This morning my wife alerted me to an article in Harpers Bazzar last week called “If You Are Married to a Trump Supporter, Divorce Them” by Jennifer Wright.

“Supporting Trump at this point does not indicate a difference of opinions,” my wife said quoting the author. “It indicates a difference of values.”

“The problem is,” I replied, ”my spouse voted for Trump is not grounds for divorce in DC, Maryland or Virginia.

by James J. Gross

An Italian man claimed in his divorce that his wife was possessed by the devil and could levitate.

According to an article by Jon Lockett in the Sun, the woman’s’ sister, a priest and a monk were witnesses to her floating off the ground and they also said she also threw a church pew at the alter with just one hand.

The judge granted a no-fault divorce to the pair based on one year separation.

 

 

In Algeria, we hear that a woman has filed for divorce after three months of marriage because her husband will not shave his moustache.

I guess she has never heard the old French idiom:

“Un baiser sans moustache est comme un œuf sans sel!”

(“A kiss without a moustache is like an egg without salt!”)

Do you have grounds for divorce if you find your spouse among the 37 million hacked users of Ashley Madison, the dating website for married people looking to cheat?

In DC, the answer is no. There are only two grounds for divorce in DC — six months voluntary separation or twelve months involuntary separation. But the court must still consider marital fault, among other factors, in deciding alimony and property distribution.

Maryland and Virginia have fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. Adultery is a fault ground in both states. Using Ashley Madison by itself does not prove your spouse has committed adultery. But it is probably enough to plead adultery in a complaint for divorce. Then you have to obtain the evidence. You can use then use the court discovery rules to ask your spouse directly. Your spouse must answer under oath and penalties of perjury.

Your spouse may take the Fifth Amendment but the divorce court is allowed to presume this means that adultery was committed. And some spouses will lie. In addition, Maryland and Virginia require corroboration of the adultery by independent evidence. So you may still have to hire a private investigator to follow your spouse.

Despite what you see in the movies, the private eye doesn’t usually burst into the hotel room with a camera. You can use circumstantial evidence to prove adultery with inclination and opportunity.
The testimony for inclination might be, “I saw them holding hands at dinner and watched them go into a hotel.”

For opportunity, the detective would say, “I put a chalk mark on the tire of the car in the parking lot and it was in the same place when I returned in the morning.”

The Maryland General Assembly has added “Mutual Consent” as new grounds for absolute divorce in Maryland, eliminating the waiting period, if

(1) the parties do not have any minor children in common;

(2) the parties execute and submit to the court a written settlement agreement signed by both parties that resolves all  issues relating to alimony and the distribution of property;

(3) neither party files a pleading to set aside the settlement agreement prior to the divorce hearing required under the Maryland rules; and

(4) both parties appear before the court at the absolute divorce hearing.

The new law, when signed by the Governor, will take effect October 1, 2015.

If you have been “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” on television, you will be interested to know that Kris Jenner filed divorce papers against Bruce Jenner yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences.

The couple have been married for 23 years.  It is the third marriage for Bruce and the second for Kris.  They had no prenuptial agreement.

The split appears to be amicable and the parties have agreed on joint physical and legal custody of their only child who is still a minor, Kylie Jenner.  Neither is asking for alimony.

Gulfnews.com reports the following reasons for divorce in Kuwait this year:

  • A woman discovered after one week of marriage that her husband used bread to eat peas rather than a fork.  She was disgusted and shocked by his lack of table manners and eating etiquette she said.
  • A woman wanted to divorce her husband for squeezing the toothpaste from the middle of the tube instead of the end.
  • A man divorced his wife for refusing to get him a glass of water.   She said the maid could do it.

Legal experts say a major reason for divorce in Kuwait is failure to accept differences in the other person.

I try to tie current events into a divorce angle on this blog whenever I can.  But I never thought there would be a divorce story in the protesting crowds I am watching in the streets of Egypt on the morning news.

Sure enough though, there’s a divorce angle, according to Albawaba.com.  After 12 years of marriage, a 31-year-old Egyptian woman has filed for divorce in Cairo from her 35 year old husband.

The reason given is numerous disagreements over the last year about President Mohamed Morsi.  The woman said the husband is stubborn and will not stop his support for Morsi and she cannot accept that in a husband.

The husband said his wife makes negative comments on every decision Morsi makes and only listens for bad news on channels that do not tell the truth.

So far, political incompatibility is not grounds for divorce in Maryland, Virginia or DC.

Today Facebook launches its highly anticipated IPO.  So naturally we wanted to bring you a Facebook divorce story.

Laura Weisman reports in the San Francisco Chronicle that a woman in India has filed for divorce because her husband had not updated his relationship status on Facebook.  He was still listed as “single instead of “married”.  He says he was distracted with family and business and forgot to change it.

The couple had an arranged marriage just two months ago.  The judge has ordered the couple to undergo counseling over the next six months.

Apparently, there are several cases in India where spouses in arranged marriages have asked the court to divorce them on flimsy reasons, such as who makes the tea or failure to take an in-law’s phone call.

There is no such term as “legal separation” in Virginia law.  Sometimes people may refer to themselves as legally separated after they have signed a Marital Settlement Agreement with their spouse and are waiting out the required separation period until they can file for an uncontested divorce.

However, you can obtain a limited divorce, also called a “divorce a mensa et thoro” (from bed and board) if you have grounds. The grounds for a limited divorce are different than the grounds required for a final divorce.  They are as follows:

Desertion or abandonment – no minimum duration

Cruelty – no required duration after the act of cruelty.

Note that, unlike for final divorce, there are no “no fault” limited divorce grounds in Virginia.

In Virginia, the reason for filing a limited divorce is usually to get your support or custody case into Circuit Court rather than Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court when you need a court order regarding support or custody and you do not have grounds for a final divorce.  If you think you have this situation, ask us about it.