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'My Husband Forced Me to Dress as a Klingon'

By Edward Tan, JD on April 11, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Couples divorce for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes they just fall out of love. Sometimes they cheat on each other. And on rare occasions, a wife will divorce her husband because he made her dress up as a Klingon.

That's exactly what happened to a couple in England, The New York Times reports. The wife in question also accused her ex-husband of forcing her to speak to him in Klingon, too.

Unlike in America, English divorce law is fault-based, so couples must cite mundane reasons like these in order to get divorced. But some English judges don't like it.

That's because they view them as "painful" and representing "social values of a bygone age," as one English judge said.

Fault divorce requires a party to take the blame for causing a marriage's dissolution. Courts assess how much each side is to blame and then assign who is at fault. The reasons allowed under fault divorce law can vary. They include adultery, abandonment, or inability to have sex.

In England, couples can also cite "unreasonable behavior" as a reason for dissolution, which is where stories like the Klingon divorce come from.

Sounds arcane, right? You might be surprised to learn that up until only a year ago, New York still had fault divorces. However, now every state in the country has adopted no fault divorce laws.

Under no fault divorce, blame for the dissolution doesn't need to be assigned to either spouse. Instead, couples merely have to state that their marriage is irretrievably broken or that they have irreconcilable differences.

No fault divorces are faster and allow couples to get divorced without having to tell everyone their business.

Despite the recent push, England has no current plans to switch to no fault divorce. This will probably mean we'll hear a lot more Klingon divorce stories from our friends across the pond.

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