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Historic Ohio Divorce Dispute Drags Into its Seventeenth Year

Published on 08/21/2013 -

By

Two law professors have entered the seventeenth year of an epic divorce battle, but a wave of criticism from judges could eventually end the matrimonial dispute, according to a report from ABC News.

The former partners, Christo Lassiter and Sharlene Boltz, are also both law professors, which makes their prolonged dispute even more fascinating.

Law Professors Fight Divorce Case for 17 Years

According to reports, the couple was married for 10 years, but their divorce dispute has now lasted seven years longer than their marriage.

Remarkably, their divorce case has more than 1,400 entries, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Much of the acrimony arising from the divorce was due to the couple’s intense child custody fight, according to sources.

Their children, however, are now ages 17 and 20, so the issue of custody may no longer be their primary concern. Indeed, sources also note that the couple is battling over money, and some observers also speculate that their status as law professors has them battling for pride, too.

But Ohio judges are tired of their act. “It is frightening to this court that either is teaching current law students the boundaries and ethics of our profession,” said Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Leslie Ghiz said during a hearing in July. “Both should be thoroughly embarrassed and ashamed.”

Before Judge Ghiz expressed her disgust, the Ohio First District Court of Appeals wrote in 2002 that the court had “not seen many domestic relations cases more contentious and acrimonious.”

The court also said the parties “engaged in thoroughly inappropriate behavior that was detrimental to the resolution of their case.”

Divorce Litigants Defend Their Lengthy Divorce

While Ohio courts ask that the couple simply hire some local divorce attorneys and end the process, Lassiter has defended his actions by saying he and his former wife were treated poorly by the local courts.

According to Lassiter, a professor at the University of Cincinnati, if a court had “stepped in and resolved the major issues cleanly and early, there would not have been voluminous” legal filings.

Lassiter also says that he has been motivated by a desire to be a good parent, not a thirst for revenge. Reporters were unable to reach his former wife for comment.

But despite Lassiter’s claims, Judge Ghiz says both Lassiter and his former wife should be punished by the Ohio State Bar Association because their divorce has taken several times longer than the typical dispute, and the parties have shown no interest in resolving the argument any time soon.

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