signed into a ranching business with one of her friends.

She owned a few hundred cattle, some horses and an ATV that I knew nothing about. My attorney gambled and demanded that I be signed in to that, as well as whatever property she came into during the marriage. She freaked when it was brought up because she thought she had been sneaky by doing this in another state. The judge ruled in my favor but gave her the choice of either splitting the property or taking the debts. She took the debts.


#37 Fighting Over Chili Pepper Christmas Lights

I worked at a family law firm as a tech guy for about five years. I saw a couple spend at least $30,000 in legal fees over a set of chairs and chili pepper Christmas lights. We're talking multiple mediation sessions where these items were the dealbreaker.


#38 The Cutest Argument Of All Time

A couple of years ago, my parents got a divorce. They're both very friendly people and they were always very cordial throughout the entire divorce process. In the end, the ONLY thing they ever seriously argued over was who got to keep my pet rock from when I was in elementary school. They still argue over it to this day.


#39 What Could She Have Possibly Done To Deserve That?

My dad was a real gem when he divorced my mom. He had my mom served while my sister was in the hospital with neuroblastoma. She had radiation and chemo and was in isolation because she had no immune system to speak of. The process server had to go to the children's hospital, then the cancer ward, and break my sister's isolation seal to serve my mom the papers. The nurses had to escort him out. Also, it was Christmas Eve.


#40 But Spongebob Is Not Violent

I have a relative who practices family law. Probably five years ago, she had a client whose ex-husband was crazy and allowed the young children to play inappropriate games, listen to inappropriate music, etc. While they were in court, the dad said, "I don't see what is so bad about letting my son (around seven-years-old) play Halo. They are animated just like Spongebob characters." That did not help his case at all. He ended up looking like a total fool and he didn't get custody.


#41 A Bonafide Bad Mom

When my parents got divorced, my mom told my dad she only wanted me and not my brother and sister. My dad laughed and said she should try that in court and see how it would play out. My dad got full custody. She also stole all of the money from their shared account and left us for like, two years while my dad had to beg and borrow money to feed us. She didn't even show up for the hearing and the judge even asked if my dad wanted child support, which he declined assuming collecting it from her would be more hassle than it was worth. My mom is a horrible human being. Sixteen years later and she hasn't changed a bit.


#42 Of All The Ways To Protect Your Money...

My friend's parents went through a truly fascinating divorce. I can't reveal too much information, but my favorite part of it was how the dad hid his money. He literally bought private jets (as in like, five, and not small ones either), registered them with his company, and flew them to airports around the world to hide them from everybody.


#43 Millionaires Can Be Trash People Too

I worked on a divorce and custody modification where the ex-wife threw a pan into the new girlfriends face. Then she tried to kidnap the kid. She is now serving time. And these people had millions of dollars. Good old Texas!


#44 Those Poor Children

A friend who did a double degree in law said that when she did her law work placement during the degree, the saddest ones were the ones where both parties were fighting NOT to take the kids.


#45 She Got A Bit Carried Away

Not a lawyer, yet, but I did observe a divorce trial where the wife was representing herself and was cross-examining her husband on the stand. She essentially was accusing him of being the Gilgo Beach serial criminal. It was an obvious reason why most people should not represent themselves. It's just not a good idea.

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