Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Longest Divorce Case Continues Past 17 Years

"Contentious and acrimonious," Judge Says

Take heart if you feel like your divorce has been dragging on for months. One couple’s divorce took 17 years to make its way through the court system.

That’s right, a whopping 17 years, though you shouldn’t fear that your divorce will take this long. Unless you and your divorcing spouse are law professors.

Why So Long?

What many are saying is the longest divorce case ever involves two law professors in Ohio. The marriage between Christo and Sharlene Lassiter lasted 10 years and the actual divorce took five years, but both have now been involved in 28 other related court battles against each other that continue to this day, according to The Cincinatti Enquirer.

What Did the Courts Do?

“This court has not seen many domestic relations cases more contentious and acrimonious ... than this case,” wrote judges from the 1st District Court of Appeals in Ohio in 2002.

“The parties, who are both law professors and who ought to know better, engaged in thoroughly inappropriate behavior that was detrimental to the resolution of their case and to the welfare of their children for which both claimed to be primarily concerned,”

The judges made those statements in 2002.

Marriage Lasted 10 Years

The Lassiters married in 1986 and began divorce proceedings in 1996.

Christo Lassiter, 56, is a law professor at the University of Cincinnati. Sharlene Lassiter, 52, remarried and is now known as Sharlene Boltz. She is a law professor at Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law.

What Took So Long?

You may wonder what took so long for their divorce proceedings to finalize. Obviously, both parties couldn’t agree on a host of issues. According to the report in The Cincinnati Enquirer, the couple battled over child support, child custody, their kids’ education and various other issues. Still outstanding is the issue of whether Lassiter owes his ex-wife any money.

Could This Happen Again?

The fact of the matter is that there is no typical divorce case. A myriad of factors affect how long it will take for a divorce case to become final. Most divorces can be finalized within a year, or two at most.

Photo credit: Monik Markus


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