Divorces are never pleasant, but there are some people out there who just take things to another level. We took to AskReddit to find some of the most grueling divorce stories as told by those who witnessed them firsthand.
1. I Mean, Spit IS Gross…
“I worked for a judge. 2 prominent local news people had a divorce. They filed mutual restraining orders against each other for “violence.” The filings were vague on details, but still somehow conveyed a sense of Shiloh or Antietam levels of blood.
When it came time for the hearing, it turned out the “violence” was spitting. More specifically, during a heated argument, flecks of spittle managed to touch the other party.
Judge denied the restraining orders, and both parties’ attorneys probably bought new yachts.
Such is justice.”
2. RED FLAG
“Here’s a story of a potential thwarted divorce case, told to me by our closing attorney.
Man and his fiancée are buying a house together. They get to the paper where you sign off on all your aliases. The woman has a full page of former names. The guy asks, “what is this?”
The woman nonchalantly says, “Oh, I’ve been married five times before.” The guy gets up and walks out. Needless to say they did not buy the house or stay together.”
3. Just Ask
“I’m a child who dealt with parents getting divorced. When I was 7, I was forced to go to therapists to play ‘games’ with them (my mother was trying to get custody and insisted on it). It was a board game. It seemed innocent enough. I roll the dice, and the therapist picks up a card from his deck, and asks me a question. When he rolled, I picked a card and asked him a question.
My questions were simple for a 7-year-old. ‘What’s your favorite color’ and whatnot.
His questions were smart/tricky. ‘How do you feel when mommy does this.’ and ‘What do you think of daddy when this happens.’
So I sat there for an hour, 7-years-old, playing this game. At the end, we left the room and met with my parents and he said I would do better living with my mother. I specifically remember looking at the man and saying ‘but I don’t want to just live with mom. I want to live with dad too. Like I’m doing now.’ (1 week at mom’s, 1 week at dad’s).
I’ll never forget the way that the therapist basically ignored me, and said that ‘the game/discussions showed that I’m happier with my mom.’ The look on my fathers face was heartbreaking and he started to tear up.
I remember as we were walking out of the place my parents stopped in the parking lot to discuss things, and I stood there waiting for them to finish arguing. I remember getting so frustrated because they were talking about me, in front of me. I stopped them and said:
‘Why didn’t you just ASK me what I wanted?’ My mother looked quite stunned, and my dad seemed so relieved. I wound up doing 1 week at mom’s and 1 week at dad’s until I was 17 and went into college. Mondays I got on the bus at one house, and off the bus at the other.
Parents, don’t be dicks. Just ask your kid. We might actually have something to say.”
4. Not In The Job Description
“My father was a divorce attorney and he was once called at his office by the husband of the woman he was representing. The husband said “You have ruined my life and I’m going to ruin yours, you better watch your little ones tonight.” My Dad stayed up most of the night with a baseball bat. Don’t think he even called the police.”
5. Can You Say Petty?
“One guy wanted a provision in his divorce that said his sons couldn’t watch NASCAR because the wife’s new boyfriend was into NASCAR.
In the same case, the property division was so contentious that the judge had the parties list every piece of furniture in the house and try to work through who would get what. The guy made sure that he wanted everything she did, down to things like lace doilies her grandma made and some trophy she won in a women’s shooting competition (“I bought her the gun so its pretty much my trophy”).”
“I was a secretary for an attorney.
I think the most entertaining one was when a guy had to divorce his wife via newspaper because she wouldn’t leave the house or answer the door for the process server.”
7. Sanity Is An Awfully High Price To Pay
“My parents divorce was finalized September of 2014, but the separation of assets is still open. The short of it is that my dad has always been really jealous. About 2 years ago my dad got it in his head that my mom was cheating with a baker/police officer in our home town (Mexico). He hired two guys to watch her 24/7, they confirmed that she was cheating and said they had a video…well $8k and my dad’s sanity later, there’s no video and my dad is mentally ill.
He hired someone else to kill this baker/police officer, thankfully they too just took his money and did not kill him. He started going to brothels and sexually harassing women. He said he would leave my mom on the streets and has attempted to pay off judges. My dad was always a good, hard-working man, now he is someone I don’t know. Some say it’s a mid-life crisis, but the guy is 65 years old, I feel if it was a crisis it should’ve happened years ago.”
8. No Wonder He’s Divorced
“Divorce attorney here. The standard comment I make is that I represent good people in their worst moments. However, some cases seem like representing the worst people in their worst moments. I have a bunch of anecdotes, but the truly surreal case for me was a post-decree case where a husband sought reduction of his unallocated family support obligation after he was fired from a six figure salary as a public school principal.
He was jerking off in his car while driving and was observed by most of the people in a school bus that was much higher than his car. The legal issue was whether his change in employment was in bad faith. After a three hour hearing, the court felt that it was.”
9. What A Waste
“My grandparents’ divorce. I refused to help them with it or get involved. I think my only advice was to burn all of their possessions.
