As we approach Valentine's Day, as a family attorney, I am profoundly aware of the fact that this Hallmark holiday is not a happy one for a great deal of people in our country. There is a vast amount of people living in America right now that are not living with a husband or wife, or are in the midst of a divorce. There are various reasons why people get divorced, and I have written a couple blogs on common mistakes and problems in a marriage which lead to a divorce. While these have been serious, I thought it was time to look at the lighter side of divorce, or at least the lighter side when you are merely a spectator. There is an article in the Miami Herald online that listed 10 easy ways to mess up a marriage and end up in divorce court. I was expecting to read something serious, but it seems that there is humor in everything including divorce. While not all of these anecdotes are harmless humor, there is something to be said for looking for the obvious when determining whether you should end you marriage.
10 EASY WAYS TO MESS UP YOUR MARRIAGE AND LAND IN DIVORCE COURT
A Miami man promised his wife a big diamond. When she discovered it was cubic zirconia, she said, ''Good-bye, have a good life,'' says Andrew Leinoff, a divorce lawyer.
• What was your first clue? After 10 years of marriage, a Miami man became suspicious of his wife's behavior and hired an investigator. ''It turned out she was a he. He, she . . . whatever . . . had been surgically altered before the marriage and hadn't told him. That was the end of that,'' says Leinoff.
• Dirty downloading: Three years into her marriage, a Broward wife discovered hubby was into computer porn, says Hollywood divorce lawyer Mark Seff. It was covert at first, and she put it down to boys being boys. Then he stopped trying to hide it -- just leaving it up there on the screen. She decided it was a slap in the face, and hit the delete marriage button.
• In every rose a thorn: A Fort Lauderdale woman knew her husband was cheating, but feared it would be hard to serve papers on him. So on Valentine's Day she got the process server to rent a delivery van and carry a dozen roses into hubby's office. ''You John Doe?'' ''That's me.'' ''Happy Valentine's Day.'' Papers served.
• The false accusation: A Miami woman was out late a lot, so her suspicious husband planted a microphone in her car -- ''which is illegal, by the way,'' says Miami divorce lawyer Mel Frumkes. He learned nothing, because she was innocent. But she found the bug. Buh-bye.
• The true accusation: A Miami man found notes to his wife from a lover and overheard phone conversations, says Frumkes. He accused her. She admitted it. Too easy. Too bad. Toodle-oo.
• The sucker punch: A popular tactic these days is to falsely accuse a spouse -- male or female -- of domestic violence. It gets you a leg up in the divorce proceedings, says Frumkes. ``And it helps you get possession of the kids and the house.''
• In the dumps: A Redland woman came to South Miami divorce lawyer Cynthia Greene to end a longtime marriage. ``She said that every year on their anniversary he gave her a trash Dumpster. She decided that pretty much summed up their relationship. He was stunned. He had thought it would be nice if she didn't have to carry the garbage so far.''
• Poor planning: A Miami Beach woman went to the family jeweler to get her watch repaired, and the clerk asked how she liked the expensive sapphire ring her husband had just bought for her. She hadn't received a ring, of course. ''And that was the end of that,'' says Miami divorce lawyer Marsha Elser.
• Worse planning: A few days after a South Florida woman's husband returned from a business trip to Manhattan, she received a package from the hotel in the mail. ''Dear Mrs. So-and-So. We're returning the cosmetic bag you left in your room on your recent stay.'' She hadn't been on the trip, of course. ''And that was the end of that,'' says Elser.
If you would like to read the article in its entirety, it can be found at: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/16674815.htm