Divorce Lawyers Share The Worst Way Someone Has Screwed Over Their Spouse
Everybody getting married thinks it’ll last forever. Otherwise, why would anyone bother to go through with it? Still, the world is full of stories of relationships gone awry. People in love may do crazy things, but a lover scorned can take it to the next level, as this Reddit thread shows.
We took to Reddit to find divorce lawyers who shared the worst thing they’d ever seen one spouse do to another after their marriage broke down. As well as the usual custody battles and arguments over the division of assets, responses included everything from arson, to bankruptcy, to naming their new dog after their ex just to spite them. It really is surprising how far some people will go just to get one up on a person they used to care about.
So, before you consider tying the knot with that special someone, maybe give this list a read. Marriage suddenly might not seem such a good idea after all…
Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#25 That’s A Smart Woman
A woman in my town is a Principal at a local elementary school. She is in her mid-70s (at least). I asked someone why she doesn’t retire, and they explained that she and her spouse went through a very contentious divorce about 15 years ago. As a result, she has to give him a portion of her retirement, so she has decided to just NEVER retire so he gets nothing, ever!
#24 Seems Like a Lot of Effort to Get Out of Paying Child Support
My parents’ divorce seemed simple. My dad cheated on my mom. My mom got custody of me. My dad didn’t like paying alimony and child support to the tune of $2,000 a month after he gave up rights. My dad had a great idea, pay a hitman $15,000 to end the life of his soon to be ex-wife. My dad goes through with it, and the idiot actually pays undercover cop the money. My dad then flies back to Canada (home) to wait for the results. An international task force is formed to try and detain him.
Geraldo Rivera covers the story, and my idiot dad gets arrested in Toronto and is flown back to California. During this process, I was three-years-old and in the care of family back down south, as my mother is in police protection. My dad’s family is apparently wealthy and gets a good lawyer, and despite being charged with 17 felonies he only gets 18 months. After all of this mom still had to sue for divorce – it took 2 years.
#23 The Real Housewife of Toronto
I currently have a client who makes a sizeable salary, north of $200,000 a year. He and his spouse have separated but she will not leave the matrimonial home, despite her overtures that she wants to become independent.
She has actively depleted the joint bank account of hundreds of thousands of dollars, which she has siphoned into personal bank accounts and uses to finance her lifestyle of expensive yoga classes, buying luxury purses and shoes, eating at fine dining establishments and spending recklessly to deplete her net family property.
She was literally taking every penny that he deposited from his paycheque on the advice of her lawyer, which she then used to pay for her lawyer. He was literally financing opposing counsel. That has now stopped.
She will not allow him to see the kids when he comes home from work or even read them bedtime stories.
She refused to allow him to take his sons to see their grandfather in the hospital, who passed away shortly thereafter, and she continues to alienate the children from the paternal aunts and grandmother. She has no extended family that still speaks to her.
Both she and her counsel are bloodthirsty.
Even though they signed a prenup, she wants to take half of the 2.5 million dollar home, wants full custody of the kids, and wants him to pay her $8,000 a month in spousal support.
She could work full-time earning as much as $95,000 a year, but she’d rather live life like a real housewife of Toronto.
#22 The House That Hate Built
My uncle represented this guy getting a divorce from his wife of 15 years. Super toxic breakup and they split everything 50/50, even the land that the house they lived in sat upon. Well, she decides to build a house right behind the other house. Mind you this was a lot of land, probably 200 yards separating both home sites so that the back of the houses faced each other. The house gets built and my uncle gets a call from his client asking about the legality of a situation he had got himself into.
Apparently, his ex-wife would spend a lot of time in her backyard, so he saw her all the time. What he did was buy a female dog and name it the same name as his ex-wife. Anytime he would let his dog back in from letting her out he would yell “Susan! Get in here!” He would also yell if she was peeing on the flowers,”Susan! Quit peeing on the flowers!” or “Susan! Quit digging in the dirt!” The ex-wife called the cops on him a couple of times, but there was nothing they could do because the dog was registered under the name of Susan, so there you go.
#21 She Took the Kid Down Too
My mom was a real piece of work in this department. My mother is mentally unstable and was very abusive to me as a child. When my father finally moved out and asked for a divorce I was luckily old enough (13) to legally decide who I wanted to live with. I, of course, chose my dad and that enraged my mother. By court order, she was allowed to live in our four bedroom house, while my dad and I had to move in with my aunt into a two bedroom house. We lived there for four years while my mom did everything she could to slow down the divorce proceedings.
