At weddings, people promise to love one another for forever. While many couples stick to their vows, there are, unfortunately, some pairs who aren’t a good match after all. Whether you have experienced it or not, divorce is clearly no fun at all. Unlike the preparation for your wedding day, you won’t go shopping for a tux and wedding dress nor will you go hunting for the perfect nuptial venue. You will, however, spend a lot of time in an attorney’s office signing papers and deciding who gets the house, the car, the savings, the kids, and the dog, etc. These people shared their nasty divorce stories, so read on for some horrific divorce stories.
#1 Run, wife, run!
She didn’t want to be married or a mom anymore. She also wanted to see other people. I showed her the door and she ran like a cheetah. Left me and the kids. All I had to do to get custody was to keep paying her cell phone bill and car payment. This was pretty much all she cared about — too stinking bad that was not part of the divorce agreement. I stopped paying the day after the divorce was final.
I found her plane tickets and hotel reservations to go meet some dude she had been chatting with online. Turns out the guy wasn’t the fishing-boat owning Alaskan adventurer he claimed. He turned out to be a part-time theater ticket-taker for a movie theater, living in his mom’s basement.
#3 Bartender girl can have him
My dad was in the shower, late Friday evening, and said he was going to his mother’s house to help her with something. The phone rang, my mother was resting in bed and answered it.
Young female voice: “Hey [my dad] come on down to the bar I’m waiting for you!! You owe me a drink, hottie!”
My mom: “This isn’t [my dad]. This is his 8-months pregnant wife.”
Young female voice: “… So is he coming or not?” After that is was a long dance of trying to throw him out. Luckily my mom laughs about this story because apparently when he came out of the shower she said a girl called from the bar asking for him, he went white.
But yeah, that was definitely the end.
#4 One-sided open marriage
I found out I was getting divorced when my (apartment) neighbor asked me how I was ok “with all of that”.
“Ok with what?” I asked. “Oh, with being in an open marriage…”
“I’m sorry, what now? Come again?”
“Yeah, she told us you guys were in an open marriage when we saw her bringing guys home to your house while you were working.”
“I’m sorry, what now? Come again?”
Welp, thanks for letting me know, or I’d still be in the dark about this “whole open marriage thing.”
#5 Drugged and dangerous
I had just had my car repaired and repainted following his wrecking of the front end in a careless accident. He took it for a middle-of-the-night joyride with his pot-smoking buddy. While I slept unaware, he managed to accomplish the following:
1) Double parked in front of a known dealer’s house.
2) Caught the attention of a cop in a CLEARLY MARKED SUV.
3) Drove 2 miles with cop following WITH LIGHTS AND SIRON ON.
4) Finally noticed cop and ENGAGED IN HIGH-SPEED CHASE.
5) Totaled my car by crashing through a cornfield and into a FREAKING TRACTOR.
6) RAN FROM THE SCENE leaving uninjured drug buddy behind.
7) Concocted an idiotic scheme whereby he would pretend to have been car-jacked.
8) Stabbed self in the chest WITH A POCKET KNIFE to lend credence to said scheme.
9) Suffered collapsed lung requiring hospitalization, followed by his arrest.
10) Did NOT get visited in either hospital or jail by his soon-to-be ex-wife. I didn’t really care what happened to him, but I cried like a baby over the loss of my car. Not a great way to start a divorce.
#6 Surprise divorce
I didn’t even know I was getting a divorce. I received the divorce papers in the mail.
My ex was in the Navy at the time about to retire. Her last duty station was in Michigan. We had been in the DC area for about 12 years before the last transfer came. So I stayed in DC as our home was almost paid off and after 3 years she would be back to settle here for good. We had been together for about 10 years before we got married.
About 3 months before her retirement, I get the papers from the State of Michigan — in 30 days you’re divorced. Apparently, she talked to a JAG officer about her retirement and he suggested she divorce me so she wouldn’t have to split her retirement check with me.
I paid all the bills at the DC house and most of the ones at the Michigan house. I didn’t want to fight so we got divorced. I did keep all of my stuff, house, car, motorcycle. And she didn’t ask for any of my business.
About 4 months later I get a call from her. “Ummm I don’t seem to have enough money to pay my bills…” I told her not my problem. It felt really good.
Four years later, I still get a call every now and then of her telling me she misses me and loves me and she can’t pay her bills. I love when she asks me for money. I know it’s petty, but it feels so good to say no.
