Divorce is a messy process for all those involved, especially for the lawyers handling the case. These individuals are suddenly thrust into complex situations and are expected to remain professional about all the ‘he said’s’ and ‘she said’s’ thrown around the courtroom. It’s all in a day’s work but it also results in some stories that shouldn’t really be recounted, but are just too juicy not to share.
In a viral Reddit thread, one user asked lawyers about the most memorable moments in their careers. Answering anonymously and without divulging too much detail, they’ve shared the ones that stood out most and Bored Panda has collected the cream of the crop.
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We’ve called our witnesses to the stand to present their sides of the story. From the most ridiculous ones and stuff that you would never believe, judge them for yourself and cast your vote as the jury for the best.
20+ year divorce lawyer here. I’ve seen it all.
I once represented a husband divorcing his wife of 35+ years. They were in their late 60s. At mediation they divided up about a half million in assets within 30 minutes. Then they spent 2.5 hours fighting over 2 hurricane glasses from Pat O’Brien’s and a pitchfork.
Mediator: “She really wants that pitchfork. It was a gift from her daddy.” Husband: “That…B***H! We bought it at Home Depot two years ago!” …and etc.
They settled at mediation after spending over $1,000 in attorney fees combined for the glasses and pitchfork.
They remarried 3 months later.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world in so many different aspects. One we’d like to highlight here is the effect that it’s had on relationships. The pressure coming from the restrictions placed upon us has introduced numerous different issues in our households.
The initial lockdowns were incredibly stressful. No one knew what was going on and confusing orders from local governments complicated things even further. Suddenly, everyone had to adapt to challenging new conditions that they’d never encountered before. This included being forced to stay home for the safety of ourselves and others.
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.
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Colleague handled a case where money was not an issue but the kids were. Neither parent wanted them.
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All families had their own strifes but the relationships of couples, in particular, were stretched to their breaking point. From previously enjoying their time together (with some hours to themself in between), it was quite a change to be in each other’s company 24/7.
Although people choose to live with the ones that they love most, it’s also important to have some personal space and time apart. They say that absence makes the heart grow stronger, but what happens when you’re with your other half all the time? If there’s no absence, does that mean your relationship gets actively worse? Possibly.
A 46-year marriage ended because his old high school girlfriend was single again. I later learned that the guy married the old girlfriend the same day his divorce was finalized
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Took the couple two hours to decide who would get the groceries left in the fridge. Estimated value of the groceries was around $40. Two hours of my time, opposing counsel time, and mediator time 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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A 2019 report published by the National Center for Health notes that divorce rates were at their lowest in the last twenty years. However, this coincides with the declining rates of marriages being registered in the US, suggesting that the two go hand in hand. Furthermore, the latest results from the center have not been published yet but we are seeing another unfortunate trend.
The number of reported cases of domestic violence increased significantly around the time of the first lockdowns and continued to rise over the following months. For example, in the parts of the UK, almost one-fifth of all crimes were related to domestic abuse in the months of April, May, and June of 2020.
One of our clients thought his wife was having an affair. She would actually just go driving around for hours of the night playing Pokémon Go.
They still got divorced.
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Had a husband and wife go toe to toe over an ashtray they got in Vegas at some point (neither smoked strangely enough). Spent nearly $5,000 for me an another attorney to duke it out in court over the silly thing. Prior to proceeding, I explained what the cost would be for to argue over something silly like this and that he could give me $2,500 and I would fly to Vegas for the weekend and get him an identical one instead. He said he didn’t care about the costs because he intended to smash it on the courthouse steps in front of her if we won. We won and he followed through with the smashing. He laughed and said the look on her face was worth much more than $2,500. People get crazy in divorce proceedings!
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My dad was a divorce lawyer. He had a client who wanted to divorce her husband for 2 reasons:
He did not have enough hair on his chest.
He did not drive fast enough.
Keep in mind this was in the 70’s when chest hair was a bit more important.
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Taught the parakeet certain cuss words for his wife. Hahaha. The parrot lives with the man now.
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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.
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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
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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.
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Was a loud chewer at the dinner table. He developed a complex & literally needed out as he couldn’t bear to eat with her.
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Had a client whose soon-to-be-ex-husband used her email address and phone number to sign her up for every bank, loan, religious, mental illness, and pornographic site he could think of. She was bombarded by people contacting her about her interest in their product/services.
He even put out ads for sex partners on Craigslist with her information. The kicker is that she actually went out with a guy who contacted her!
If I learned anything being a divorce attorney (I no longer practice), it was that if the opposing party sounded like a nutcase, I would soon see the nutcase come out of my own client. Normal people don’t just accidentally marry crazies (not often)!
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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???
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The husband’s statement of property listed all the food in the kitchen as of the date of separation, complete with estimated values for each item. (“Campbell’s vegetable soup – $0.79”)
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My father did divorce law for many years.
We were in Virginia Beach for a tournament I was in with a friend of mine and his father. This is back around 07
My dad got a call from a forensic accountant he hired to track down some accounts his client knew her husband stashed money in. He was asked to pull over and to put him on speaker because he would not believe what he was about to tell him. The accountant traced all of his money to 3 bank accounts totaling over $300 million in another country.
My friend’s father screamed, my father dropped his phone and there were numerous “WTF!!!” From the back seat.
My father’s client made out with 2 of the 3 accounts and they walked away silently. He was paid in full, given a small bonus and has never heard from her again.
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I was involved in a case where a lady was pursuing a case for ‘unreasonable behavior.’ Her then-husband would stand at the foot of the bed, drop his pants, then bend over to step out of them, sit on the bed, then slide up when going to bed. She had noticed that after a couple of days, brown streaks would appear.