During this period my father was court ordered to pay the mortgage and utilities on the house my mother was living in. She would leave all the lights on and crank the heat with the windows open just to drive the utility bills up. She once left the garden hose on for a week into a drain to even make the water bill outrageous. When it was finally all over and she had taken my dad for as much as she could, she decided to sue him for my college fund. I called her and told her if she went through with it I would never speak to her again. She replied that if I wanted the money then I needed to move in with her before I turned 18 so she could get child support from my dad. I refused, she won the case for the money and my dad had to use most of what was left of the fund to pay for her lawyer costs.
#20 He Still Might Go To Jail Though…
The couple separated ten years ago but didn’t officially divorce until a couple of years ago. She was going to get his house, so he burnt it down then faxed her the transfer of ownership forms. He might be going to jail for arson though.
#18 This is Just Heartless
My ex and I separated before the divorce. She agreed to watch the dog while I found a new place.
She had the dog put down instead.
#17 Everything 50/50
My father went through this process recently. The amounts of money aren’t the real concern. The assets must be split as close to 50/50 as possible, and generally comes in the form of inequitable distribution of one-of-a-kind things.
My father had a precious set of old, inexpensive kitchenware that his late mother gave him before he even married my mother. When the divorce went to mediation and she told the mediator that she wanted those pots and pans, she got them. She got them because she was willing to give up something else of equal monetary value (so, something worth less than $10), and was willing to sit in mediation for hours, racking up thousands in lawyer fees for both sides, until my father consented. Again, an even financial trade, but a sentimental trade of overwhelming disparity.
#16 Thankfully, She Took the High Ground
I met with a scummy lawyer when I was looking to get a divorce. The first lawyer I met with, who had been recommended by a coworker as an amazing divorce attorney, suggested that if I wanted full custody, I should make sure people knew the relationship was abusive. Tell my friends/family, make sure the neighbors heard me screaming/begging him not to hit me, document every bruise even if I wasn’t sure it came from him. Thing is, my relationship wasn’t abusive and I’d already told her that multiple times.
She never outright said I should fabricate evidence or anything, but she ignored my repeated statements that there was no abuse and kept on with her detailed instructions on how to document any abuse that might happen. I got the distinct impression that she was letting me know how to create an abusive relationship out of thin air in order to get custody of my kids.
I ended up not using her as an attorney, for obvious reasons, and in the end, my ex and I shared 50/50 physical and legal custody of our children and raised them together despite whatever issues we had with each other. I can’t help but wonder, though, how many dads lost a relationship with their kids because of her zealous coaching.
#15 Death by Debt
I had a co-worker once where the wife racked up well over $150,000 in credit card debt right before she divorced him. He worked overtime for literally the rest of his life just to be able to survive. Unfortunately, he died from a heart attack, probably due to all the stress that she left him with.
#14 She Didn’t Think This Through…
My two bosses were married and opened a bike shop together. He was the brains and the backbone since he was a former Olympic mechanic, she just sort of balanced the checkbook and worked a couple days a week. Unfortunately, he had no credit and she did, so when they opened everything was in her name.
All he wanted in the divorce was the bike shop and was willing to buy her half. She wanted the bike shop too but didn’t want to buy him out for his half. This was despite the fact her father had recently passed away and she was sitting on like $300,000 in the bank, and also had the audacity to take out student loans for her daughter to go to college.
He lost the bike shop and I think he got a little bit of money for his share. What she didn’t expect was that all of the high-paying customers would stop going there. They were all his friends or they only wanted him to work on their bikes (so I don’t know why she would have had that notion). So he opened up his own bike shop and all of the “regulars” have become regulars at the new bike shop.
#13 She Drives Me Crazy
This is a story from my parents who are lawyers. So, throughout the divorce proceedings, there was a car that was a huge point of contention between the husband and wife. After months and months of saying he would never let the wife have the car, the husband concedes in exchange for something great, like one of their summer houses. It turns out he had been driving the car for three hours every day in a big loop around the city, putting thousands and thousands of miles on it and basically making it worthless. The amount of planning and spite that went into that was amazing.
#12 This Guy is Definitely Not Going To Heaven
My ex’s brother helped his friend (he was friends with the couple, but clearly “chose” the guy) hide assets and wash cash in the six months leading up to a “surprise, I’m divorcing you!” by the friend to his now deceased ex-wife.