#7 From a kid’s point of view
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.”
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 father’s 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. Monday’s I got on the bus at one house, and off the bus at the other.
Parents, don’t be jerks. Just ask your kid. We might actually have something to say.
#8 From a lawyer’s point of view
I have some heartbreakers from my time as a divorce lawyer.
One guy had his wife served with the divorce papers while she was in the hospital undergoing cancer treatment. She had no idea he wanted a divorce.
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 it’s pretty much my trophy.”)
Another guy wanted no custody and no visitation with his four sons until he learned how much child support would be. Then he wanted full custody with no visitation for the wife in the hope that she’d have to pay him child support.
I only did divorces for about a year before I moved on to mortgage foreclosures. Those are far less depressing.
#9 Dating, pregnancy, marriage, chaos, divorce, freedom
We knew each other for almost three years before we started dating, and she got pregnant right away. We got married seven months after our first date.
Things were wonderful, really great until the baby arrived. She turned into another person. She only confessed years later that she had fairly severe post-partum depression, but she didn’t seem depressed to me. She was mean. Physically violent, hyper and obsessive about everything, and had an “I’m right, you’re a worthless use of space” about everything.
I tried to double down on helping her, and we had a total of three nannies (one during the day, one evening, one for weekends) so that we could connect as a couple, and she wasn’t stressed out about everything. But that didn’t help. So I took her and the baby to Switzerland, France, Italy (twice), Spain (twice), Mexico and Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and England. She had never been out of the country before she met me. But that made things worse.
We went to one couple’s therapist, and then another, and to individual therapists, and she claimed they were either all stupid, didn’t understand her culture or religion, or that they had said she was perfect and was “cured”. So that didn’t go anywhere after two years.
One trip to a far away city, she kept telling me how disgustingly fat I was, and how I should shoot myself, and how I was a worthless piece of crap, etc., and as we were waiting for a subway, I seriously thought about throwing myself in front of it. I had just won an award in my profession earlier that day at a prestigious university.
A few days after that, I saw an attorney and filed for divorce. The divorce lasted longer than the marriage, but after nearly five years and going to trial twice, I was finally free.
#10 Mother and wife from hell
My mom was a real piece of work in this department. My mother is mentally unstable and was very abusive to me as a child. When my father finally moved out and asked for a divorce, I was luckily old enough (13) to legally decide who I wanted to live with. I, of course, chose my dad, and that enraged my mother.
By court order, she was allowed to live in our four-bedroom house while my dad and I had to move with my aunt into a two-bedroom house. We lived there for 4 years while my mom did everything she could to slow down the divorce proceedings.
During this period, my father was court-ordered to pay the mortgage and utilities on the house my mother was living in. She would leave all the lights on and crank the heat with the windows open just to drive the utility bills up. She once left the garden hose on for a week just to make the water bill outrageous.
When it was finally all over . and she had taken my dad for as much as she could, she decided to sue him for my college fund. I called her and told her if she went through with it I would never speak to her again. She told me if I wanted it I needed to move in with her before I turned 18 so she could get child support from my dad. I refused, she won the case for the money, and my dad had to use most of what was left of the fund to pay for her lawyer fees.
#11 Meat in the air
I’m an accountant, not a divorce lawyer. But I had a client hide Ziploc bags of ground meat throughout the house (in air vents, the attic, behind the water heater, etc). I think it was at least 20-30 bags, enough that it took months to find all of them.
#12 Cliff hanger galore
My ex-wife gave me all my Blu-Rays back, which was nice. A year later I realized she had removed one disc from each of the Trilogy box sets.
#13 Self-inflicted battery
My uncle owns a bar. When he divorced, his ex came in and started beating herself. Then she called the police. He spent time in jail until the police looked at the security footage. Somehow she still has joint custody of my cousin.
#14 Driven to madness
This is a story from my parents who are lawyers. So throughout the divorce proceedings, there was a car that was a huge point of contention between the husband and wife. After months and months of saying he would never let the wife have the car, the husband concedes in exchange for something great, like one of their summer houses. It turns out he had been driving the car for 3 hours every day in a big loop around the city, putting thousands and thousands of miles on it, basically making it worthless. The amount of planning and spite that went into that act was amazing.
#15 We hope their house gets termites
My father built the house I grew up in with minimal help. He spent two years working on it; the hardwood floors, the staircase, the bathrooms, he hung every cabinet by himself. Every piece of trim in the house was run through a lathe with his own two hands. He even did the spackling for all the ceilings and all of the paintwork.
