Lawyers Share Their Most Outrageous Divorce Cases, Reinforcing Why It’s Better To Just Stay Single

If you ask certain people what the best part about marriage is, they’ll tell you the answer is divorce. After divorce, some people genuinely find a renewed passion for life born out of a newfound hatred for their ex-spouse.

Reddit user DarkFander141 posed the question to the popular Ask Reddit community: “Divorce lawyers of Reddit, what is the most insane (evil, funny, dumb) way a spouse has tried to screw the other?” He received over 12k responses, and we rounded up some of the best ones.

This Woman Pulled Off An IRL “Home Alone” Wet Bandits Heist

Hands in sink plugging drain with water running
Photo Credit: Johannes Krupinski / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Johannes Krupinski / Unsplash

Redditor Slagathar1 starts by identifying themselves as a divorce lawyer before telling a story about a woman who had been kicked out of her house by her husband. She waited until he was on a business trip before she snuck back into the house.

She “turned on all of the faucets, plugged the drains, turned off the furnace, and left. It was -10C°.” By the time the husband returned home five days later, the house was completely ruined. The water had frozen and cracked the foundation.

One Woman Spent Approximately $100K To Win An Ashtray In Court—Only To Smash It Out Of Spite

Blue ceramic ashtray with patterns
Photo Credit: DEAR / Unsplash
Photo Credit: DEAR / Unsplash

One user responded with a story about a “well-to-do” couple going through a bitter divorce. They spent months and “tens of thousands of dollars fighting over absolutely everything all the way down to a single ceramic ashtray.” The post explains that the ashtray held some sort of significance to the husband’s family.

Long after most of the divorce had been settled, the couple spent additional months “and nearly $100,000 fighting over just this ashtray.” After a judge declared the wife the rightful owner, “she promptly strode out to the white courthouse steps…and smashed the ceramic ashtray. Left the pieces all over for the husband to see on his way out.” Next level of rich people petty.

She Took Everything She Was Entitled To—Including The Doorknobs And Drawer Handles

Hand reaching for doorknob with key
Photo Credit: George Becker / Pexels
Photo Credit: George Becker / Pexels

This user shared a story about their boss who “had to leave his house for six hours while his ex-wife grabbed all the belongings she was legally entitled to.”

Unfortunately, his ex-wife took that to heart. When the man returned home, every single doorknob and cupboard handle was missing. The post continues: “Anything that was screwed onto something and used to open it, she had taken.”

“And the one speck of food that she left in the house was a crumb that was even too small for a mouse.” —How The Grinch Stole Christmas And This Poor Dude, Probably

Man Sold Off The Land Surrounding His Ex-Wife’s House

Large house is perched on a dirt mound hill with excavated ground surrounding it
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

The post explains an incident that happened to the poster’s neighbor. After a bitter divorce, “she got the house in the settlement,” but she was not able to secure the surrounding land, which “went to the husband.”

The first thing the husband did was sell the lumber off the land. The lush forest surrounding her home was clear-cut. After the trees were cleared he sold off the topsoil and then the gravel beneath it. Her home ended up being “on a hill overlooking a barren landscape reminiscent of the lunar surface.”

The neighbor continues: “This was years ago and the place is still hideous,” with a reference to this image from Google Street View.

This Couple Fought Extensively Over A Cheap Ceramic Rabbit Because It Was The Last Item To Divvy Up

Ceramic rabbit statue in garden with some moss growing in spots
Photo Credit: Eva Elijas / Pexels
Photo Credit: Eva Elijas / Pexels

A divorce lawyer told a story about a case where both clients were “so petty” that they met to mediate over every single scrap that they owned.

It came down to one final item that neither person would settle on, a generic ceramic rabbit statue from a depot store. The rabbit had zero sentimental value but because it was the final item, neither person wanted to “lose.”

Three meetings later and the ex-spouse who ended up “winning” the rabbit simply left it on their lawyer’s desk as an ironic parting gift.

One Divorcing Couple Paid Their Mediator To Quietly Sit And Listen For Six Hours

Couples counseling with mediator, couple on couch
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels

One post tells the story of a lawyer named Alan who worked in divorce and custody cases, often acting as a mediator for separating couples as they divided their assets.

A couple that was close to finalizing their divorce terms came to Alan to finish up some last-minute details and ended up fighting over emergency contacts for their child for six hours. Each parent wanted to be the first call in an emergency situation and couldn’t come to an agreement—while Alan was being paid hundreds of dollars by the hour.

An eventual resolve came in hour six, with the end of the post saying: “Not sure why it took six hours and a couple of thousand dollars to do it, but they did. Guess everyone has a hill to die on.”

This Couple Couldn’t Decide How To Divide Up Their Litter Of Puppies—So The Lawyer Took Them For A While

Four golden puppies lying together in children's playhouse
Photo Credit: Steve Sewell / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Steve Sewell / Unsplash

A father working as a divorce attorney had clients who could not decide which partner should get the family’s new litter of Labrador puppies. Each puppy was worth at least $1,000.

The clients couldn’t afford to pay their lawyer on time and the attorney ended up holding the puppies at his family home as collateral until the clients could negotiate the settlement. It was a dream come true for the man’s children!

An Ex-Husband Bought A Cat To Spite His Wife’s New Partner With Severe Allergies

Kids lie in bed with black cat smiling
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels

One response starts by saying, “I was an assistant for a family law practice, not a lawyer.” The post goes on to explain that a family was going through a particularly messy divorce when the wife began dating someone new. Her soon-to-be ex-husband was enraged.

