Divorce (opens in new tab) can be a tumultuous time, for obvious reasons: Dismantling what you thought was going to be your forever-relationship (especially when there are kids in the mix) in a series of probably-convoluted legal proceedings is rough.
But the uncovering of a long-held secret can make a split that much more complicated—and painful. Just ask these divorce lawyers, who took to Reddit (opens in new tab) to share the best-kept and most shocking secrets that their divorcing clients had hidden from their spouses in a recent AskReddit thread.
1. Hidden Property (a Lot of It)
"The husband in a very high stakes divorce (opens in new tab) managed to hide two apartment complexes, an ocean-front penthouse in a very expensive city, and an offshore oil rig that were held in two offshore companies that the wife did not know about. It only came out very recently, about two decades later when husband died and left some of that property to their two sons (who were able to see the property histories)." —andyjams (opens in new tab)
2. A Prostitute...and Bestiality
"Early in my career, my then-boss would take a divorce case from time to time to help out a friend or acquaintance. I would assist on occasion. For any type of litigation, the parties exchange written questions as part of discovery. I was reviewing the wife's answers to her discovery requests and assisting the husband with answering his questions. We get to the part where it asks about engaging in extramarital sexual relations. Husband tells me that he recently saw a prostitute, 'but don't worry, it was in Canada, so it's okay.' I just nodded and took notes. In going over the wife's answers, she listed 'bestiality' as a factor that lead to the breakdown of the relationship. I asked the husband about this (because I have to know what other issues may come to light) and tells me he got really drunk one night after they separated (opens in new tab), called her up, and told her he 'fucked a goat,' but he swore he didn't actually do that. I was really professional and kept a straight face during the meeting, but my boss and I laughed about that for ages." —CeramicOctetNo (opens in new tab)
3. Goat Porn
"Large amounts of debt, affairs, substance abuse, and porn are all fairly common in terms of secrets that pop up in my cases. So much so, it's almost expected. However, this one was my favorite...Client is an elderly gentleman, some type of retired professional. His son is a pastor. Everything about his situation seemed very normal in terms of income, property, etc. However, it turns out he had a pretty serious porn hobby, and he was concerned his wife might find out and use it against him in the divorce. However, as I mentioned above, I assured him that was pretty run-of-the-mill these days and unlikely to affect anything. He then asks if I feel the same knowing the porn is not 'mainstream.' I asked what he means, and he looks very nervous. I wanted to make sure he wasn't referencing child pornography, so I pushed him on it. The guy was into goats." —TheLadyInReddit (opens in new tab)
4. A Multi-Million Dollar Fortune
"In Australia, a divorcing husband (opens in new tab) hid $10+ million AUD by making an overpayment to the tax office. Auditors thought it was a tax payment, but six months later, it was refunded with base interest rate. Since then, auditors have caught on to this." —Syidd
5. A Fake Engagement Ring
"Couple is getting divorced (opens in new tab), guy gets worried that she won't return the engagement ring, so he tells his attorney that he switched it for a fake without telling her. Attorney checks in with client a while later, who then asks her to stop the divorce proceedings (opens in new tab) because 'we're laughing again.' Then she asks her client, 'Did you tell her about the ring? Was she laughing then?'" —Mtiguy (opens in new tab)
6. A Secret Second (and Third!) Family
"East coast husband had a listed income of $1.5 million. Cheated on wife 10 times. Almost at the end of the divorce (opens in new tab) process, it was learned that husband had another family in Seattle, a different name, and another $14 million salary in tech. His vested stock options under the second identity were worth $214 million. How was he discovered living the double life? Seattle wife posted a picture on Facebook and tagged him with his west coast name. East coast wife similarly posted a photograph of him. The facial recognition assigned him a possible name – his west coast name. The two wives got in touch. But wait, there's more! He has a wife and family in the Czech Republic and moved there to avoid family court – and is currently being pursued for extradition." —Cold_Zero_ (opens in new tab)
7. A Massive Gambling Debt
"A $1.8 million gambling debt, which we didn't even know about until the other side subpoenaed information from a third party regarding it." —Sir_Cunt_of_Mingedom (opens in new tab)
8. That Their House Burned Down
"For a while, she concealed that she'd accidentally burned down their kitchen (he was no longer living there). After he found out – which only happened because he happened to drive past the house – she accused me of telling him and otherwise colluding with him to ruin her. She also threatened to strangle my secretary. She's in my top five crazy client list." —unclephilibuster (opens in new tab)
9. The Loss of Their Joint Savings
"A man gambled away $70,000 of their marital savings. Wife didn't know until she filed for divorce (opens in new tab). She hit him in the head with a hammer and was arrested." —RavenHairBeauty (opens in new tab)
10. A Love of Crossdressing
"The biggest whammo was a guy who was stealing his wife's undergarments and wearing them. She thought he was just having an affair." —SpottedPaws (opens in new tab)
Answers have been lightly edited for spelling and grammar.
Caralynn Lippo is a freelance writer and native New Yorker raised in Brooklyn. Caralynn has also written for HelloGiggles, Revelist, Observer, and The Billfold. She's currently a staff writer at Romper, Tell-Tale TV, and TV Fanatic, where she regularly writes about television and entertainment news.
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