He did this because she had just been diagnosed with cancer, was not going to live, and he didn’t see why “his money” should go to “her health care” when she was going to “die in a few years” anyway.
#11 That’s Not How Divorce Works
My parents are currently going through a divorce. Luckily, the kids are all in their late 20s/30s so no custody battle, but basically, my mom is mad and desperately trying to ruin my dad as much as humanly possible. She told her lawyer that he has SO MANY hidden assets, when in fact he has none. She lied and told the mediator that he has a record collection worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, when in fact it’s probably worth like £8.
She said his guitar collection was worth tens of thousands, whereas second-hand value, like maybe £2k. She wants all of his businesses assets. All of them. She wants both houses. Her lawyer repeatedly reminds her that at most she’d get half of everything, but she clearly doesn’t listen. Then she demanded back all of our (the kids) Christmas and birthday presents from our childhood, like the violin they bought me when I was 13. It’s hers. Obviously. Fortunately, her lawyer laughed at her and reminded her that’s not how divorce works.
#10 Sometimes, Hard Work Isn’t its Own Reward
My father built the house I grew up in with minimal help. He spent two years working on it and did the hardwood floors, staircase, bathrooms, and hung every cabinet by himself. Every piece of trim in the house was run through a lathe with his own two hands. He even did the spackling for all the ceilings and all of the paintwork.
Then my mom cheated on him for a year and bought him out of the house. Now my mom and step-dad have a pretty great place to live, and I can tell it hurts my dad whenever he has to go by to pick up my sister and stand in the entryway of the house that he built and watch their dog scratch up the hardwood that he was so proud of.
#9 What a Waste
My wife’s parents had a really bitter divorce. Her dad was starting to suffer from dementia and her mom is disabled. They were well off, however her dad made a series of life decisions that easily cost them over half their wealth (had a house built right before the recession, tried selling their old one after the recession hit, then moved out of their new house within 3 years and took another massive hit on that). He was also let go from the job he had and was unable to keep any new jobs as he was suffering from mental health issues.
It was basically each other’s goal to leave the other side with nothing, and so what little resources they had ended up sunk in legal costs. While her dad definitely did things out of spite, considering less than five years later he’s in a home with dementia and doesn’t remember anyone, I’m a little more sympathetic to him since who can really say how much the mental issues were affecting him during the divorce. Her mom though was straight up spiteful for the sake of spite. When her dad tried collecting disability because of OCD she fought him the whole way. When he filled out the financial disclosures she dumped thousands of dollars trying to allege he had offshore bank accounts.
The real victim here is my wife. The process definitely exacerbated and accelerated her dad’s mental decline. Her mom came out the winner I guess you’d say, but after all the bills were paid, she has less than probably 25% of what they started out with when they initiated the divorce proceedings. She now lives with us in an in-law suite, living off disability and unable to touch any of the money she won in the divorce because it counts as income against the government assistance she gets for having MS. Both her parents lost the last somewhat functional years of their lives consumed by just fighting each other in the divorce.
#8 Did She Ever Figure it Out?
This wife cheats on her husband during his frequent travels for work. She files for divorce and gets to keep the house. Months elapse and the husband is still rightfully annoyed but has no recourse. Then he has an epiphany: “I wonder if she changed the password to the Nest Thermostat?” She did not.
For the next year, he continues to mess with the thermostat. In the middle of summer when they’re sleeping in HIS bed, he turns the heat on to 90 degrees at 3:00 am. Middle of winter? Time to shut off the heat and hope the pipes freeze. Away on vacation? Turn the air conditioning down to 55 and let it run 24/7 for a nice surprise bill when they get home.
#7 What Did Grandma Ever Do to You?
This was a bad separation. The wife filed a restraining order on the husband (very common, wasn’t a terrible guy but not great either). A year into the divorce his mother was dying, so he asked his sister to speak with his ex-wife and request that she bring the kids to see his mom in the hospital before she died. The wife never did, instead, she went to the court and said he violated the restraining order by trying to contact her (you can’t contact someone through another party).
He admitted it and explained the situation, but was found in breach of the order. His mother died while he was locked up and the wife never brought the kids to see her.
#6 Why Would You Do This?
During my divorce proceedings, when we didn’t live together anymore, my wife filed a frivolous police report saying that I “threatened” her. In the police report, she wrote my apartment’s address as her place of residence. A court immediately issued a restraining order against me, prohibiting me from being in my apartment (that I rented).