He found out that the woman’s new partner had a severe cat allergy, so he purchased a cat for his children to play with when they were with him. When he sent the kids home, he also sent the cat with them saying that he could no longer keep it at his place. He told the children “if mommy loves you, she’ll let you keep the cat since daddy is not allowed cats at his house.”

He Left Her Some Money In The Joint Account—$3.50 To Be Exact

Woman stands at bank machine kiosk with card about to take money out of machine
Photo Credit: Ono Kosuki / Pexels
Photo Credit: Ono Kosuki / Pexels

A paralegal at a family law firm shared the story of a client who told his lawyer that he did not clear out the marital account after the parties filed.

The post continues: “Which technically is true because while he removed $45,000 he left about $3.50 in there.” Not even enough to buy herself a drink to cry into, damn.

A Man Quit His Corporate Job And Took A Pay Cut So That His Wife Was Entitled To Less Money

Two men in golf polo shirts in sporting goods store
Photo Credit: Jopwell from Pexels
Photo Credit: Jopwell from Pexels

A top executive at a Fortune 500 company was going through a fairly nasty divorce. He was “pretty much set for life, he had a bunch of stock, houses, and assets in so many places.”

His ex-wife was after everything she could get in the divorce, which gave him an idea. They arranged for the husband to keep everything he owned under the condition that he would provide his ex-wife with half of his salary for the rest of his life.

“She quickly agreed because his checks were huge and this also included any bonuses which were in the millions.”

However, as soon as the paperwork was finalized, the man quit his corporate job and began working part-time at a sporting goods store. After keeping all of his assets, he was able to drive to the store in his fancy sports car and smile knowing that every Friday his ex-wife would only be getting about $150 per paycheck.

Man Super-Glued ALL His Ex Wife’s Belongings

Remote control for TV on books on coffee table
Photo Credit: Aleks Marinkovic / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Aleks Marinkovic / Unsplash

One user wrote that they work for a divorce attorney at the moment, but that the craziest thing they had ever encountered happened while working for the prosecuting attorney.

Following a separation, a man returned to his former house to collect his belongings while his ex was at work. She came home and saw he had taken his things, as expected.

“What she didn’t expect was that he had also Gorilla Glued her belongings together. He glued the tv remote to the table, the phone to its cradle, the couch pillows to the couch, and even glued the vacuum cleaner to the carpet.”

She reported the property damage to the police but kept calling them back to “amend or update her report” as she found new things glued together around the home—like the sheets in the linen closet. You almost have to admire his commitment to being toxic.

These Parents Agreed To Divorce But Not Until Their Son Graduated High School

Young man wears red cap and gown with yellow sash and holds up diploma with red ribbon
Photo Credit: RODNAE Productions / Pexels
Photo Credit: RODNAE Productions / Pexels

This person shared a personal experience story about divorce in the family: “My dad had had a girlfriend for the past 15+ years. My mom knew, but the agreement was they would divorce after my brother graduated high school.”

The post continues: “My parents had been together since they were seventh- and eighth-graders, so honestly I think at some point it just became habit. It was a very amicable divorce, both are remarried and I get along with all four of my parents.” Finally, some semi-normal people!

Woman Takes A Classic Car In Her Divorce Settlement, Not Knowing Her Ex Racked Up The Miles

Classic red Ferrari with shiny body, perfect condition, parked outside
Photo Credit: Austin Park / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Austin Park / Unsplash

This post comes from the Reddit archives and tells a story about a husband and wife fighting over a classic car in their divorce. The expensive prized vehicle was a point of contention in the divorce, but after several months the husband finally proposed that the wife could keep the car if he could have the house.

She agreed only to find out that her ex-husband had been driving the car around the city for hours “putting thousands of miles on it, making it worth nothing.” The car seems like the real loser here.

Father Fights His Whole Family To Win Family Home In The Settlement Just To Sell It Months Later

Large family home with small detached garage with for sale sign on front lawn
Photo Credit: Pixabay / Pexels
Photo Credit: Pixabay / Pexels

In another personal experience story, one person shared how divorce affected their family growing up. When their parents separated, the dad fought for the house in the settlement.

The result was four children having to move an hour away with their grandmother to afford a stable home life. Two siblings went from being minutes away from their college campus to having to pay for on-campus housing. The younger child had to completely transfer high schools. The father’s work was an hour away from the house so it wasn’t exactly convenient for him either.

A few months after “winning” the house, he put it up for sale.

A Woman Cut All Of Her Ex-Husband’s Designer Clothing In Half

Woman's hands cutting white fabric with scissors
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels

One user shares how their uncle had his wife-to-be sign a prenuptial agreement in hopes of protecting the majority of his assets in case the marriage failed. Explaining that both the uncle and his new wife had an appreciation for the finer, more expensive things in life.

“They inevitably split up after a few years, but before she left she cut one sleeve off every shirt, one pant leg off every pair of pants, and took one of every pair of shoes.” All of the clothing was high-end and designer. The post finished by saying:

“I suppose there are still ways to get ‘half’ even when there is a prenup.”

“After Reading All This, I Am NEVER Getting Married Again Or Having Kids For That Matter”

Man eats cereal while staring at his phone
Photo Credit: MART PRODUCTION / Pexels
Photo Credit: MART PRODUCTION / Pexels

One person left a comment to share how shocked they were by some of the responses on the thread, writing: “I dodged a bullet when I got divorced. Only thing I lost was the lawyer fees. After reading all this, I am NEVER getting married again or having kids for that matter. I’m 40.”

If these divorce horror stories don’t discourage you from jumping headfirst into marriage, we’re not sure what will.