Divorce laws that you wouldn’t believe were or still are real

Marriage is one of our oldest traditions and although separation and divorce hasn’t been around for as long as the binding agreement, this process has certainly been through its fair share of changes and adaptations.

Around the world, there are different cultures, religions and personal beliefs on divorce. In 2018, there were over 101,669 divorces in the UK alone. While this is a decrease compared to the previous year, it still represents a high number of couples going through separation.

Just recently, India overturned a law whereby men could divorce women via an ‘instant divorce’, or as it was more officially known, the Triple Talaq. Before this, husbands had the ability to instantly divorce partners by repeating ‘talaq’, which means ‘divorce’ three times – whether in person, over text or in a voicemail.

To reflect on this landmark change, we’ve taken the opportunity to examine practices, both present and past, which show just how culturally diverse divorce laws can be.

Hong Kong

In the far east, there was a law which gave the wives of cheating husbands permission to slaughter them if ever caught in the act. This law did, however, only allow such actions to be taken as long as a weapon was not involved in said slaughter.


It’s a typically comedic storyline in family films to show partners forgetting various special days that are clearly noted on the calendar. However, this is not the case for the people of Samoa. Wives take their birthdays very seriously and if their husband forgets their special day, it is actually grounds for divorce.

Saudi Arabia

For those who enjoy their early morning coffee fix, this will interest you. In Saudi Arabia, women have the right to file for divorce if their husbands do not fulfil their caffeine needs by delivering fresh coffee to them each day.


Ever heard the classic chat up line ‘Will you marry me?’. No? Well, clearly, it’s been used one too many times in Kansas. If a woman thinks their partner has proposed just to fulfil their libido, they can be found guilty under the Offence Against Morality and Decency Act.


The fact that England doesn’t have a no-fault divorce law is unusual to some countries and cultures. While this will become law in the future, it has taken a while for the UK to get this precedent moved forward and for divorce laws to be brought into the modern age.

While there is no set guideline for what is normal and weird when it comes to divorce laws, there will always be certain surprising. The most important thing is for people to be aware of others and their own feelings towards the situation, it should run smoothly and without unnecessary hiccups.

Are you looking for advice or representation from a Family Lawyer? Get in contact with our team at Lysander Law and we’re make sure you have all the information you need.