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Divorce Lawyers Share The Worst Ways Someone's Gotten Back At A Spouse

Divorce Lawyers Share The Worst Ways Someone's Gotten Back At A Spouse

Divorces are incredibly ugly. And of course, spouses who are hurting and angry lash out and make things inevitably worse.

u/inkonskin asked:

Divorce lawyers of Reddit, what's the worst way you've seen someone f*ck over their spouse?

Here's what they had to say.

Literal Hits


Parents divorce seemed simple: dad cheated on mom, mom gets custody of me. Dad didn't like paying alimony and child support to the tune of $2k a month after he gave up rights. Dad had great idea, pay a hitman $15k to kill soon to be ex-wife. Dad goes through with it, idiot actually pays undercover cop the money.

Dad then flies back to Canada (home) and wait for results. International task force is formed to try and detain him. Geraldo Rivera covers story, idiot dad gets arrested in Toronto and flown back to California. In this process I was 3 in care of family back down south, mother in protection by police. Dad's family is apparently wealthy, gets a good lawyer, is charged with 17 felonies can't remember how many he was convicted of. He gets 18 months. After all of this mom still had to sue for divorce it still took 2 years.


Canine Revenge

My uncle represented this guy getting a divorce from his wife of 15 years. Super toxic breakup and they split everything 50/50, even the land that the house they lived in sat upon. Well she decides to build a house right behind the other house, mind you this was a lot of land probably 200 yards separating both home sites, so that the back of the houses faced each other.

The house gets built and my uncle gets a call from his client asking about the legality of a situation he had gotten himself into. Apparently his ex wife would spend a lot of time in her backyard, so he saw her all the time. What he did was buy a female dog and name it the same name as his ex-wife. Anytime he would let his dog back in from letting her out he would yell "Susan you b*tch! Get in here!" He would also yell if she was peeing on the flowers,"Susan you b*tch! Quit pissing on the flowers!" or "Susan you b*tch! Quit digging in the dirt!" The ex-wife called the cops on him a couple of times, but there was nothing they could do because the dog was registered under the name of Susan, and it was in fact a b*tch so there you go.

[username deleted]


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 4 bedroom house while me and my dad had to move in 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 widows open just to drive the utility bills up. She once left the garden hose on for a week into a drain to even 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 lawyers costs.



Worked at a law firm that was subpoenaed as part of a divorce between a partner at the firm and a partner at another major law firm.

The woman issued more than 70 subpoenas to banks, firms, investment companies -- you name it -- because she was convinced he had squirreled away $20+ million overseas behind her back. It got so bad that she dug up receipts from 25 years ago to try to put together this grand conspiracy puzzle.

In the end, after she racked up $1.5 million in legal fees, and 7 different lawyers, the judge said this sh*t is ridiculous -- there was no conspiracy, and you are not entitled to a portion of this phantom $20 million.

Mind you: this was a major law firm partner who was acting this way. She made millions per year in her career. But she apparently lost her mind.


Spiteful, Hateful


Not a divorce lawyer, but my father went through the process recently. Amounts of money aren't the real concern. The assets must be split as close to 50/50 as possible. So the f*cking over generally comes in the form of inequitable distribution of one-of-a-kind things.

My father had a precious set of old, inexpensive kitchenware that his late mother gave him before he even married my mother. When the divorce went to mediation and she told the mediator that she wanted those pots and pans, she got them. She got them because she was willing to give up something else of equal monetary value (so, something worth less than $10), and was willing to sit in mediation for hours, racking up thousands in lawyer fees for both sides, until my father consented. Again, an even financial trade, but a sentimental trade of overwhelming disparity. Just as a final "f*ck you."


Overzealous Division

Not a lawyer, but I met with a scummy one when I was looking to get a divorce. The first lawyer I met with, who had been recommended by a coworker as an amazing divorce attorney, suggested that, if I wanted full custody, I should make sure people knew the relationship was abusive. Tell my friends/family, make sure the neighbors heard me screaming/begging him not to hit me, document every bruise even if I wasn't sure it came from him. Thing is, my relationship wasn't abusive and I'd already told her that multiple times. She never outright said I should fabricate evidence or anything, but she ignored my repeated statements that there was no abuse and kept on with her detailed instructions of how to document any abuse that might happen. I got the distinct impression that she was letting me know how to create an abusive relationship out of thin-air in order to get custody of my kids.

I ended up not using her as an attorney, for obvious reasons, and in the end my ex and I shared 50/50 physical and legal custody of our children and raised them together despite whatever issues we had with each other. I can't help but wonder, though, how many dads lost a relationship with their kids because of her zealous coaching.



