When two people get divorced, you would hope they are both mature enough to deal with the situation in a reasonable, respectful way. But that’s certainly not always the case, and sometimes a nasty court case ensues.
These Redditors shared some pretty unbelievable stories about the times one angry spouse sabotaged the other!
[Source listed at the end of the article.]
“I’m not a lawyer, but my mom’s best friend is a family lawyer.
A husband and a wife were having a very acrimonious separation. If I remember correctly, he was very successful, and she was going after him for an immense amount of money.
She happened to be a multi-prize winning gardener. We’re talking about an absolutely exceptional collection of rare and gorgeous flowers, shrubs, the works.
After an unsatisfactory development in their divorce proceedings, she came home to find that her husband had ridden their lawn mower over her entire garden, shredding every last stem and leaf into bits.”
(1/2) “I’m not a lawyer, but I have worked for a lawyer who handled divorces. This was his favorite case.
The guy was making $150K a year, finds a mail-order bride from Thailand, and has 3 kids with her. The dude then has an affair, and now decides that he doesn’t like his family anymore and initiates a divorce.
The woman’s only priority is to have custody of the kids, so against her attorney’s advice, she’s willing to take a deal where she takes a car and gets $1200 in child support, no spousal support, and a $3000 lump sum from their joint account so she can rent an apartment. This was highly unnecessary, as there was ZERO chance that he actually wanted custody of the children because he’s already shacked up with the girl he’s having an affair with.”
(2/2) “When the husband gets this offer, his attorney tells him that he’d be nuts to turn it down. But he does turn it down, because he doesn’t want to give her the $3K and thinks he can get an even better deal from the judge. He doesn’t listen to the judge when he tells him he won’t get a better deal, thinking that the judge will decide on a number in-between what she wants and what he wants. He doesn’t realize that there’s a formula based on income judges use to determine child support payments.
At the court, the judge awards the wife the $3K lump sum and $1700 child support… FOR EACH KID. So because he didn’t want to give his ex-wife $3K so his kids could have a place to live, about 50% of his take-home pay is going to his ex for the next 10+ years.
The attorney I worked with was strict about money and never did anything for free, but this was the one case where he represented the woman for just a nominal fee because he wanted to see her get justice against this absolute jerk.”
“I’m not a lawyer but I heard this story from a lawyer friend about a colleague of his who screwed up majorly.
The husband has a very nice job. He’s a company exec, a six-figure salary type of job. His wife is upset that her lifestyle will have to change after they get a divorce. Her lawyer sets up a settlement where the wife is entitled to 25% of the husband’s income.
The problem is that the lawyer did not specify which job or any specific amount, just a percentage. The husband wanted to quit his job, and knew he had enough in savings and assets that his income wouldnt be a huge deal. So now he happily works minimum wage at sports goods store and she gets a fourth of that.”
“My mom showed up to the final meeting for my parents’ divorce and her last request was to ‘trade cars.’ My dad had a car that was about a year newer, she had never driven it and my dad drove 30 miles for work while she drove 3.
It was such an odd request, especially since he had already given up on most of the settlement. Her lawyer really shot his mouth off during the conversation and my dads lawyer said ‘no friggin’ way.’ A few days later, my dad gets home to a message from his lawyer: he found out that moms car had died, needed a new transmission and she failed to mention that when she offered up the trade.
Not the worst, but really shady on mom’s part.”
“During my divorce, my ex asked if he could have the king-size bed that my parents bought us for Christmas because he and his mistress would need a bigger bed to sleep in than I would on my own.
He also shot said bed with a gun after I said no way, then had to pay me $1K for it. So there’s that.
For the record, he tried to reconcile with me at first until she said she was pregnant (which turned out to be a lie) so I peaced out because it was like a bad Lifetime movie. I don’t know how people live with drama in their lives all the time. The whole thing lasted maybe 6 months and I feel like it aged me 6 years.”
“Not a lawyer, I used to work for a security company. The biggest one in the US.
