10 Obscure Divorce Laws Still on the Books

Divorce is a serious issue, but it can be refreshing to look at it from a lighthearted perspective. In the United States and abroad, there still exist some obscure divorce laws that would make anyone do a double take. Here are the top ten weird divorce laws that are still on the books.

  1. If you live in Kentucky, make sure you have your mind made up when you file for divorce. In this state, it is against the law for someone to remarry the same person four times. Sounds like a longshot, but illegal nonetheless.
  2. Divorce is not legal in the Philippines, but this country's ban on divorce doesn't stop there. In some cases, Filipino citizens who are divorced and try to remarry in other countries may be considered bigamists.
  3. Same-sex marriage is not legal in Texas, so consequently, same-sex divorce is not legal. If it were, the state would have to admit the validity of the union. As a consequence of this ban, same-sex couples who are married in states where same-sex marriage is legal cannot then move to Texas and hope to get divorced there.
  4. In Delaware, it is grounds for annulment to marry someone on a dare. How likely this is to happen, no one really knows, but if you do decide to go this far on a dare in Delaware, your marriage will be invalid.
  5. If you live in New York and your spouse goes insane (literally, insane) up to five years after you wed, you can file to have the marriage annulled.
  6. Any divorce that occurred in the state of Nebraska on or after April 8, 1913 between Indians is not only invalid, but also illegal and punishable by law.
  7. Anyone who lives in Wichita, Kansas can divorce their spouse for mistreatment of their mother. Better stay on your mother-in-law's good side.
  8. Alimony/spousal maintenance in Texas is hard to secure. To secure an alimony agreement – an official one through a Texas divorce court – the recipient spouse must have been a victim of family violence OR married for 10 years, have a disabled child, be disabled him/herself or lack the skills necessary to be financially self-sufficient.
  9. Have an attachment to your furry friend? If your pet is more like a child than your property, when you and your spouse separate, you may be able to get a court-ordered pet visitation/custody schedule.
  10. This is more of a notable advancement in divorce law than an obscure law. A California case resulted in a decision that spouses who provide financial support to their spouses to go through college (or a similar form of training/education) are entitled to reimbursement from the court in the event of a divorce.

Are you considering divorce? If you have questions about your case, we invite you to contact McKinley Irvin. Our skilled Washington family law attorneys can guide you through our state's divorce laws and fight for the most favorable resolution.

Photo Credit: Flickr / David Goehring

Categories: Family Law, Divorce
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