Weird Divorce Laws


Divorce can sometimes be harrowing, frustrating and even severely emotionally debilitating.  Then, of course, there are the divorce related circumstances that are just flat out bizarre.

Well, luckily nationwide lawmakers never miss an opportunity to cement court case verdicts into permanent mandates.  While our research department was hard at work drumming up and categorizing important and helpful factoids related to divorce legalities, some of us (…ahem) were busy finding “Funny and Odd Tales from the Annals of Divorce Law.”

Here are some of the oddest divorce laws on record, all of which are currently active.


In the Empire State of New York, if your spouse is considered “severely insane” five years after the original date you marriage, you can legally annul the union – even if you are the one who caused the insanity.

What do the states of New Mexico and Mississippi have in common?  Why, when a “3rd party” is primarily culpable for a marriage disintegrating, the “scorned spouse” has the right to pursue monetary legal action against (aka: get cash from) the infidelity instigator – that’s what.

In the great state of Kentucky, a couple that has been divorced three times may not marry a forth time.  Sorry, nope, you had your shot.  Well, three shots actually.

There exists quite the questionable law on the books in Wichita, Kansas.  If a man ‘mistreats’ his mother-in-law, this can NOT be used as grounds for divorce.  So, Wichitonian Men: go ahead and act like a lout to your poor new Ma with reckless abandon!


Delawarians are historically known for their wacky senses of humor and undeniable wit.  So it only stands to reason that a marriage can be annulled if the couple in question decided to enter into the holy union of marriage “on a dare” or simply “in jest.”  If only it were this easy to get out of mobile phone company contracts.

Tennessee is undeniably lax, easy going and, some might say, far too lenient in their view on what constitutes viable grounds for divorce.  If your spouse attempts to murder you “by poison or any other means showing malice” you then are granted a legitimate, legal reason to seek divorce.  What’s next?  Granting you the right to seek damages if someone intentionally runs you over with their truck??


The Lone Star state of Texas, alimony is about as easy to acquire as a bull ride that lasts longer than 8 seconds.  In addition to some minor clauses, either the spouse seeking the alimony must be a “victim of family violence two years prior to the divorce” or less, or “mentally or physically disabled.”  Yee-haw?

Rhode Island actually recognizes the “does anyone have any lawful objections as to why this couple should not be wed?” question and gives it legitimate credence.  Your Island-that-really-isn’t-an-island wedding can be legally squelched by a surly ex of the bride or even a guest who’s peeved at the reception dinner options.  Makes you want to really comb over that invite list and weed out possible life-ruiners.

Nebraska, typically not known for much else than corn, has one law that is really baffling no matter how you approach it.  Divorces that occurred on April 8th, 1913 or after are not officially recognized by the court, and are deemed “unlawful and punishable by law” – oh, but this only applies to Native American Indians. Diamond-Lighthouse-broker-state-map

Ah, America.

-Joe Leone 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *