Lawyers Share Stories The Most Scandalous Thing People Have Tried To Hide During Divorces
The phrase ‘messy divorce’ is almost an oxymoron. There’s no such thing as a ‘clean divorce’, it just doesn’t exist. Things always go to shit when couples are separating and are forced to divide up their assets. Often times, one of the parties involved will attempt to hide previously unknown assets and things get even messier. Below, a bunch of former/current lawyers discussed the most outrageous things they’ve uncovered clients trying to hide during divorce proceedings, and some of these stories are straight up astonishing (via AskReddit):
Not a lawyer, but my husband’s uncle (they’re close to the same age) was going through a divorce. His wife had just packed up her stuff and their kids and moved out one day while he was at work. Come to find out, a few weeks before she left, she’d won a $5000 a week for life lottery ticket. And thought she could divorce him without splitting her winnings. That didn’t work out very well for her.
The husband in a very high stakes divorce managed to hide two apartment complexes, an ocean-front penthouse in a very expensive city, and an offshore oil rig that were held in two offshore companies that the wife did not know about. It only came out very recently, about two decades later when husband died and left some of that property to their two sons (who were able to see the property histories).
I got a buddy who practices divorce law and he told me this doozy.
So this guy comes into his office saying he needed representation and my buddy who was fresh from law school was willing to take on any paying case. At this point the guy states that he is the victim and his wife blindsided him with divorce paperwork less than a year into their marriage. I guess the dude’s wife had some serious cash and would be flexing some muscle.After a few weeks he gets a call from an arbitrator from the wife’s attorney who set up a meeting and thinking that they were interested in settling in the best interest of the husband. The dude and my buddy show up and I guess things went completely side ways; come to find out the dude had a bunch of nasty secrets he failed to mention which included;
1) A nasty online porn habit that cost him a couple of decent jobs 2) Two kids with another woman that he failed to mention to his wife about and was in the hole for back child support. 3) The biggest one that was the nail in the coffin; wife suspects that the husband was cheating so she checks his phone one night while he is sleeping. Guy was definitely talking to another woman…who happened to be the 15 year old daughter of one of his ex co-workers. These exchanges included lots of nudes. The wife was smart enough to get the explicit texts but not the photos since it would have been distributing child porn.
At this point the husband goes pale white and begins to sweat and the lawyer asks for a minute to speak to him. My buddy asks if any of these are true and the dude is just stammering clearly figuring out that he is screwed. My buddy tells him it is in best interest to just settle and not pursue his wanted settlement. After this is said and done the guy ends up rolling over and admitting defeat. My buddy ended up hiring debt collectors because the dude refused to pay through normal means.
I do not practice in family law, but early in my career my then boss would take a divorce case from time to time to help out a friend or acquaintance. I would assist on occasion. For any type of litigation, the parties exchange written questions as part of discovery. I was reviewing the wife’s answers to her discovery requests, and assisting the husband with answering his questions.
We get to the part where it asks about engaging in extramarital sexual relations. Husband tells me that he recently saw a prostitute, “but don’t worry, it was in Canada, so it’s okay.” I just nodded and took notes.
In going over the wife’s answers, she listed “beastiality” as a factor that lead to the breakdown of the relationship. I asked Husband about this (because I have to know what other issues may come to light), and tells me he got really drunk one night after they separated, called her up and told her he “fucked a goat,” but he swore he didn’t actually do that. I was really professional and kept a straight face during the meeting, but my boss and I laughed about that for ages.
In my dad’s last divorce, it came out that his wife had been having an affair. Throughout her last THREE marriages. It was with her first boyfriend. Who was also her step-brother.
Neither of them wanted to settle, and it ended up coming out in a hearing or trial in front of the court.
Not a lawyer, but a bartender. And this ends in divorce.
Married couple, let’s say their names are Joe and Susan, are regulars at my bar. Friday, Saturday and Sunday they come in with each other, they are very touchy feely and often are making out with each other while they drink some beers. Monday and Tuesday Susan comes in with an always changing cast of men, and is very touchy feely on them, making out, et cetera. Wednesday and Thursday Joe comes in with an ever changing cast of ladies, and is very touchy feely on them, making out, et cetera.