I had a customer call in and request to have her current deactivation code set as her panic code.
A panic code gives the appearance of deactivating the system, but sends a super high-priority alarm signal to the monitoring company. This feature exists in case someone breaks in and demands that you disarm your system.
So, if the husband did come by while she was away (violating a court order by my understanding) the cops were gonna show up REAL fast.”
(1/2) “When I got divorced, my wife of 18 years had started another affair, this time with her rehab counselor. My lawyer and I laid a trap for them. Just in case you don’t know, intimate relations between a counselor and patient are very frowned upon by the regulatory bodies. And I was more than upset after putting her through rehab for $25k, which I didn’t have to do, only to have her fall back into her old behavior.
Shortly before the divorce was finalized, I filed a complaint with the State body licensing health professions. Knowing they were in some peril because of their unprofessional relationship ( I had already gotten him fired), she had backed off her exorbitant demands. I paid her a very modest settlement, kept the house, got custody of the three tween-age kids, plus got child support.
Her lawyer naturally included a clause in the divorce where I had to agree to not say anything negative about her lover and their relationship. But the lawyer messed up and never asked if I had already filed charges and thus didn’t didn’t require me to rescind them.”
(2/2) “The lawyer had assumed I was just badmouthing them to neighbors and friends, and it never occurred to the lawyer that we were doing much more.
When the Board of Health Professions responded to my complaint shortly after the divorce was finalized, I told them that it would take a subpoena to get me to testify (a subpoena trumps a divorce settlement). They were happy to oblige.
They stripped his license, and placed him on a register of sanctioned health professionals. He never worked in the field again. They were broke for a handful of years and she divorced him when the money ran out. In the interim, his mother had died leaving a fair-sized estate, so them going broke took longer than I expected.
Oh, and the frosting on the cake was that his wife and I traded evidence (notably hotel receipts from the time of their affair) that helped each of us in our respective divorces.
Justice was served.”
“After cheating on me, my wife fought and fought and would not grant the divorce easily. So I did the most resentful thing I’ve ever done: I screwed her over on purpose.
I told her she can keep the house, no issue. She agrees.
Now, I bought the house for $323,000 back when the market was booming, This divorce happened during the recession. The house was valued at $156,000 at that point, so I walked away from it smiling. I knew she couldn’t live up to the lifestyle I was giving her.
Pretty soon, she started falling behind on her payments. Eventually her SUV got repossessed, and the house was in foreclosure. Meanwhile, I on the other hand went down the road and bought a house that would have been worth $500,000 in a strong market for a minuscule $212,000.”
“I’m not a lawyer, but this is the history of my house and property.
The house used to be owned by a very successful businessman. The property was gorgeous. It overlooked a river and marsh, backed up by thousands of acres of forest and untouched beauty in Wisconsin.
About 20 years ago, the wife and husband got into a bitter divorce. The wife loved the property for its beauty. She loved the river and birds and all the nature around it. So what did the husband do?
You’re probably thinking he cleared the entire land and turned it into a barren landscape. I’m happy to report that wasn’t the case. Instead, he, as the owner of the property, deeded it all to nature preservation and the state.
Something like 5000 acres of new public land were created. We the people won, but she lost big time. My house is the only one on the river in that area but there are now tons of public access points and we all enjoy sharing the land with our community.”
(1/2) “I’m a lawyer but not a divorce lawyer.
My sister in law is mid-divorcing my brother after 30+ years of marriage. She’s met someone else, so far so normal. It happens, right?
The thing that’s destroyed him is her emptying their son’s savings account which my parents (very far from well off) have paid into once a month for years. That’s his uni fund wiped out. I don’t know about screwing over your spouse but it’s the one betrayal my brother can’t come to terms with. They absolutely trusted her but unfortunately this gave her complete control over the funds in the account.
