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15 Divorce Lawyers Dish on the Pettiest Things They’ve Had Clients Do

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There are several professions in the world where people surely hear and see things they really wish they hadn’t, or that totally test their faith in humanity on a daily basis. I have to think that divorce lawyers have a tough time falling in love and then signing that marriage license after everything they’ve seen.

These 15 lawyers have some particularly bad stories, guys, so buckle up.

15. That is one sick dude.

A soon-to-be ex-husband left his wife’s prized Koi to die on the doorstep of their house.

Apparently the value of these fish (six in total) was over $100,000.

She was, according to her lawyer, so distraught that she couldn’t be in court. Only in LA.

14. That’s just terrible. And not the reason to have kids.

IANAL but work in the court system. Once case that came in was a couple divorcing on mutual terms, the husband had one child with her and the wife had a child from the previous marriage. He agreed to pay child support for both children, I guess he really cared about this other enough to support her even though it isn’t his obligation.

Judge signs the order, they go to set up the child support account and it gets kicked back saying you can’t have two accounts for one child. Turns out she’s been collecting child support from the biological father the entire time and never told him. She basically tried to milk two fathers for one child… and the other attorney knew about it.

13. What a waste.

Not my divorce, but 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 literally every single scrap of everything.

The final object that neither would settle on was a ceramic rabbit statue, a really 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 3 separate meetings for this one thing.

I don’t remember which ended up getting 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.

12. How does one summon the energy? That’s a lot of hate.

Not my case, but during my first year of law school lawyers from different practices came to give us a peek behind the curtain of different areas.

The divorce lawyer told the story of rather well to do couple that spent months and months and many tens of thousands of dollars fighting over absolutely everything all the way down to a single ceramic ashtray. He couldn’t remember the significance, but somehow it had come through the husband’s family.

Even after everything else had been decided, they spent many more months and nearly $100,000 fighting over just this ashtray. Then, after a court hearing the wife finally won the ashtray. 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.

Decided that day I would not be a divorce lawyer.

TL;DR. Spent $100k to win an ashtray only to smash it in spite.

11. That’s a new one.

My friend’s dad “Alan” is a lawyer and does mostly divorces and custody cases. The state where he practices had a lot of mediated divorces – I guess they’re faster and cheaper than the “traditional” route.

He had a couple come that had already figured out division of property, custody, support, etc. Alan figures it’ll be a quick afternoon and he’ll be home in time for dinner. He’s reviewing everything with them and gets to the question of which parent should be called first if the child gets hurt or sick at school or camp. Well, for some reason this turned into a huge issue. Each parent wanted to be the one who was called first. The couple argued for an hour (for which Alan was being paid hundreds of dollars). After an hour, Alan suggested that they split, take a break, collect themselves and start discussions anew on another day or maybe talk about it on their own and come see Alan when they figured it out. Nope, the couple insisted on ironing it out right then and there.

They fought for SIX HOURS while Alan just sat there and listened. They refused his help, they refused to come to an agreement. By this time it was almost 8pm and Alan said, “I don’t care what you two do, but I’m going home to my wife right now.” For some reason, that seemed to make something click for them and they did eventually resolve it. 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.

10. Sometimes people really stun you. And not in a good way.

Once had a boss who had to leave his house for 6 hours while his ex wife grabbed all the belongings she was legally entitled too.

When he returned home every knob and handle was gone.

Door knobs, cabinet handles, drawer handles, anything that was screwed onto something and used to open it, she had taken.

Every day for the next week he would occasionally yell out “SHE TOOK THE FUCKING KNOBS”

9. I hope something very very bad happened to her.

Articled at a family law firm, thankfully moved on since.

Worst I saw was a decades long case. Husband had been in a motorcycle accident, suffered brain damage. Has severely limited capacity going forward. Got a huge settlement afterwards.

Wife spent the next several years stealing the entirety of the guy’s money and property variously by forging his signature or putting documents in front of him that he couldn’t understand and telling him they were something benign so he’d sign it.

She then forged a bunch of letters from a tax authority and convinced him he was about to go to jail and further convinced him to flee the country.

He finally came back several years later to find out everything he owned was in her name and one of the documents he was told to sign were divorce papers.

Dude got left with nothing. I moved on before I found out how the story ended.

8. Keeping a straight face during that would be impossible.

I am an interpreter who works frequently with police and lawyers. The most out there thing I ever interpreted in court went like this:

  • Ms. So-and-So, we know each other for a long time, correct?
  • Yes.
  • As a matter of fact, we have known each other for five years, correct?
  • Yes.
  • And at the end of each and every meeting we had during the past five years, we always agreed on one thing, correct?
  • Yes.
  • Please, tell the judge what we agree on.
  • It’s not okay to break in my ex’s apartment and lick all his cutlery.
  • Yet, here we are, Ms. So-and-So.

I died 😂😂😂

7. I’m just so glad the cats were okay.

Friend was going through divorce from insane husband. He had been texting her pics of the gun he bought and threatening her. Police were called. Nothing they could do because it was ‘only a picture’. He was staying with a secret girlfriend at this point. She allowed him to go get his stuff from the house. She was scared to go back in the house alone. I went with her. First red flag was he had changed the locks. So we waited for locksmith to open the house and change the locks again. Well, when the door opens…we noticed all of the furniture was gone.

So we carefully went upstairs in search of her cats. The entire second floor was empty. No cats. No furniture. Even her clothes were gone. Come to find out he hired a moving company to pack and take everything, even the food in the fridge.

Finally found the cats. He had taken them to another vet in town and put them up for boarding under his sister’s name thinking she would not be able to find them. He was finally forced to disclose what happened to her possessions. He had them taken to a storage unit far away from the home.

6. Straight up evil.

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.

5. Does insurance cover crazy exes?

Divorce lawyer here.

Spouse had been out of the house for weeks. She waited until he was on a business trip, came into the house, turned on all of 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.

4. That’s really something.

I’m a lawyer but have had a very limited amount of experience in divorce cases.

The first case I ever worked the husband shaved/waxed every single hair off his body in an attempt to avoid a court-mandated drug test.

3. Well that’s a trash thing to do.

Had a client whose wife wanted him out of the house. I told him not to leave, just move to a different bedroom for the time being because once he was out the chances of him ever getting back in were slim.

He texted his wife and told her he was staying in the house. She called back and left a VM that she wanted him out and if he wasn’t out soon, she would start taking out her unhappiness on the children, and would remind the children that mommy was being mean to them because daddy wouldn’t leave.

2. I do NOT want to know the details.

TIL: When you’re about to go through a divorce, don’t clean out the accounts and hide the money — grab your pets and put them in a safe place where nobody will ever find them until the divorce is all long over.

1. I’m sorry that cat would need a new home.

I was an assistant for a family law practice, not a lawyer. So it was already a disaster of a divorce because the ex husband was a dick. But it got so much worse when the wife started dating someone new with a severe cat allergy like a year after they split up.

Her psycho ex bought a cat on his time with the kids, except he’s not allowed pets at his apartment. He sends the kids back to their mom’s house with the cat and all its stuff. Mom is pissed because she didn’t want a cat at all plus her boyfriend is crazy allergic. She calls us asking what to do because her kids are bawling saying that she can’t get rid of their new “sibling” and she has the cat in the garage.

Ex told kids “if mommy loves you, she’ll let you keep the cat since daddy is not allowed cats at his house”.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve just re-committed to working really hard to make my marriage work.

If you’ve been divorced, did anything like this happen to you? Share your experiences with us in the comments!