Divorces aren’t just rare in the fundamentalist world of the Duggars — they’re basically anathema.
But one Duggar in-law, Jessica Seewald, filed for divorce just a little over a month ago.
That stunning announcement was followed by numerous revelations of just how miserable she was.
The divorce process can drag on for years in some cases … but not in this case.
Jessica Seewald is the sister of Ben Seewald, making her Jessa Duggar’s sister-in-law.
Jessa married Dwight Phillips Lester two years ago.
On May 21 of this year, Jessica filed to divorce her husband.
In her divorce filing, Jessica described having endured an “extremely intolerable home life and financial strain.”
Dwight admitted to the neglect and abuse during the divorce process.
Now, it is truly over.
The Sun reports that Jessica and Dwight’s divorce was finalized on June 29, 2021 — just one week ago.
Jessica described the unbearable circumstances of their marriage in her affidavit.
“Constant verbal altercations creating an extremely intolerable home environment,” she grimly detailed.
“And,” Jessica described, “causing me great emotional turmoil.”
She added: “Financial strain from the beginning of the marriage.”
This strain, Jessica revealed, was “due to poor money management on part of the defendant.”
Dwight did not appear in court, but Jessica did.
They were both awarded the personal property already in their respective possessions.
Additionally, both Jessica and Dwight are responsible for any debts in their respective names.
Jessica and Dwight were married on May 18, 2019.
In court documents, Jessica listed the date of separation as April 16, 2021.
That puts them just over a month shy of two years together.
Jessica filed for divorce on the grounds of suffering “personal indignities.”
These indignities had the effect of “destroying the legitimate ends of the marriage.”
Jessica described it as a marriage “such that the Plaintiff can no longer reside with the Defendant as man and wife.”
Under Arkansas law, this specific terminology could range from rudeness to hate to abuse to neglect.
Dwight’s response to the divorce filing included an admission to “all of the allegations contained” in Jessica’s filing.
Additionally, he waived is right to “plead, answer, or appear” in relation to the divorce, including if there was a divorce trial.
This uncontested divorce included Dwight waiving his right to appeal.
This agreement of course removed many of the roadblocks and instances of red tape that normally drag out this process.
Many divorces last for a year or more (sometimes much more). This one lasted a month and a week.
As we mentioned, this sort of thing isn’t just rare among fundamentalist families.
There are cultures where divorce is uncommon due to social expectations and specific ideas about family.
But like everything else, ideas about marriage are taken to new extremes in fundamentalist circles.
Marriage is a commitment between two (and sometimes more) people, often accompanied by legal rights and/or a religious blessing.
Among fundamentalists, it is not just a vow before God, but a commitment made to God.
We’re talking about families where the children often marry at extremely young ages, like their late teens or early twenties, without ever really dating.
But Jessica is something of a “rebel” within that social sphere.
She works outside of her home — as a police officer. She dresses like a human being.
So it is only natural that she has sought to end a marriage that was making life unbearable.