Unlike in the United States with our no-fault divorces, in England, divorces are granted only under a few categories, including adultery, abandonment, and unreasonable behavior.
So what's a married couple seeking divorce to do?
In England, few divorce cases go to trial, so the parties have to work out — either amicably or unamicably — who is at fault and why. The reasons, which appear in the papers filed by the person seeking the divorce, have no bearing on eventual financial or custody arrangements, except in extreme cases, lawyers say. But they still have to be approved by a judge, which is where some chicanery may come in, lawyers here say.
Here are some of the divorce petitions that have been filed:
The woman who sued for divorce because her husband insisted she dress in a Klingon costume and speak to him in Klingon. The man who declared that his wife had maliciously and repeatedly served him his least favorite dish, tuna casserole.
In one recent case, the husband accused his wife of spitefully tampering with the TV antenna and throwing away his cold cuts. She said he usurped her control of the washing machine and failed to appreciate her revulsion for “intensely farmed meat.”
... there was a woman who said her husband had not spoken to her for 15 years, communicating only by Post-it note. And there was the man whose wife “would without justification flirt with any builder or tradesman, inappropriately touching them and declaring that she could not stop herself.”
One petition read: “The respondent 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.”
Ah, there's a thin line between love and hate, indeed: Link