Then my mom cheated on him for a year and bought him out of the house. Now my mom and step-dad have a pretty sweet place to live, and I can tell it hurts my dad whenever he has to go by to pick up my sister. He has to stand in the entryway of the house that he built and watch their fat dog scratch up the hardwood that he was so proud of.
#16 Unconventional anniversary gift
A very close friend of mine watched his parents divorce. His dad had been cheating on his mom and decided to leave her papers regarding the impending divorce on the kitchen table the day of their 20th wedding anniversary.
#17 At least he got the boat
A guy I knew said he did this: He caught his wife cheating. He slashed her tires that night out of anger.
During the time before he filed for divorce, he bought a truck and a boat with all their savings knowing she’d have to pick one when they split assets.
That’s how he got the boat he always wanted. – Killtrend
#18 Collateral benefits of a stranger’s divorce
My brother-in-law just bought a 2015 Mercedes SL63 AMG. It was listed for approximately 40% of the cost of other comparable cars. He goes to check it out, expecting it to be trashed, but it was in mint condition. The seller was a newly divorced woman; the car had been her husband’s prized possession so she wanted to dump it quick to spite him!
#19 Lightbulb moment
I had a friend whose mother and dad divorced. The mom and kids had been living in the house with the dad living at a nearby trailer park. Being the only breadwinner, the dad bought her out and got the house in the divorce.
She had my buddy and his sister remove every single light bulb from every single fixture on the property and throw them away.
#20 Stairs? There aren’t any stairs here.
Someone who used to drink in a local pub was getting divorced whilst he was building a new house. They had to get the place valued and then determine how much they would each get from the sale of it.
Before the surveyor came round, he plastered up the ceiling where the stairs were and said it was only a single-story house with a big loft.-MarkCrystal
#21 Thinking ahead
My parents’ divorce was messy.
My dad always did a thing where he would make major purchases for the family and tell us afterward. For example, my mom took a car for a test drive and came back to find out he’d already bought and signed for it. He did the same thing with the family home when we all went to see it for the first time.
We all thought this was just his way of being funny, but it turned out he did this ahead of time in case there was a divorce. So when it finally happened, he took the house and all three cars and sold two. He tried to use the fact that my mom had no home or cars in the custody trial, but luckily, the judge saw through him. It had to go all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court though!
#22 Right shoe bandit
I overheard a conversation with a divorce lawyer. While I was waiting in the lobby for my child support case to be called (ex wasn’t paying), a woman walked in and sat down. Five minutes later, her lawyer came in and asked why she wasn’t dressed better. She was wearing what looked like a nightgown and bright white flip flops. This woman explained to the lawyer that her husband took everything except that outfit and all of her left shoes. Since, she didn’t have money to buy anything else, the neighbor loaned her flip flops because they were the only thing that fit.
At first, I felt bad for her but then she was whining that she wanted more alimony because the money he was paying weekly barely covered her car payment for her brand new Mercedes.
#23 Money on her mind
A woman my wife worked with got divorced and was getting a nice monthly spousal income. She worked it out with her boss that she would never get a raise. Instead, she got more vacation time off each year so it wouldn’t affect her income. She never married her new long-term boyfriend who makes a lot of money just so she would continue getting money from her ex. The kicker? She’s the one that cheated on her ex-husband with said boyfriend.
#24 Lottery over love
Guy wins the lottery big time. Millions of dollars. Never tells his wife, even though technically half of it belongs to her.
Taxes are already taken off the top, so he just needs to note it in tax forms, which his wife always signs without looking.
They get divorced. The husband offers a no-hassle, generous divorce settlement, which her lawyer advises her to take.
He moves to nearby town and lives normally, gradually losing touch with everyone who knows him. Then he moves again, losing touch with everyone.
That’s when he starts spending the dough.
#25 Powdered snacks, anyone?
My wife is a divorce attorney.
This couple was living together through the divorce process, but sleeping in separate bedrooms and all that. Anytime the husband would buy a snack like chips or crackers, his soon-to-be ex-wife would smash the bag until the snack was dust; but she would never open it.
So, anytime he would go to eat a snack, he would be disappointed. He was not awarded a restraining order or anything for this either. He was super mad about the dust snacks, however.
