Most people go into the field of law because they want to make a difference in the world and use their legal knowledge to make society a better place. But there are some areas of law that are not so glamorous. Divorce law is one of them. Unlike the emotion-packed courtroom drama on TV or in the movies, most divorce cases are relatively mundane, with lawyers going through one pile of paperwork after another.
Once in a while, however, we encounter a divorce situation that makes the everyday more thrilling. And while that’s a welcome change, these cases can make us think twice about why we became divorce lawyers. Here are some divorce stories that make us question our career choice.
The case of the $100,000 ashtray
Like most well-to-do couples who undergo divorce proceedings, a pair of ex-lovers spent several months and tens of thousands of dollars dividing their innumerable properties. But while it’s easy to understand that they’d want their share of luxurious assets like houses, cars, or yachts, it’s rather surprising that they were both fixated on taking home one object: a ceramic ashtray.
Neither the husband nor the wife could remember the significance of the ashtray, but that didn’t stop them from fighting tooth and nail for it. Even after all the important assets had been divided, both parties continued to battle for the coveted ceramic. It was only after months of litigation and nearly $100,000 in fees that the court awarded the ashtray to the wife. Promptly after hearing the decision, the wife took the ashtray, strode to the courthouse steps, and smashed the ashtray to pieces — all for her ex-husband to see on his way out.
There is technically nothing wrong with what she did; she won the ashtray fair and square. As divorce lawyers, we’re just happy that this crazy case is over.
The case of winning the house but losing the land
We don’t have a say in how judges rule, but we do find this one judgment call particularly bizarre. In the aftermath of one divorce case, a judge decided to award the wife the house. However, the land surrounding the property went to the husband.
Perhaps to spite his ex or to simply prove a point of following the law to a tee, the husband decided to sell all the lumber in his piece of land. So from having a house surrounded by lush greenery, the wife suddenly found herself with a house standing in a clear-cut area.
But the husband didn’t stop there. Once the trees were gone, he started selling the topsoil. And when the topsoil was gone, he sold the gravel underneath. These left the house standing miserably on a (literally) man-made hill overlooking a barren landscape.
Seeing how the property turned out after what the husband did, perhaps getting the house was not the blessing the wife had expected.
The case of “transmittable cancer”
One man got engaged to another woman in the middle of divorce proceedings with his second wife. Unfortunately, his new lover (and would-be third wife) got diagnosed with a form of terminal cancer. Uncannily, the man’s first wife also passed away from cancer. When the second wife found out about the diagnosis, she became paranoid and started connecting the dots that weren’t there.
Somehow, she developed an absurd theory that her husband killed his first wife by giving her cancer, and that he was now doing the same thing to his newest fiancée. She was also convinced that her husband tried to give her cancer at some point during their marriage.
The lawyer of the second wife had some sense not to ask his client about her crazy theory during testimony, but that didn’t stop her from directly addressing the court about the issue. We can only guess her attorney’s utter embarrassment — and perhaps his regret in choosing a career in divorce law.
While there may be some cases that make us reconsider our profession, we’re 100% sure that we made the right choice to become divorce lawyers. We’re always ready to take on divorce cases, whether they are straightforward or strange and unconventional. If you need experienced and dedicated divorce attorneys, our offices in Renton, Kent, and Seattle are open for consultation. Drop us a line today.