It was truly awful. It went on for at least 4 years. My grandfather was a shopping addict & hoarder, and my step-grandmother left the minute that they ran out of cash. They then proceeded to fight about every object in their hoard, all while both being in the middle of dying. She was dying of cancer & Alzheimers, and he of diabetes & kidney failure, so it wasn’t like they had some grand plan about how someone was going to use any of these objects. They owned basically nothing of actual value.
My grandfather was just awful and wouldn’t let her go (did she know she was leaving? Not sure…), and wrote her nasty letters weekly. After my grandfather died, my family threw away or donated virtually every last hammer, hat, and book they fought over. What a waste of time and energy their whole divorce fiasco was. I’m sure they greatly annoyed their respective attorneys greatly.”
10. Aren’t Technicalities The Best?
“Not me, but a neighbor.
The couple got divorced and she got the house in the settlement. Only the house and the immediate house lot, not the surrounding land, that went to the husband.
The first thing he did was sell all the lumber off the rest of the land. She went from living in a nice forest to living in a clear cut. He wasn’t done yet! Once the trees were gone he sold off the topsoil, then the gravel under that. By the time he was done her house was on a hill overlooking a barren landscape reminiscent of the lunar surface. This was years ago and the place is still hideous.”
11. That’s One Hell Of A Secret
“I just had lunch with a lawyer friend of mine and he told me this crazy story: when he was an intern there was this divorce case where the woman was demanding child support from her husband. It was in a small city in Bolivia’s highlands and both the husband and wife were shepherds. Anyways, the husband asked the judge for a medical examination of his genitalia, turns out the “husband” was actually a woman.
She was raised by her grandparents and they respected her preferences, for the rest of the community she was a boy. After her grandparents died she inherited the land and after sometime the neighbor offered her to marry his daughter (without knowing the guy was actually a girl). She accepted and once she was married she came to an agreement with her wife: they will be married but they won’t have sex. After a while the wife got a lover and had three kids; the husband took them as his/her own. Some years passed and the relationship really deteriorated so the husband asked for a divorce, things got ugly and she ended up telling the truth in order to avoid paying child support.”
12. WHAT A HORRIBLE EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING
“A man came into the family law firm my friend was working in and says his wife was cheating on him. He’s extremely rich and wants to get divorced. The lawyer proceeds to ask him about his assets and what he wants to keep. He says that she can have the house, the car, the boat, the kids, etc. The lawyer asks him what he wants to keep then, given that he doesn’t seem to want anything.
The man angrily responds – “that bitch only loves her dog. I want her to suffer so I want the court to order that the dog be taken away from her and cremated. She can have 50% of the ashes and I’ll have the other 50%.”
Somehow this prince among men is getting divorced.”
13. One Way To Fuck Up A Family
“Someone in my family holds the state record for longest divorce proceedings. 30+ years of unrelenting fighting that divided the family into who talks to which parent, complete with long periods of not speaking to one another and family members not speaking to the people who won’t speak to the family members that they like.
The reverse too. Some people talk to the mom and some talk to the dad, but you can’t talk to them both, not allowed. God forbid you ever mention one to the other. It’s a war and it totally fucked their kids (my mom and aunts/uncles) up. It won’t end until both parties are dead and in the ground.”
“One crazy story is while a lady is in her counseling session, her husband comes in and says to the receptionist that he’s her husband and he won’t be able to pick up the kids because he has to go into work right then and could the receptionist let the client know when she gets out of the appointment. The receptionist says yes. When the client comes out of her appointment the receptionist passes along he message and the client says “Are you serious? He isn’t supposed to know I’m here…We’re in the middle of a divorce and he’s crazy.””
15. Poor Thing
“Represented a woman who was convinced that her husband had implanted micro robots into her brain and was trying to control her. She would bring us all these nano tech articles trying to convince us that it was possible. She dragged the case out for 4 years, convinced that he has done all kinds of illegal stuff (like destroyed her car brakes so she would crash, and putting poison into her tap water). She was nuts, we almost had to get a conservator for her estate.”
16. That Escalated Quickly
“Day 58 of the 60 days it took for my parents’ divorce to be final, my dad called my mom at work and begged her to call it off and take him back. She said no. He went from sad and crying to pissed, saying “so this is how you want things?” About an hour and a half later, my mom got another phone call from someone letting her know that our house was on fire. It was arson, of course. I wish that’s the worst I could say about their divorce.”
“The husband in the case broke into the wife’s (our client) home, poisoned some of her food, and left. She went to the hospital and ended up being perfectly okay thankfully.”
18. What A Horrible Father
“A self-righteous father who used the kids against the mother & described to them in detail the mother’s sexual exploits with her lover after he caught her sleeping around. I’m not condoning the cheating, but don’t tell explicit details to your 5-year-old for God’s sake. Judge wasn’t happy when he heard the tape of the kid repeating it.”