#26 There’s a special place in hell for these 2 cheaters
This happened to my grandparents back in the day. Both were extremely poor and worked many odd jobs to earn money. One day, my grandparents decided they would buy a house together. My grandmother gave all of her money to buy the house, and when everything was done, my grandfather ended up not putting her name on the lease. Then he and his girlfriend (he was cheating on her the entire time) lived in the house that my grandmother gave her savings to pay for. – soggymeatcake
#27 She’s not a tool
One day, I was out riding on my motorcycle and saw a big crowd in front of a house. So, I stopped to investigate. A woman was having a BIG garage sale with lots of very high-quality tools at VERY cheap prices. I chatted with her and she said she was divorcing her husband. While he was away for the weekend with his new girlfriend, she was liquidating his extensive tool collection. Alas, I couldn’t carry anything on my bike.
#28 Go the extra mile
She got a 2-mile restraining order put on him when she knew he lived one mile away, then called the police at 2 AM and had him arrested on his own front porch. He had no idea why the police were there.
My buddy used to manage a sizeable bike shop in Austin, TX. A guy dropped off his very nice road bike for a simple service. Easily $5-7k bike, great condition, etc. They finish the bike and call him up with the number that was attached to his profile in their computer and leave a message.
A lady comes in the next day and says she’s picking up the bike for her husband because he couldn’t make it. No problem, happens frequently. She pays and they give the bike to her.
The next day the guy calls to check on the bike because he hadn’t gotten a callback. My buddy is on the phone with him and says, “Oh, yeah, your wife grabbed it yesterday. Maybe she forgot to tell you.” He goes, “You mean my ex-wife?”
You can probably figure out the rest of the story. Hint: Lots of profanity, new policies, one guy got fired.
#30 Was that even REMOTELY necessary?
My wife is a lawyer. The pettiest story I heard was a rich couple who fought over everything. First off, she works corporate law so her firm bills a lot of hours and doesn’t even do divorces. However, this guy’s important or whatever, so the firm represents him at the same rate they charge for corporate law stuff. Think a thousand dollars per hour.
Anyway, after the usual fight over all the homes, cars, boats, things got real petty. First, they fought over all the large contents of the home like appliances and electronics, etc. Then, once that settled, they fought over ancillary things. For example, the wife won the TV, so the husband fought over the remote. Like what are you going to do with the remote after you’ve lost the TV?! Surprise, surprise, he lost and wasted both his and his wife’s money as lawyers got to bill a fight over a remote.
Then he decides to fight over the batteries in the remote! How petty do you have to be to pay $1,000 an hour to get some used batteries?
#31 $2 dollar car
I know one guy who had a brand new $24,000 car and was ordered to sell it and give half of the money he made to his ex. He told me that he found a guy online somewhere who wanted to buy it and made a deal that he would sell him the car for $12,000 if the buyer would swear to the court that he bought it for $2.
Last I heard it worked and the ex was not happy.
#32 Take 2
During my grandparent’s second divorce from each other, my mangy transient grandpa decided to drunkenly drive his car through my grandmother’s bait and tackle shop/restaurant. Then he opened the cash register and took precisely half of the money. His reasoning was that since he was getting 50% of everything he would just destroy his half.
Thankfully, that second divorce between them stuck.
#33 The prized skillet collection
I have a client who collects cast-iron skillets of various sizes, shapes, designs, etc. Overall, he has a rather large collection that he is very proud of. We are currently in litigation because his wife wants half of the collection. He offered her cash for half of the value of the collection, but she doesn’t want the money, she just wants to tear him up a little.
#34 The world’s largest parking ticket
There was one case I studied in law school where, out of spite during a divorce, a guy bought a junk car, registered it to his wife and parked it at long-term airport parking. Sometime after the divorce was settled, the wife suddenly gets stuck with a bill for thousands and thousands of dollars from the airport for parking there for 6 months. He wound up paying it after she took him to court for it. I wish I could remember more details.
#35 Want some cheese and crackers with that whine?
My in-laws are mega into food and wine, as in they literally travel the world on food and wine tours, are part of clubs, etc.
They told me about a nasty divorce where the husband was the wine aficionado, not the wife, but the wife was furious about getting divorced. The husband got all the wines in their extensive cellar, but before he was able to collect them, the wife soaked every bottle to remove ALL of the labels. So technically the wine was not damaged, but the husband had no way to know what he was drinking for aging and pairing purposes (which is a huge deal to wine drinkers).