EVIL Julia Merfeld des­perately wanted out of her failing marriage, but instead of just dumping her husband, she hired a hit man because “it was easier” than getting a divorce.

Thankfully, her sinister plan fell apart when the “hit man” turned out to be an undercover cop – and now the 21-year-old vixen is behind bars.

Julia and her husband, Jake, 27, had been married for four years and had two young kids together. But Julia wasn’t happy, so she decided to approach a co-worker about having Jake killed.

Along with getting rid of her un­wanted husband, authorities say she was also after a $400,000 life insurance policy Jake had from his days as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard.

When the co-worker realized Julia wasn’t joking, he went to the police in Muskegon, Mich., where Julia and Jake lived.

A police officer posing as a hit man met with Julia in his car for two days in April, recording their conversations for evidence.

In the video, Julia can be seen giggling and laughing as she told the cop she’d pay him $50,000 out of the proceeds of the insurance policy if he killed Jake.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time,” she said.

When asked how she wanted the crime committed, she non­chalantly replied: “Whatever’s easiest. If you can get him out­side that would be great ’cause it would be messy in the house.”

During a follow-up meeting, Julia showed up in a Bat­man sweatshirt and pink sweatpants and asked the cop to kill Jake “on a Thursday” because that’s the day she works. At that point, she gave him a $100 down payment.

She was arrested soon after and charged with solicitation to murder.

“Terrible as it sounds, it was easier than divorcing him,” Julia later ex­plained. “You know, I didn’t have to worry about the judgment of my family. I don’t have to worry about breaking his heart, all that stuff.”

Incredibly, Jake has not only forgiven Julia, but he pleaded with the judge to go easy on her at her sentencing.

“I wholeheartedly forgive my wife for all she has done in this act of hatred,” he said. “I know that my wife is a wonder­ful person. She is a godly person.”

Julia tearfully told the judge: “I know what I did was wrong, and I take full responsibility for it. My tears are not for pity. My tears are for remorse.”

But Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson noted: “I wonder how remorseful she would be if the (murder) had been carried out, if she had gotten the $400,000.”

In the end, Julia pleaded guilty and was sentenced to at least five years and eight months, but no more than 20 years, behind bars.