Lawyer gets weird excuses for divorce

April 8, 2012 at 5:08 PM
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LONDON, April 8 (UPI) -- Having to speak and dress as a Klingon is among the bizarre excuses for divorce a British lawyer says she has heard.

Because England does not have a no-fault divorce law, couples who wish to separate are coming up with some odd reasons for divorce, The New York Times reported Saturday.

One man told divorce lawyer Vanessa Lloyd Platt that his wife had maliciously and repeatedly served him tuna casserole, his least favorite dish.

"It's insane," Lloyd Platt said. "These things should not have any part in the procedure."

Under current British law, divorces can only be granted under one of five categories, which include adultery and abandonment. About half of all divorces filed in England fall under another category called "unreasonable behavior."

Justice Matthew Thorpe said if the British government would enact a no-fault divorce law, there would be no need for courts to hear these excuses.

"There would have been no need for these painful investigations, which seem to represent the social values of a bygone age," Thorpe said.

Based on Thorpe's remarks, Lloyd Platt compiled a list in The Times of London of some of the more out-there accusations of fault she and other lawyers have come across in divorce petitions.

One man complained his wife "would without justification flirt with any builder or tradesman, inappropriately touching them and declaring that she could not stop herself."

Another man "insisted that his pet tarantula, Timmy, slept in a glass case next to the matrimonial bed," even though his wife requested "that Timmy sleep elsewhere."

"People have had to start playing games with this, with the complicity of the court," said Patrick Chamberlayne, a divorce lawyer in London. "They put their heads together and say, 'Surely we can come up with something that the court will agree on.' That's when you get the sort of trivial nonsense like 'He was late home from work' and 'He wasn't supportive in the kitchen.'"

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