Legally there’s not much we could do. She claims she thought it was ‘spending money’ for my nephew for items of clothing, days out etc. Screw that. My parents already spend a fortune on that kind of stuff, and she’s clearly spent it all on her new relationship with the unemployed jerk who also left his wife and three kids for her.”
(2/2) “My parents have always had savings accounts for ALL their grandchildren, including my own children, and we ALL knew the money was for the kids to pay university fees or put towards a deposit on a home or similar. So while she’s morally disgusting I think legally my parents have no leverage.
One glimmer of hope: She didn’t get what she wanted financially in the divorce settlement because my brother’s solicitor asked for a provision in the order relating to her repaying the money taken from the account. Faced with having to explain to a judge why there was a dispute over it, she backed down on some other stuff.
So my nephew has a new account which my parents have started paying into, and me and my husband are doing what we can too. Meanwhile, her life is circling the drain in all sorts of other ways which I personally couldn’t give a crap about except to the extent that my poor nephew is trapped in the middle of it.
Sorry for those of you who’ve been through similar. It’s disgusting.”
“I’m not a lawyer, but I get to deal with the outcome all the time.
A client and her ex-husband owned a successful renovation company. Marital issues happen, and they decide to divorce. They look at the money in the bank, the value of the company based on its past, the value of the house… and they make an agreement that she gets the company and house, while he walks away with the ready cash. He takes off for a sunny place to start his life again.
It turns out the husband had been planning to leave her for a while. He stopped paying the vendors and the payroll taxes, which is where the money in the bank accounts originally came from. So the company has been existing on credit for over 6 months while he emptied the bank accounts.
Employees’ paychecks start bouncing within weeks of him leaving, so they quit. Jobs are not getting finished, so customers demand refunds. Within 12 months, she is looking for someone to buy the home in a short sale, just to get enough cash to close out the payroll accounts before declaring bankruptcy.”
“What was done to my wife’s sister by her (now ex) husband really got to me. He pretty much just dragged his feet on everything to make the divorce take as long as possible. He had a good job making $60k/year and she had a small home daycare business making about $20k/ year.
His goal was to bleed her dry in lawyers’ fees.”
“My fiancee’s ex-husband tried to bleed her dry by dragging his feet when she divorced him. He was such an jerk he didn’t even formally acknowledge when the sheriff’s deputies went to serve him the papers. They sent him multiple letters and he still didn’t confirm he had received them.
A couple months later, we went to her lawyer, who said they had they upper hand because the husband had stalled the divorce. They got a default judgment and we were afforded full agency in naming the terms of the divorce, not that he could object anyway, considering he couldn’t hold a job and nothing they had was really his to begin with.
The long and short of my story is that if you’re gonna drag your feet, you better be smart enough to answer the door.”
“I’m a divorce lawyer, and sorry, this one is tragic. I once worked a case where a wife negotiated like her life depended on it for custody of the couple’s dog, which the husband (my client) adored.
We granted her primary custody of the dog to gain leverage, but negotiated the husband’s visitation rights for the dog. A week after the divorce was finalized, as soon as she got custody of the dog, she had a vet put the dog down. He hadn’t realized that she would stoop that low.”
“A former co-worker and his wife had split up. Among other things, she took all of his belts from the house. He showed up for work with an ethernet cable tied around his waist because he didn’t have any belts. We worked an early shift so there weren’t any stores open before he had to get to work.”
“My friend’s parents were getting divorced and it was super ugly. It went to court due to the accusations being made, as her basis of the divorce was him cheating with the neighbor who was this stunning 20-something married woman. The wife wanted to clean him out even though she had never worked and had always lived off the husband.
The thing is, the woman also wanted the man to confess what he had done. They worked out a deal with the lawyer that was, if the man would testify that he was cheating with this neighbor woman, the wife would agree to split things equally and a small sum of money was to be exchanged. She had signed this paperwork and it was handed to the court ready for him to sign, he signed it in court but then had a confession to make…
It turned out the man was sleeping with the neighbor’s husband, not her. The deal was for him to admit to sleeping with the woman, not the man. The judge upheld this loophole, and the man’s wife lost everything in the divorce… as did the female neighbor, who was then divorced by her husband.
