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When divorce brings out the worst in ex-spouses

Many divorces are preceded by months or even years of arguing. In some cases, a couple's resentment and mistrust of one another brings out the worst in both parties as they attempt to untangle their lives from one another. Divorcing spouses often argue over matters related to child custody, child support, financial assets and personal property. In some cases, however, the most contentious divorce disputes stem from arguments over seemingly minor issues and assets.

Some examples of contentious and somewhat outrageous divorce disputes include a couple who racked up roughly $1,000 in court and legal fees in an attempt to determine which spouse would retain $40 worth of groceries that remained in the couple's refrigerator. Another case involved a couple who fought for hours over the custody and visitation schedule of a dog while they spent a fraction of that time figuring out a child custody agreement and dividing all of their assets.

In many cases, these types of seemingly unreasonable divorce disputes occur between ex-spouses who carry deep resentment towards an ex. Often, rather than arguing over larger and more important issues, these individuals and couples become focused on personal belongings or matters that seem rather insignificant. One divorce attorney relayed how a former client’s divorce quickly turned sour when the client, who had two children, refused to come to an agreement with an ex over who would retain ownership of a massage chair.

In another case, an individual who was granted primary child custody attempted to get an ex-spouse fired. While the individual repeatedly called the ex's employer and made accusations that the ex stole from work, the individual then proceeded to attempt to obtain child support from the ex, the amount of which is largely determined by an individual’s salary.

Divorce can definitely bring out the worst in people. Emotions run high and can cloud an individual’s ability to think clearly and rationally. While going through the divorce process, individuals are advised to ensure they have a strong support system composed of close friends and family members as well as a professional therapist who can help a divorcee work through painful emotions. It's also important to retain a divorce attorney who can advise and assist a client about divorce matters and work to negotiate a divorce settlement that benefits a client’s best interests.

Source: The Huffington Post, "9 Divorce Stories Too Ridiculous To Make Up," March, 21, 2014

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