10 Divorce Court Horror Stories, Straight From Attorneys

Cue the tears for humanity.
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AndreyPopov via Getty Images

There's nothing like divorce to bring out the worst in people. Just ask divorce lawyers.

Below, attorneys who specialize in family law share the craziest antics they've had the pleasure of witnessing over the years. (Out of respect for their clients, they’ve requested to remain anonymous.) 

1. "One of my clients had a chemical peel before her deposition so she could look good in front of her husband. Instead, her skin turned bright red and began falling off of her face during the meeting!"

2. "After a lengthy and harshly contested divorce case, the wife looked out her window on the day after the trial ended and saw a moving van at the house next door. It was her ex moving in. He had purchased their neighbor’s house secretly during the trial." 

3. "The only thing my client wanted from the house were her son’s bar mitzvah pictures. We agreed that her husband would keep the album and she would get all the prints. When the prints were delivered to her, she realized that her image had been cut out of all the photos. When she confronted her ex about this he claimed, 'Oops, your sister must have done it to make me look bad.'"

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Shutterstock / vesilvio
The kid stays in the picture... but not the ex-wife.

4. "When I first started practicing, I had a contested custody case. To me, my client looked like Laura Ingalls Wilder and seemed the part. Imagine my dismay when, on cross-examination, the husband’s attorney starts shaking a videotape in her direction, shouting, 'and isn’t it true that this video tape, made for commercial distribution, depicts you having sexual intercourse with a chainsaw?' My jaw dropped, my face turned ashen and the room started to spin. The judge, knowing I was just a Baby Lawyer and sensing I didn’t deserve to be pummeled publicly over this, dropped his gavel onto the bench with a bang, calling, 'Recess!  I’ll see counsel in chambers!' We settled that case."

5. "I find it funny when a client is ordered to provide a hair follicle drug test, then shows up for the test having shaved their head, not realizing hair follicle tests can be achieved with leg hair, hair from the armpit or pubic hair; it’s even better when the client realizes that any hair can be used, so waxes their whole body and calls it a 'lifestyle choice.'"

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Rubberball/Mike Kemp via Getty Images
What, this? Just my new look.

6. "One night my client was leaning on the kitchen counter, shooting the breeze with his wife and she said to him, 'Do you want chicken or fish tonight for dinner? I need to know what to take out of the freezer. Oh, and by the way, I’m having an affair with the next door neighbor so I want a divorce.' Her nonchalance really threw him into a tailspin; if she could break that kind of news to him as easily as 'chicken or fish,' what else did she have up her sleeve? He became convinced she was trying to kill him to expedite her love plans with the neighbor and that she’d accomplish this by poisoning his food. He installed a deadbolt on his bedroom, bought himself a mini-fridge and a hotplate and he didn’t leave his room until the mandatory waiting period to finalize the divorce expired."

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Evgeny Tomeev via Getty Images
Would you like a side of chicken or fish with your divorce?

7. "This was a hotly contested divorce. The husband (who had been having an affair) agreed to buy out the wife’s interest in their home for more money than the wife would ever have received if she had kept the home and sold it herself. When the couple appeared in court to finalize the divorce, the wife, who had previously agreed to everything, refused to sign the papers unless the husband gave her every last landscaping rock surrounding the house. She didn’t want to be paid for the value of the rocks. She wanted the husband to agree to rip out those exact rocks from the front yard and give them back to her because she claimed they were a gift from her father. At the time, she lived in an apartment."

8. "My client hated his wife so much that mere idea of her having his toolbox was abhorrent to him. He asked for temporary use and possession in a $3,000 hearing (actual cost of attorney’s fees) for tools that were worth $500. By the time we drafted the motion for his use and possession of tools, I advised him that I could have bought him a top-of-the-line new set at my hourly rate -- and without looking so petty in front of the judge. Opposing counsel was in the same boat, arguing over the same, silly tools. The judge called us into her office mid-hearing, and literally laughed out loud for a solid minute before she told us to get out of her courtroom and make our clients behave."

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Petrified Collection via Getty Images
These tools don't come cheap.

9. "During a very heated divorce, it came as somewhat of a surprise when the wife, who had been fighting for the contents of the house, quickly agreed to give up the living room furniture set to her husband, who had moved to a new place. When the movers delivered the furniture, the husband start wheezing and sneezing within minutes. He was allergic to cats, something his former wife knew. Turns out that right after he moved out, she bought three longhaired Persian kitties. Their favorite place to sleep and shed? You guessed it...all over the velvety, soft living room furniture."

10. "I represented a woman in a divorce. When I told her that she would receive over $300,000 per month in support she said to me, 'How am I going to live on that?' I guess the husband couldn't live with that, either; he died of a heart attack before the divorce was finalized." 

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