Divorce Lawyers Are Revealing The Pettiest, Most Outrageous Things They've Seen On The Job, And Yikessss

We came across two Reddit threads, one by u/dankph and the other by u/DarkFander14, that asked divorce lawyers to share their wildest stories from the job — from outrageous filings to petty exes seeking revenge. Here's what folks shared in the threads:

1."Divorce lawyer here. The wife had been out of the house for weeks. She waited until her husband was on a business trip, came into the house, turned on all the faucets, plugged the drains, turned off the furnace, and left. It was -10 degrees. He came back five days later. The house was ruined. The water froze and cracked the foundation."


2."I saw a 46-year marriage broken because the man's old high school girlfriend was single again (we represented the wife). I learned later the guy married the old girlfriend THE SAME DAY the divorce was finalized."


Two gold wedding rings placed on a Final Decree of Divorce document next to a pen
Avosb / Getty Images/iStockphoto

3."I am no longer practicing but used to practice in a small firm. We represented the wife in a divorce against her husband, a prominent businessman. As a show of force by the husband, he purchased the building where our offices were located and made small but annoying changes. Parking spaces were moved to the furthest spots. The elevator would randomly be down for maintenance (our offices were located on the top floor). The cleaning schedule and crews would sporadically change. The firm's lease also happened to end during the divorce representation, and we were given a notice to vacate in the middle of the winter holidays. After our departure, the husband put up signage of his company outside the building where our offices used to be located."


4."My divorce lawyer told me about a case she was involved in where both clients were so petty that they had to all meet to argue over every scrap they owned. The final object neither would settle on was a ceramic rabbit statue, a generic one from Home Depot, or whatever. Zero sentimental value, but since it was the final item, neither side wanted to 'lose' the last thing, and they dragged it out over three separate meetings. I don't remember who got it, but once they settled it and signed everything, the 'winning' party stuck it on their lawyer's desk as a gift and walked out."


Stone rabbit statue partially hidden by tall grass near a wooden fence in a garden setting
Fernando Trabanco Fotografía / Getty Images

5."I work for a divorce attorney now, but the wildest thing came to my attention when I worked for the prosecuting attorney. This couple was breaking up, and Mister left the house. Missus went to work the next morning as usual. When she returned home in the evening, she found that Mister had been at the house and had removed his clothing and belongings as she had expected. She didn't expect that he also had 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 called the police and reported this as property damage."

"The police went with her through the house documenting dozens of items glued to various things, but for days, she discovered random things, and she would call to amend or update her report. I've seen people do and say really awful things to each other, but that was diabolical."


6."When I temped in a law office, one couple spent $18,000 in legal fees fighting over a $120 microwave they had gotten as a wedding present. Sure, they could have gotten a new one at Target, but, 'It's the principle of it. My mother gave it to us!' 'But she GAVE it to BOTH of us!' FFS."


Close-up of a person's hand pressing the "1 lb. Quick Defrost" button on a microwave control panel while holding the handle
Tetra Images / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

7."Failed exorcisms. The client had an inner ear condition that caused chronic vertigo, but symptoms could be treated with medication. The husband was an evangelical who was convinced his wife 1) had become possessed and that her vertigo and general crankiness with his methods were evidence of demonic possession, 2) the medications she was taking were enabling the devil to hide inside her, and 3) the only proper recourse was exorcism. He would hide her meds until she got dizzy and then try various methods of exorcism. This included: sweating it out (putting her under blankets while incapacitated and locked in a room full of space heaters), freezing it out (pretty much the reverse with AC, fans, and bags of ice), and surprising it out (he would jump out and scare her like it was the hiccups, but instead of yelling 'Boo!' he would recite the Lord's Prayer or Psalms)."

"The final straw was that he tried to 'surprise it out of her' by pushing her down the stairs when they were heading out for dinner. Note: This guy was an executive, and they still went out to dinner after the stairs incident. She asked for the divorce at an Applebee's that night. I have often tried to picture that conversation, as she was adamant that he was a total sweetheart and never acted out of malice or anger."


8."My aunt had a case where the wife had glued all of the outdoor hoses together so her husband wouldn't spend time washing his vehicle anymore. When the glue didn't work, she just cut them all up. When he bought new ones, she filed for divorce."


A coiled green garden hose is neatly stored with a plastic hanger. A hose nozzle is attached to the end
Images Say More About Me Than Wo / Getty Images

9."I'm in a different area of law, but my coworker had a client in a messy divorce where the parties had to split up some antique pots. When the husband delivered the wife's share of the pots to our office, he took a crap in each one of them. It was a whole big incident."


10."Legal Secretary here: We're presently fighting the court to let this man receive his entire alimony in live chickens. The court has said, 'Can't you just use the money to buy chickens?' He has remained steadfast that he will not accept money, only chickens."


