10 Bizarre Divorce Laws

Ending a marriage is never easy. But opting for divorce is made even more complicated by the outdated and sometimes incomprehensible laws still in the books. Divorce is even illegal in some parts of the world, making it all the more traumatic to obtain. While getting a divorce is often considered a sad upheaval in the lives of the people it affects, it can be made even stranger by some of the laws that still exist today.

10. Kentucky – Three Strikes Per Spouse.

Rebounding is fine but when it’s with the same person there is a three time limit in some places, such as the state of Kentucky, which only allows a maximum of three marriages to the same person. For those spouses who just can’t make up their mind, moving states might have to be their last resort if they are considering opting for fourth time lucky. Otherwise, just marry a different person.

9. Delaware – The Joke’s On Us.

Ever entered into a marriage in jest? Interestingly, the Delaware Divorce and Annulment Act allows for a marriage to be annulled if “One or both parties entered into the marriage as a jest or dare.” That elaborate Halloween prank doesn’t seem so farfetched now!

8. The Quran – When Remarrying Really Means Marrying Twice.

There is a lot of social stigma surrounding Islamic law. But, like every other region in the world, it has its oddities – none more obvious than with regards to divorce and remarriage. Realizing that love still abounds after divorce is certainly romantic…and very problematic. According to the Quran, a divorced couple can only remarry if the ex-wife marries another man, they consummate, and she is then divorced by that husband. This seems to be a very roundabout way of going about a remarriage.

7. Australian Aboriginals – Once Again, Marriage Laws Come in Threes.

Australian Aboriginal women have three options when it comes to divorce. They can opt for the standard route, which means convincing their husband to divorce them. If that fails they might be more successful in persuading their husbands to give them away. Odd as that sounds, option number three allows them to elope, thus ending the old marriage by beginning a new one.

6. Eskimos – Separate Addresses the Missing Link in Divorce?

Divorce law is often so complex to maneuver that among the most bizarre things that may be encountered is simplicity. The traditional Eskimo societies have decided to embark on this most unusual of paths: to divorce they only need to begin living apart. This divorce law is so simple, it doesn’t even require a lawyer.

5. Japan – Children Omitted From the Law?

Japan has a surprising omission in its divorce laws – there is no provision for the joint custody of children. This makes matters difficult for couples with children, where both parties are inclined to want visitation rights. In addition to this, a woman must wait six months following a divorce before she can remarry, whereas no such restrictions apply to her ex-husband.

4. Tennessee, USA – Providing For a Spouse, Even in Divorce.

Divorce is costly. But an old Tennessee marriage law that hasn’t yet made its way off the books makes it seem more manageable. It states that a husband may divorce his wife if 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.” This gives new meaning to the term providing for your ex-spouse.

3. Philippines – Divorce and Remarriage Can Be Criminal.

Many people take the option of divorce for granted – but in some countries, it doesn’t even exist. Many Muslim citizens decide to obtain their divorces abroad; the reason being that divorce is illegal in their home country, as with the Philippines. Despite this trend, divorces obtained abroad remain unrecognized by this country’s government. Difficulties might arise if the parties involved choose to remarry overseas: according to Filipino law, they may well be seen to be committing bigamy and might thus be liable for prosecution. Returning to the Philippines in such a case might not be worth the risk involved.

2. Mississippi – The Village Idiot.

It seems an odd way to go but proving idiocy on the part of a spouse is reasonable grounds for divorce in the state of Mississippi. Of course the idiocy claimed must be more clinical than general, just to set things straight. Claims of he-said, she-said might not cut it.

1. Saudi Arabia – Coffee as Grounds for Divorce?

Saudi Arabia is more known for its strict than liberal attitudes, particularly with regards to women and their rights. But one surprising law is that a wife is entitled to divorce her husband if he does not supply her with fresh coffee. That might be stretching things a bit far.

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