When she showed her husband ‘the evidence,’ he stated, ‘Those are scorch marks from ironing!’ She proceeded to remove said scorch marks with a damp cloth, saying, ‘Scorch marks do not wipe off!’ This brought some laughter in the court, especially when the gentleman admitted that he used only a small amount of toilet paper because his ‘poo was always hard and never runny
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We once had a case where the husband and wife decided to start having a threesome with their friend. Then they both fell in love with her and started sleeping with her separately behind each other’s backs.
“The whole thing blew up when the husband got her pregnant.”
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I once represented a client from a divorcing couple who still lived together pending the sale of the family home but would not speak to one another for any reason whatsoever. Had to negotiate terms with opposing counsel for the sharing of refrigerator space.
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My first trial. My client was being sued for a divorce on grounds of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment. Her husband alleged that she grabbed his d**k really hard and hurt it. He alleged it was on purpose. I had to cross examine him about it.
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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.
This was an eccentric late 40s man working at a burger king who acted like all the other high school coworkers were his best chums, and often told us these weird stories. I’m glad I don’t work with him anymore.
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Not a lawyer, but as a courthouse clerk, I had a court order come across my desk that explicitly banned a father from playing Minecraft with his son over the internet because the ex-wife alleged that the in game chat was a form of improper contact that wasn’t outlined in their custody/visitation plan.
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My client had a son named Snoop Frog and neither parent wanted custody.
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I’m not a divorce lawyer, but when I was at a mediation a few months ago, the mediator was telling me about a divorce he mediated a few years back. It was your classic “rich guy is sick of his wife and kids, and wants a divorce to run off with a young, hot piece of ass.”
His wife wanted blood. She came to the mediation with some pretty outrageous demands about the money and property she’d receive. The mediator pushed hard throughout a long day of mediation, but she hadn’t budged an inch. Finally, very late in the day, the husband threw up his hands and said, ‘f**k it–give her everything she’s asking for and let’s be done with it.’
The mediator went back to the wife’s conference room to share the good news that the husband had caved in, and she FLIPPED THE F**K OUT, glowing incandescent with rage at the idea that her husband was willing to pay truly insane compensation to be done with her and ride off with his little girlfriend.
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I worked for a law firm while in college and we had a client who had just come home from a two week vacation with his wife only to be served with divorce papers and a temporary restraining order as soon as they pulled in the driveway. Wife didn’t say a word and just went into their house. Poor guy came straight to our office and was massively confused, to say the least.
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worked as courtroom clerk/front desk when i was in college, a couple argued on the custody details on their son, i thought it was the normal “i wont let you see him you piece of s**t”, but the mom wants the dad to spend more time during holidays together – all 3 of them, and the dad wants to do the same, just more frequently. they ended up reconciled and agreed to couples therapy before the divorce procedure went further. then they came back a month later to withdraw the divorce proceeding.
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I worked in a law firm, and we had a divorce case where the husband and wife were first cousins. They knew each other their whole lives and married late in life to each other. He then cheated on her with his stepdaughter from his first marriage
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I work for a mortgage company and occasionally we have to review divorce decrees if someone is divorcing to remove a spouses name from the loan. There is a notorious case known around my pretty large department as the ” cat divorce decree” account. In this divorce decree, there is a 5 page addendum specifically regarding Mittens and Buttons Johnson (names changed for their protection). Memorable clauses included: mandatory 10 minute Skype sessions weekly, no unsupervised play dates with children under 15, and that their claws be trimmed every 3 days.
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My mom is a family law lawyer, and she told me that a man divorced his wife after she broke her jaw in a car accident because she could no longer give head
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On the day of a divorce trial involving adultery grounds, the opposing counsel produces photos of my client (the husband) wearing lingerie and a long brown wig. In the photo, he’s blowing another dude.
I successfully exclude this from evidence on the grounds of relevance because the wife was the photographer.
Husband and wife still living together at the time had a small confrontation. The husband pulls a “sphincter says what” on her and she takes the bait and says “what.” He giggled like a little kid. She then told her lawyer who had to talk to his lawyer. His lawyer asked him if he called his wife a sphincter and told him hes not allowed to call her that anymore.
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.
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.
I had a case where the husband found some incriminating texts on his wife’s phone that she was cheating on him with some guy and also gets the impression his sister in-law might be in on it in some way. Him and his brother end up hiring a PI to tail them both to get the truth. They essentially confirm that both women are seeing other people. The sister in-law admitted full guilt of sleeping with another man and they attempted to reconcile, but his brother eventually filed for divorce. The one wife admitted she was looking to sleep with the guy, but they only “met for some kisses” and she “touched his penis a little bit” in hoping that would prove that she was still faithful since she couldn’t go through with it. He filed for divorce anyway. Also, a serious tag helps these kinds of threads.
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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 had one client who looked through her husband’s phone and found out he was hiring male escorts while he was on business trips.
Another female client got a divorce because she hated sex with her husband. Her last relationship before she got married was pretty intense, and I guess her husband just didn’t match up. Hopefully, soon-to-be-former divorce attorney, I’ve seen tons of crazy reasons for people to get divorced.
At my last firm, a couple did their will with our firm. They were married 40 years total, divorced, and remarried once. The 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 make a secret will and a fake will. The phony will would be signed with her present, and then it would be shredded. He would later come in 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
My mother is a family law lawyer, and she’s told some great stories. One of her clients wanted to surprise his wife with a threesome between them both and his guy best friend. The surprise goes fine. She loves it, and life goes on. Eventually, the wife and the best friend retain some sort of connection that they didn’t have until the threesome happened. They decide to get together and ditch her husband in the equation. He got divorced by his wife so that she could continue to have sex with his best friend.