Several chickens in a coop, with one white chicken in the foreground looking at the camera. The image focuses on the chickens and their environment
Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61

11."I worked in a law firm where a husband and wife got divorced, and then the wife married her ex-husband's father, her ex-father-in-law. When the dad died, we represented the son in getting his father's money back. Absolutely unreal."


12."Paralegal. A couple got divorced over a cat. The wife called the cat Snowball because of its white fur and only wanted the cat to eat wet food or chicken breast. The husband called their cat Lily again because of her white fur and believed she should only eat dry food. These two argued for a year over custody of the cat but did not care about their human kids, aged 15 months, 4 years old, and 6 years old."


A close-up of a white cat with one green eye and one blue eye, mouth open as if meowing. The cat's unusual eye color makes it stand out
Jean-philippe Tournut / Getty Images

13."I am a lawyer who handles quite a few divorces (among other things), and I've seen all sorts of reasons for marriages ending. The only thing that is consistently true is that it's NEVER for just one reason or one-sided. In fact, I've told potential clients in our initial interview that I know I will uncover some dirt on them in the process. I say this not to scare them but to put their mind at ease that I've seen worse. The fact that you haven't been 100% an angel up to this point doesn't scare me, and I'd rather learn about it from my client beforehand than later on from their spouse at the worst possible moment. When you hear about people divorcing over one ridiculous argument or mistake, usually that's just the straw that broke the camel's back."

"That said, some of the things I've seen include: a guy who was 100% convinced that his wife (our client) was actually a lesbian in love with his sister and just using him as a cover (but he also claimed she was having sex with me to pay for her legal fees, and was having sex with every male who's phone number was in her call history), a woman who was divorcing my client because he was 'too sad' after his father died last year (my client had to break down her door to get his father's ashes a few weeks after he left the house and she refused to let him back in or give them to him), and a woman who claimed my client was emotionally abusive towards her because he refused to yell at her and sat in silence ignoring her when she screamed at him (he has this recorded, time stamped for the dates and times she insisted the incidents occurred, and she's listened to them and his complete silence as she goes on tirades).


14."I've had a lot of younger male potential clients come in for divorce consults with their mother. Then, during the consult, the mother does 98% of the talking, and it's clear who actually wants the divorce. I'll usually escort the mom out to wait in the lobby while I talk to the son directly, and most of the time, he's just there to appease his mother. On a related note, I once had just the mother call for a consultation because she said explicitly she wanted her son to get a divorce. I politely informed her that's not how divorces worked."


A wedding cake topper depicts a bride and groom facing each other, with a stern-looking bridesmaid standing in between and slightly behind them
Rubberball / Getty Images

15."He got drunk at the wedding, which she did not like, so she decided to divorce him right after the honeymoon (which she went on without him). Moreover, this was all an elaborate scheme of divorce robbery because the guy was loaded, and so was his entire family. They were loaded because they were a family of EXCELLENT lawyers, and he was a third-generation lawyer with all the smarts and experience of his predecessors combined. Let's just say it did not go well for her."


16."I am a paralegal for a divorce lawyer. Our client told us he didn't clear out the marital account after the parties filed, which technically is true because while he removed $45,000, he left about $3.50 in there."


Close-up of a U.S. one-dollar bill featuring an intricate engraving of George Washington
Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

17."I knew a guy who got out of the military at 19 years so his ex wouldn't get half his pension. He would rather get nothing than give half the pension to his ex if he stayed in one more year."


18."I worked in family courts when I was first starting out. The most memorable case I saw was the woman who took literally everything out of the house. She ripped out the carpets, even."


Close-up image of a textured carpet
Prasit Photo / Getty Images

19."She was a loud chewer at the dinner table. He developed a complex and literally needed out, as he couldn't bear to eat with her."


20."I used to work as a file clerk for a divorce attorney. Our client was trying to get full custody of her child because her husband was 'dangerously neglectful of their son.' How was he being dangerously neglectful? By serving spaghetti (instead of turkey) for Thanksgiving. I wish I were making this up."


Close-up of a plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce
Aleksandr Zubkov / Getty Images

21."Paralegal here. There are so many wild divorces, which will bring out the absolute worst in couples. When thinking of reasons a divorce started, this one stands out to me the most: At my last firm, we did general law, which included probate. A couple did their will with our firm. We drafted everything. They were mid-70s to early 80s. They'd been married for 40 years in total; they had divorced and remarried once. The husband wanted us to put in his will that his kids got his entire estate, but he did not want us to tell his wife. He wanted to have us make a secret will and a fake will. The fake will would be signed with her present, and then he wanted us to shred it, and he would come in later 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."