A friend of mine in high school worked at a pizza place. One of the delivery drivers was just ridiculously smart when I talked to him. Later I found out that he use to be a nuclear physicist. His wife was also a nuclear physicist, but left him for her lawyer.

He got screwed out of his kids, most of the assets, and had to pay a lot towards alimony/child support. He did the math, and figured out the tips he didn't get taxed on plus his minimum wage delivering pizza was more than keeping his job as a nuclear physicist. Plus he got a little satisfaction not having to pay her as much. The guy was really nice. I always felt bad for him.


An Unfortunate Fight

My dad actually got f*cked by his divorce lawyer during my parents' divorce last year.

My dad and my sister have never gotten along, and over the years it got more and more strained. They eventually got into a physical fight which led to a CPS report and him getting slapped with a child abuse record (they labeled it as 'confirmed but isolated', so he's not on the registry and you can only see it with certain background checks).

In this case, my mom was OBVIOUSLY going to get full custody of my sister. My mom also wanted to give my dad the house, and his cars, and his money pit of a boat.

Lawyer decided, because my dad is stubborn as f*ck, that he would string ol' dad along. Lawyer spent HOURS with my dad trying to convince him that Dad could get more money and custody from my mom.

They did a divorce mediation (so they wouldn't have to go to court), and lawyer dragged it out for 4 hours. The whole time he was riling my dad up, thinking he could get things like the original down payment on the house, half custody of my sister, my mom's car, etc. At the end of the 4 hours of mediation, Lawyer told my dad he should take the deal that my mom and her lawyer had originally offered in the first place, and Dad signed that.

So he paid about $12,000 in completely unnecessary legal fees.


Tried To Help, Oh Well

Dad was a real *sshole and mom tried to save him a lot of money during the divorce. They have 3 kids who were 16, 13, and 8. Dad wouldn't sign ANY agreement my moms lawyer produced. It had to be his idea and from his lawyer or it wasn't getting signed. Dads lawyer was incompetent and sends an agreement that states he will pay $2,000 a month in child support until all kids are 18. Mom tried to explain to dad that it needed to be revised to lower every time a child turned 18. Dad called mom a c*nt during that negotiation so mom said f*ck it and signed the agreement and dad paid the $2,000/month for 10 years when he should've been paying around $1,400/month for 5 years and $700/month for the last 5 years.


Left On The Street


My friends husband was a cop, got a judge friend to commit her. He filed for divorce while she was committed, got same judge to grant him custody while she was committed. When she was released because she wasnt a danger to herself or anyone, she had no one to come get her, (she was committed in Atlanta, no family anywhere close) she had nowhere to go and nothing with her, had to spend 3 homeless nights in Atlanta before someone came and got her. She still only has supervised visits 3 years later.


Fraud Marriage

A good family friend was a lifelong post office employee, 30+ years of savings and retirement. Mid 50's, one of the funniest, best natured people I've ever met. Married an early 30s woman, very well educated and seemingly nice person. They had a child, shortly after she filed for divorce for no apparent reason. Family friend never owned a credit card, excellent money management his entire life with a credit score over 800. Proceedings start, he finds out she opened over 13 credit cards in his name and drained his accounts of over $70,000.

He's had to relocate to another part of the state just to see his only child, and will never be able to retire. Somehow she has gotten away with fraud to the tune of over a quarter million dollars, and the courts have done nothing thus far to prosecute her for anything. It's the disgusting reality of modern day human nature, and it makes me sick just to write this out. Stuck with massive court costs, absolutely no savings and a sub 600 credit score just so his ex wife can live the extravagant lifestyle she wants. Some people have absolutely no moral compass whatsoever.


Vile Creature

Handled a divorce between a teacher (wife) and a CVS cashier (husband.) I represented the wife.

For all intents and purposes, the wife was the breadwinner of the family and she supported herself, her husband, and their two children. I should note: one of the children was severely autistic and required intensive (and expensive) rehab and education.

During the process of the divorce, the husband (living alone) sued the wife (caring for both children) for temporary spousal support. He met all the statutory guidelines to receive it. But, it just came off as slimy.

At the day of the hearing, the judge reviewed all of the facts and spent 20 minutes lambasting the husband. He called him a "vile creature" that was everything wrong with society.

The judge then told us that his "hands were tied" and that he was forced to grant the spousal support. But he let everyone know how little he thought of the husband.

As we were leaving the court, the husband just kept saying to my crying client "Just like Goodfellas - F*ck you, pay me."

It was literally humanity at its worst.


Uncomfortable Insights

In family law particularly, people can behave in extreme ways because this is the most emotional flash point in their lives. It usually involves their children or their home, or both. However, clients with character who care about their children, go about divorces in the same way they do the rest of their lives; and they are a pleasure to represent.