While the restraining order was active (several months) I had to live in hotels and Airbnbs, which of course is 2x-3x of normal rent, without having access to my clothes and other stuff. I also was paying the rent for the apartment that was empty all that time (she never actually went there during that restraining order, even though she claimed it as her residence). The restraining order was lifted as the case was dismissed after she never provided any evidence or even a testimony.
I didn’t sign the lease extension in time during this process because I had no information how long the restraining order will be for; even though it was lifted right before my lease expired, I ended up having to move (and pay a broker fee).
Of course, this also delayed divorce proceedings because we couldn’t communicate while the restraining order was active.
Besides that, she refused to sign a tax form for “married filing jointly.” I ended up filing as “married filing separately,” which meant quite a few thousand dollars extra in payment to the IRS.
This was the biggest case of “I’m going to ruin your life without any personal gain for me” that I have ever seen.
#5 Love is Blind
I am a child of divorce. My father was a plastic surgeon. He worked his way up from a janitor at a hospital, and went from not graduating high school to getting through med school in his mid-30s. He married my mom in his 40s (she was 20 years younger). They always had a strained relationship. He was a workaholic and also had a drinking issue. My mother, on the other hand, was controlling and manipulative. I could see both of their issues at a young age.
I always knew they needed to separate but it didn’t happen until my early 20s which couldn’t have been a worse time. My dad had lost a considerable amount of money after the recession and had also gotten two types of cancer (prostate and colon) and almost died, so he pretty much stopped practicing medicine. My mother decided this was the perfect time to divorce him and in the process take every little thing she could from him including my younger siblings. He fell into a deep depression and still to this day thinks he loves this woman while she continues to take advantage of him.
#4 Well, This Is Just Sad
This happened in one of the cases I was on as a clerk. It was the saddest custody result I have seen in my career and it was at the beginning. The mom was married to a Jordanian citizen and they had two young kids. The mom discovered the dad’s intent to enter a marriage contract for their daughter. She filed an action for divorce and custody with a request for an emergency hearing. (She asked for Ex Parte relief, temporary relief issued prior to a hearing, to ban him from flying, but it wasn’t granted). When he was served notice of the emergency hearing he picked both kids up from school and hopped the next flight to Jordan.
To this day I think about that judge who denied the Ex Parte flight restriction and whether she is haunted by her ruling.
#3 The Police Conspiracy
My friend’s husband was a cop and got a judge friend to commit her. He filed for divorce while she was committed and got the same judge to grant him custody while she was committed. When she was released because she wasn’t a danger to herself or anyone, she had no one to come get her (she was committed in Atlanta, no family anywhere close), she had nowhere to go, and nothing with her. She had to spend 3 homeless nights in Atlanta before someone came and got her. She still only has supervised visits three years later.
#2 Talk About Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face
I remember reading about one case that I couldn’t remember the name of when I went to look for it. The parties had about $15 million in assets, and the husband had owned about 90% of the assets going into the marriage. The courts wanted to award the wife about $2 million and give the husband the rest, while the husband wanted to leave her destitute. He ended up spending all of his money to fight at every step of the way by filing frivolous motions and just generally doing whatever he could to be a jerk. After attorney’s fees, penalties and costs, and money wasted on schemes, the total remaining assets the parties had was about $500,000. Courts awarded all of it to the wife and left him completely broke.
#1 Can You Ever Really Know Someone Until You Marry Them?
A good family friend was a lifelong post office employee, 30 plus years of savings and retirement. He’s in his mid 50’s and one of the funniest, best-natured people I’ve ever met. He married an early 30s woman, very well educated and a seemingly nice person. They had a child, and shortly after she filed for divorce for no apparent reason. My family friend never owned a credit card, he had excellent money management his entire life with a credit score of over 800. The proceedings start, he finds out she opened over 13 credit cards in his name and drained his accounts of over $70,000.
He’s had to relocate to another part of the state just to see his only child, and will never be able to retire. Somehow she has got away with fraud to the tune of over a quarter million dollars, and the courts have done nothing thus far to prosecute her for anything. It’s the disgusting reality of modern day human nature, and it makes me sick. Stuck with massive court costs, absolutely no savings and a sub 600 credit score just so his ex-wife can live the extravagant lifestyle she wants. Some people have absolutely no moral compass whatsoever.