LONDON — In her 30-odd years as a divorce lawyer, Vanessa Lloyd Platt has heard it all. 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
“It’s insane,” Ms. Lloyd Platt said. “These things should not have any part in the procedure.”
But they come up all the time in England, which unlike every state in America does not have a no-fault divorce law.
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.”
As the couple, Susan and Douglas Rae, aired the mundane details of their imploding marriage last month in London’s Court of Appeal, the judge in the case criticized English divorce law for allowing such picayune matters to become an issue at all.
If the government had enacted past proposals to allow no-fault divorce, the judge, Justice Matthew Thorpe, told the court, “there would have been no need for these painful investigations, which seem to represent the social values of a bygone age.”