The dad and male neighbor then moved in together and have been together since.”
“I’m sitting in Family Court right now. I’m a public defender handling some contempt issues but I have to sit through all the divorce and custody stuff before my cases get called.
I just want to say thank you to all of the Family Lawyers who deal with this stuff. I can’t even handle watching it. I’ll take the horrible crime all day to avoid divorce and custody stuff.”
“I used to be a secretary for a family law Solicitor.
He had this one divorce case where the wife was a teacher of 30+ years and had a very nice pension. In the divorce settlement, it was decided somehow that the pension would be considered as a marital asset and the husband was entitled to 40%. He wanted the money right away and so she had to cash in her pension so to speak and had to have a reduced amount. The husband ended up getting around 20,000.00.
He was an alcoholic, wasted the money, and passed away within 2 years of receiving the money.”
“My mom works in a Trustee’s office in Kansas.
She once saw a divorce case between a soldier and a dependent. The soldier elected not to get a lawyer and handled it on his own. He specified that he would pay alimony but did not specify that it would stop when she remarried, ironically to another soldier. Presumably, he’s still paying $2000 a month to his wife and her working husband, ten years later.
Moral of the story: Lawyer up if you’re getting a divorce.”
(1/2) “A girl and her mother hired a PI who obtained pictures of her husband and his boss cheating on their spouses in the home of a government official who had been accepting their bids for contract work with the state for years. The photographs also showed them drinking and driving in the company vehicles.
By agreeing not to receive alimony, she was able to raid his savings, retirement, and got her debts paid off, as well as a general lump sum of cash up front. Even better, after the settlement the pictures of their highly illegal activities were sent to the company owners, who promptly fired her ex-husband’s manager for wild impropriety and drinking on the job and had the ex-husband submit his resignation for the same thing.
The government official also lost her job, which meant her employee who the husband was sleeping with also lost her job.”
(2/2) “So the dude got ruined, and his wife made bank. She also got out of a very unhappy marriage, guilt-free whereas beforehand she felt obligated to remain in a very bad relationship due to her belief in commitment. She has to be one of the sweetest girls I know–I’m glad she got some justice.
To clarify, she did not use the pictures to obtain any more money than normal. He decided to pay her more money up front rather than having the loose end of alimony last years after the fact and potentially being a lot more money in the end.
He just didn’t know that his illegal activities would also cost him the job that would have reduced the alimony payments to significantly less. Either way, she didn’t blackmail him, rather she uncovered a crime and rightfully reported it.”
“I heard this one from a friend who buys storage lockers as-is and sells the contents people leave in them to make a profit.
There was this lady who was going through a nasty divorce. Her husband had all of her possessions moved into a storage locker. He quit paying for the storage locker and conveniently failed to tell his ex-wife that it wasn’t being paid for any longer.
My buddy who buys storage lockers said that he saw the lady showing up with police officers in tears at the auction sale after someone else had already purchased the locker. The police were telling her there was nothing they could do, that this is a civil case and she would have to pursue it through the courts. In other words, someone else had just purchased all of her life’s belongings and memories for pennies on the dollar.”
“I’m not a divorce lawyer, but this happened in NYC a number of years ago, and is just too sweet not to include here.
Some dentist or doctor on the Upper East Side and his wife were having a nasty divorce, and she got their gorgeous Upper East Side brownstone apartment, worth several million dollars, which upset him royally. So the jerk went into the brownstone, turned on all the gas, let place fill with gas and blew it up, totally destroying the building. He was arrested immediately on arson charges.
It turned out the joke was on him, because the now empty lot was worth a ton more money than the house was. How often is a buyer going to get a prime building lot for a new house on the Upper East Side of Manhattan?! The lot was worth about double what the house was if I recall correctly, and the wife got it all.”
These comments have been edited for clarity.