The problem clients… As you practice law longer, you recognize clients that aren't emotionally functional and do crazy sh*t. I want to list some comic examples, but once you really understand that these are human beings who are victims of physical and sexual abuse, suffer from debilitating addiction problems, or have serious psychiatric disorders, it loses its panache. The hardest thing to do is look at some ignorant alcoholic 45 year old 250 pound tattooed bully that just beat the sh*t out of his wife and see that he's really a 10 year little kid that watched his mom get beat up and he never moved on from that. Or some screeching middle aged woman that lights a car on fire but it turns out she's really a little girl that got molested and told her mother and her mother told her she was a liar and never to tell anyone. Or the innocent spouse that never saw that one coming. Now try switching the races. Being a lawyer means getting uncomfortable insight into people's lives and it usually isn't very funny.

From the lawyer's perspective, he or she is putting their reputation alongside someone going through this. These are red flag clients and our job isn't to fix all these problems. If they are abusive or display psychotic behavior to their spouses, they will do it to you. Same principal as seeing as how they treat the waiter. They also won't pay your bill or be satisfied with your legal work. I generally turn these clients away unless I know their family and no one else is going to represent them. But you have to be very heavy handed with them.

Send The Police

Omg finally one I can answer!

There's the typical cleaning out the accounts and running, claiming the children first on taxes so the other party can't, claiming the other party as a dependent so they can't file separately, stuff like that.

Then there was this one case.

My client fled the home with her baby after an incident of domestic violence. In my state, both parents have full rights to the children unless a custody order in place. In other words, whoever has the kid, gets the kid. Police will not intervene where one spouse is withholding a child from the other spouse if there are no orders in place.

Well my client had the child for two weeks at her new place when H showed up demanding the child. She refused. He called the police. The responding officer was a family friend of both, but originally a friend of H. This PO shows up and decides to try to mediate the conflict. The PO tells my client something along the lines of "let him hug his son goodbye and he will leave peacefully." My client was hesitant, but agreed. H took the kid and exclaimed "he's mine now!" And ran to his car with the baby. No supplies, no clothes, nothing. The PO claimed he had no idea what was happening (yeah right). And since no orders were in place, there was nothing my client could do.

While we were trying to track him down, we got an order returning the child to my client's possession. He suddenly contacted my client saying he was at a hotel in the area and if she wanted her son back, she could if she came over and slept with him. We sent the police.


High Profile, Low Key


I do some work for the attorney on this one...

Local investment broker has done well. Strong practice and very affluent client base. Wife owns a small shop in the local community (a pet pastime - doesn't really turn a profit). Been trying to get pregnant for a couple of years - working with reproductive doctors / clinic. Wife finally gets pregnant - one in a million chance. Has the baby - its a boy! Fast forward a couple of months. Wife has to go to market for her shop and takes a day trip to "the big city" a couple of hours away. Husband prepared for this and takes opportunity to have baby tested for paternity - not his. When they started fertility clinic, he was tested and knew he was shooting blanks.

So, he contacts his attorney (my "boss") and we start "the plan". While we are preparing the case, we have PI follow wife. A few doctor visits, tennis lessons, lunch at the country club daily, hanging out with her friends. Her friends decide to throw her a birthday party at the Country Club. This is our opportunity.

I serve her the divorce papers, loudly asking her name and, after confirming, announce the reason for the divorce - infidelity. You are hereby ordered to appear, in the {blank} county court, blah blah blah... Her friends are stunned. Discovery reveals that she and her friends are all cheating in the same circles. Go to court - present evidence showing husband is not father and request to have his name removed from birth certificate. Judge, not wanting the child to become a ward of the state orders her to produce a list of all people she has slept with during the reasonable window of conception. She provides list. Next court appearance, ten men show up running the full gamut of "personalities". One doctor, one architect, a tennis coach, two chefs, one "trust fund prince", and a few others to "round out the mix". One was actually the father of the person they really needed, but when she said, "John Doe", she didn't specify "John Doe Jr". All ordered to take a dna test. Our client succeeds in getting his name removed from birth certificate, no child support, no alimony. Wife strikes a deal with baby daddy for child support and "support payments" for a number of years - she "wins", it's the doctor. Part of agreement is she has to move from area (paid by Dr.), NDA signed, Doctor VERY rich and must protect his name / reputation. Court allowed no dad on birth certificate because of guaranteed support for child (trust fund).

Yea client. It sucked for him keeping everything secret, but he a smart and patient man. He has since remarried and is very happy. Because of evidence produced, several other high profile (but low key) divorces followed.