I figure that they must be in an open relationship in their marriage, I don’t really care, and then proceed to let the next 7 years behind the bar wash over me.
Then, Susan comes in and tells me that she is divorcing Joe, because he is a piece of shit, who cheated on her! I act surprised, and console her, and in doing such she explains that she is very virtuous and has never cheated on Joe, or anyone else.
A while later I see Joe at another bar, and he explains to me that Susan is divorcing him, but he is going to win the divorce (Is there a win in divorce, I dunno) because he had a private detective follow her, and she is a cheating bitch! I act surprised, console Joe, and in doing such he explains that he is a virtuous person, and has never cheated on Susan, or anyone else.
I shortly afterwards stopped working at that bar, and grew a beard so less people would recognize me when I go out.
Not a lawyer but I found out about a best kept secret deal. A married couple got their gas utility account turned on at their house back in 1972 but the gas company never finished the paperwork properly and they were never billed. They got free gas service forever because their account was properly ‘On’ but the billing was never set up. Later they divorce and the husband gets the house with the free gas service. The gas company finally caught the problem sometime around 2014. The company could legally back-bill the customer for only a limited time amounting to a few years of use but the guy told the company to send the bill to his ex-wife. There was a clause in the divorce settlement that said that if the gas company ever was notified or discovered the free gas deal, the ex-wife would have to pay any past bill payments. The arrangement was made so that the wife could never alert the company to their error without having to pay herself. What was amazing was that two lawyers and a judge signed off on this while fulling knowing that the guy was getting away with it.
My aunt was a divorce attorney for decades before becoming a judge. The biggest whammo was a guy who was stealing his wife’s undergarments and wearing them. She thought he was just having an affair.
ooo-ooo-oooyea 524 points 12 hours ago
Not a divorce lawyer, but a friend of mine went through a tragic divorce:
He owned part of a small business, and he was good with his money so he sold his shares and moved to florida, basically semi-retired but still doing an occasional gig to support his two kids and get a little spending money.
A few months into “retirement” his wife goes to him and tells him that she would like to experiment having sex with a women. He says that is fine probably assuming he would get a threesome. Instead his wife started having a full on affair with this other women. A few months into this their marriage has fallen apart and they get divorced. For some reason the wife got custody of the kids.
He is doing his thing, rebuilding his life, and got a job, and making his payments to his kids. Suddenly their quality of life is clearly starting to deteriote, and they moved from a nicer house to a trailer park. Turns out the other women was using the money that was supposed to be going to the kids to get gender change surgery, as the story goes to buy herself a penis but I’m sure it was more than that.
Luckily the guy got his custody back, and there are all sorts of shenanigans at parent teacher conferences and stuff like that. I suppose they are also contributing to the florida man stereotype.
Not a lawyer, but part of my previous job was reviewing the details of divorce decrees for people trying to get money to start businesses. They are usually pretty generic, especially in no fault states. About ten years ago I get this one where it was an at fault state at the time of the divorce, and it laid out the whole backstory.
The husband was a physician and the wife was a hair stylist. The husband lied about having a long term disease to the wife and her family. He used this lie to leave his job and stayed home for years while the wife took on multiple jobs and tried to support him on her income alone.
They found out he was lying and she filed for divorce. He was ordered by the judge to immediately seek employment as a doctor and pay the wife alimony based on his theoretical salary.
Large amounts of debt, affairs, substance abuse, and porn are all fairly common in terms of secrets that pop up in my cases. So much so, it’s almost expected. However, this one was my favorite…
Client is an elderly gentleman, some type of retired professional. His son is a pastor. Everything about his situation seemed very normal in terms of income, property, etc. However, it turns out he had a pretty serious porn hobby and he was concerned his wife might find out and use it against him in the divorce. However, as I mentioned above, I assured him that was pretty run-of-the-mill these days and unlikely to affect anything. He then asks if I feel the same knowing the porn is not “mainstream.” I asked what he means and he looks very nervous. I wanted to make sure he wasn’t referencing CP, so I pushed him on it.
The guy was into goats.