22."It wasn't the reason for divorce exactly, but I represented a guy who literally just wanted his riding lawn mower. Nothing else, just the mower. The wife wanted to be so petty that she said no until the date for the final decree came, and I told her it wasn't going to happen today unless she agreed to give him the lawn mower (because they were gonna have to reschedule the hearing to a longer time slot to hash it all out). She quickly agreed, and that was that."


Person operating a large lawn mower on a well-maintained lawn with flower beds in the background
Pgiam / Getty Images

23."I didn't handle the divorce; I handled parts of the aftermath. In the divorce, she went AWOL, was living in a truck somewhere, and just couldn't handle it mentally. He gave her five of his nine companies. They were the ones that owed seven figures in payroll taxes. He had made her the bookkeeper on paper. She spent decades trying to shake the IRS for the results."


24."My very first divorce client asked me to hide the kitchen knives when the spouse did their walkthrough to select the personal property to be split. Queue my 'Is this real life?' face. I only did a few more family law cases before running for the hills."


A row of kitchen knives neatly arranged on a magnetic strip mounted on a tiled kitchen wall. Various knife sizes and handles are visible
Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

25."He argued with his new in-laws during the wedding and moved out around 5:00 a.m. during their first night together."


26."Not a lawyer, but I was a legal intern for a divorce attorney a few years back. The dumbest divorce I ever sat through lasted over two years because they refused to let each other get any ground. I was only there for the last year of the divorce, but they argued over who got the Christmas ornaments for four months. Pro tip: If you're ever in a divorce, saying, 'Sure, take it,' is infinitely cheaper than your invoice would be otherwise."


A close-up of a Christmas tree ornament hanging on a branch. The ornament is a shiny, textured ball. The background shows tree lights and green pine needles
Kevin Kobs / Getty Images

27."I am not a lawyer, but I am a court clerk. The Magistrate I used to work with got a petition for divorce, and the reason the wife gave was, 'He should have been more forthcoming about his shortcomings in the bedroom.'"


28."My ex-husband is a divorce lawyer. He once had a client who was fighting over everything, including two $5 plastic lawn chairs from Dollar General. Both attorneys offered to buy four of the chairs for both spouses so they could move past it, but they wouldn't agree to it."


A blue plastic Adirondack chair is placed on a grassy lawn
Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

29."I haven't done a divorce case in over 15 years, but the last one I did, the husband slept with his wife's sister and then married the sister. The wife responded by marrying his brother. Holidays must have been fun."


30."I'm a paralegal for a divorce lawyer. My favorite story has to be when our client's soon-to-be ex took every one of his left shoes when she was forced to vacate their home. She also took a lot of other stuff (including his family's heirlooms), but leaving only the right shoes has to be the most funny yet spiteful thing I've ever seen done."


Various types of footwear, including sneakers, sandals, and dress shoes, are scattered on a wooden floor, illustrating diverse fashion styles
Milostra / Getty Images/iStockphoto

31."I was acting for the wife in a divorce, and we were trying to negotiate the settlement of their midsized property pool split. The husband was still living in the marital home. She proved to be a difficult client, and I didn't look forward to representing her. One day, I got an email from her. She had decided to let herself into the marital home while he was at work with the keys she has still retained, go through the husband's desk, read all the privileged legal correspondence between the husband and his lawyer regarding the relative strengths, weaknesses, etc. of his case, take photos of all said correspondence, and send it to me."

"As soon as I realized what I was reading, I immediately closed the email, and she called me almost exactly the same time, very triumphant and determined to change her whole strategy to take advantage of this newly ill-gotten information. She was most put out when I informed her that what she had done was not only highly illegal, but I was going to have to withdraw as her representative, AND I had an ethical obligation to inform the other side of the breach of confidence. She literally could not get her head around the fact that not only was what she did legally wrong, but it was also extremely morally messed up."


32."Her usage of the K cups. Mediation almost fell through over who would take the remaining K cups. After three hours of arguing, I offered to buy them each a set of the K cups they had. $200 later, I got rid of a ridiculous client."


Variety of K-Cup coffee pods from brands including Tully's, Newman's Own, and Caribou Coffee. Flavors include French Roast, Ethiopian, and Hazelnut
Noderog / Getty Images

33."My divorce lawyer told me her most ridiculous case involved two years of litigation over a LEGO collection. Court costs, attorney fees, etc., had all added up to way more than the value of the collection."


34.And: "He said she was trying to put a curse on him or something. I only stood in for this matter once (I think for the pre-trial), so I didn't know all the ins and outs, but he believed she had seen a witch doctor and put something under his mattress."


Myyyy, oh my!! If you've worked as a divorce lawyer or in the field, we want to hear from you! What's the wildest or pettiest thing you ever dealt with on the job? Tell us in the comments or submit anonymously using this form.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.