17 Bizarre and Hilarious Divorce Laws

Toy couple on wedding cake with knife cutting between them

Divorce is never an enjoyable experience. Somehow both parties have to come to an agreement and follow the laws set by their country. Divorce is treated completely differently around the world. Divorce laws in some countries are extremely odd and in some cases, very unfair. Our research found that there are a high number of strange and hilarious divorce laws in America and around the world. 

1. You Can Blame a Third Party

In seven American states including Mississippi and New Mexico, it is possible to blame a third person for the breakdown of a marriage.

The person that is being accused of ruining the marriage can be sued for large amounts of money. They call it the ‘alienation of affection’ theory. However, proof is needed. The bitter spouse has to somehow prove that the other person's involvement caused the marriage to fail. This is probably why there are so many private investigators in America.

2. Not Being Kind to the In-Laws.

It’s pretty common for one spouse to not get along with their in-laws. Many women have a fragile relationship with their mother-in-law and not all men get the seal of approval from their daughter’s parents. However, a law in Wichita, Kansas has been created to encourage everyone to get along and play happy families. A spouse won’t be allowed to get divorced if the reason for the divorce is, the other spouse treated their mother-in-law badly. 

3. If Your Partner Goes Insane

In New York, you will be granted a divorce if you can prove your partner has gone crazy.

A mental breakdown by one spouse is enough for the other to opt out of the marriage. However, they need to have been mentally ill for at least five years throughout the marriage. Five years is a long time to live with someone who has severe mental health problems and you also have to take care of them even after you are divorced.

 

4. If You Got Married on a Dare.

You're on a drunken night out and your friends dare you to get married so you do, just for a joke. Well, fear not, if this happens in Delaware, you can get an annulment. This will be granted if one or both parties entered into the marriage as a jest or dare. This is a law that clearly encourages people to get married through stupidity! 

5. End Your Current Marriage by Marrying Someone Else

Aboriginal women in Australia are lucky enough to have various different options should they wish to get a divorce. They can try and persuade their husband to get a divorce or they could simply just marry someone else. They can elope with another partner and their current marriage will instantly be ended. This seems like a pretty easy way to get out of a marriage, but then you will probably marry the next person too quickly and end up divorcing them anyway.

6. Living Apart Automatically Ends Your Marriage

All Eskimo people have to do if they are sick of being married is simply live separately. If they live apart then their marriage can be ended, it’s as simple as that. If this was allowed in other countries then divorce rates would be much higher. 

7. Women Have to Wait Six Months to Remarry After a Divorce

There are a few strange divorce laws in Japan.

This one, in particular, is definitely more favorable for men. Women have to wait at least six months before they can marry again after divorce, but this law does not apply to men. They can remarry whenever they want. Another Japanese law allows an older brother to ask his younger brother’s girlfriend for her hand in marriage, but they both have to agree to it. 

8. A Wife May Get a Divorce if She Doesn’t Get Fresh Coffee

This hilarious divorce law is actually taken seriously in Saudi Arabia. Believe it or not, a woman can file for divorce if her husband fails to supply her with fresh coffee. If they don’t get their caffeine fix, that’s it. Apparently fresh coffee is the key to a happy marriage in Saudi Arabia. Gives new meaning to "grounds" for divorce.

9. Ladies, Don’t Get False Teeth Without Asking Your Husband

This has got to be one of the most hilarious marriage laws in the world.

Men may decide to end their marriage if their wife gets false teeth without telling them. Women in Vermont are expected to get the all-clear from their husband before they invest in false teeth. We all know honesty is important in any marriage, but are false teeth really that much of a deal breaker?

10. Marrying Someone Who is No Longer Alive

This is definitely the weirdest and creepiest marriage law out there. It’s not a divorce law per se but had to be included because it is so odd. In France, posthumous marriage is permitted. If one of the people getting married is actually already dead then that’s OK. Would they not want a say in who they are married to without being present? This has been happening since World War One when many people sadly lost their partners in the war. Apparently, there are hundreds of requests a year in France. What happens if they want a divorce?

11. Write on a Piece of Paper That You Are Married

Another strange and seemingly pointless law that exists in Monaco involves having to write an announcement on a bit of paper. All you have to do is write a note announcing your marriage and put it up in the local town hall. However, you are not allowed to take it down after a day, it must remain there for at least 10 days which also must include two Sundays. If couples do not do this then their marriage may not count. 

12. Beans, Apples, M eat, and Yarn Will Grant a Divorce.

One of the funniest divorce laws in the world that still hasn’t been discarded is that a man can divorce his wife as long as he leaves her with ‘10 pounds of dried beans, 5 pounds of dried apples, a side of meat and ample yarn with which to knit herself stockings for a year.’ What a hilarious way to end a marriage. Surely a woman would prefer to get half her husbands and assets, but apparently fruit, vegetables, meat and yarn is enough in Tennessee

13. No Minimum Age for Marriage

Sadly, in Saudi Arabia there isn’t a minimum age for marriage. That means even infants and children can be married off before they even understand what marriage is.

A court in Saudi Arabia in 2008 denied a girl of just eight years a divorce from her husband, who was 58. 

14. Divorce is Not Allowed, No Exceptions

In a select few places including the Vatican and the Philippines, divorce isn’t even allowed. Marriage is so sacred that it cannot be ended. However, annulments are permitted but extremely difficult to complete. 

15. You Can’t Marry the Same Person Four Times

In Kentucky, you are allowed to marry the same person three times but not four. Who would marry and divorce a person three times anyway? Surely after the first or even second divorce, you might have established you aren’t meant to be together.

16. No-Fault Divorce is Not Allowed; There Has to Be a Reason

In England, you have to find a reason for getting divorced. A no-fault divorce law does not exist so lots of couples have to try and figure a specific reason as to why they are getting divorced, other than simply disliking each other. 

17. It’s OK to Marry Family Members In...

Surprisingly, people in Alabama are still allowed to legally marry members of their family

Sources:

http://www.divorcesource.com/ds/mississippi/mississippi-divorce-laws-685.shtml

http://www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce/divorce-state-laws/mississippi-divorce-questions-answers

http://www.womansdivorce.com/divorce-grounds.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/27/divorce-laws-which-divorc_n_1457486.html

http://nakedlaw.avvo.com/divorce/fivestrangedivorcelaws.html

http://www.nydivorceonline.com/nypages/Divorce/divorcerequirements.asp

http://www.juridique.jp/visa4.html

http://www.divorcenet.com/resources/annulment/annulment-basics/delaware.htm

http://www.uscollegesearch.org/blog/resource-articles/criminal-justice-info/weird-laws-legally-insane-americas-bizarre-laws