For a long time, it was believed that half of marriages in the United States eventually ended up in divorce. More recent data puts the divorce rate at 39%. Even though fewer people may be going their separate ways, divorce proceedings have not become any less messy or ugly.
24/7 Tempo went through dozens of news articles and reviewed many court orders as well as state laws to select several unusual divorce conditions, grounds, and clauses.
The best-known grounds for divorce is probably “ irreconcilable differences” — which means no party has to prove that their partner is to blame for the breakdown of the relationship. But in many states couples have a lot more work to do. How easy or difficult it is to end a marriage depends largely on where they live. Some couples will legally be forced to wait for months and obtain a divorce education certificate before even filing for divorce.
Then there is the process of negotiating who gets what and why. Even if people set out to end their marriage amicably, bitter arguments are common. The result is sometimes unusual and even extreme elements in divorce settlements that make the division of assets, child custody, and alimony payments seem like a piece of cake.
There are clauses requiring former spouses to never speak badly of one another — or one’s new spouse — to get therapy, to literally split an apartment in two, and even to pay some of the ex’s ice cream expenses forever. Following are a few examples of the lengths people will go to when money, fame, and personal feelings are involved.
In many cases the soon to be ex-spouses don’t even want to be in the same room together and they hire lawyers to negotiate the terms of the divorce. This can be extremely costly — these are the most expensive states to get a divorce.