Divorce law is an exceptionally sensitive and personal aspect of the legal system since it deals with what is often one of the most difficult and painful parts of a relationship: its ending.
One aspect of the law that has become outdated and historically made it so difficult was the necessity by law for one party to blame the other.
With soon-to-be-enacted laws allowing for no-fault divorces set to change this, hopefully the distress that divorce naturally involves can not be exacerbated by administrative aspects of the law.
Every separation has a story behind it, and some disputes, settlements and legal quirks are rather extraordinary. Here are some of the most fascinating and bizarre.
Can You Divorce The Dead?
After 26 years of marriage, a wife wanted to divorce her husband. He did not want the same and tried to find any legal loophole that would keep their marriage alive.
The stunning answer he found was that they couldn’t divorce because he had died three years previously and thus the marriage had already been dissolved.
This rather literal interpretation of “till death do us part” did not convince any legal professionals, and thus the divorce came to pass.
The Gift Of Life
A married couple was nearly torn apart by illness, as a woman was suffering from kidney failure. Thankfully, her husband was a perfect match, and happily donated one of his kidneys, undoubtedly saving her life.
Sadly they were biologically more compatible than maritally, and an affair would tear the marriage apart.
During the divorce proceedings, the husband demanded the return of his kidney, and when told by his solicitor that beyond the ethical problems with taking back an organ there was no legal way it could be done, he instead asked for over £1m, basing this figure on the black market price for a kidney.
Thankfully, before any bizarre organ donor precedents were set, the Court rules that the kidney was a gift and the claim was promptly dismissed.
Just A Prank
Not merely a settlement but an actual law. In Delaware, there is a law on the statute books that says that one of the criteria for annulling a marriage is if it was entered into as a joke by at least one of the people involved.
Given how lengthy the process is to get a law into effect, it makes you wonder just how many people pranked themselves into marriage that a legal instrument had to be enacted to get rid of it.
Dishing Out Settlements
One of the most administrative and most painful parts of the divorce proceedings is dividing up the assets between the two parties, particularly over objects with sentimental or financial value.
A truly odd example of this was a casserole dish, which was the only object that was disputed between a divorcing couple. The husband sent his wife several aggressive letters demanding the dish, to the point where she’d had enough and took an axe to the crockery.
Once she had chopped it in half, she placed half of the pieces into a box, wrapped it up and gleefully handed it to the husband. He never mentioned it again.
For more information and advice from expert divorce solicitors in Surrey, get in touch today.