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August 14, 2013 2:21 PM ‘Til Death Do They Part: The Longest Divorce

By Daniel Luzer

Sometimes a lawyer’s got to know when a case is over and it’s time to give it up.

For two law professors in the Cincinnati area, however, there’s one they’re just not letting go.

Christo Lassiter and Sharlene Boltz were married in 1986. They’re both lawyers. Lassiter teaches law at the University of Cincinnati and Boltz is a law professor at Northern Kentucky University. They’ve basically been getting divorced for 17 years.

USA Today reports that:

[The] fight has been so acrimonious that it’s resulted in rare instances of judges sharply rebuking the pair. One judge noted the ex-spouses are both law professors and, by their actions in court, are teaching future lawyers how to ignore court rules and make a mockery of the legal profession.
“I am really shocked, because when I was in law school my professors were outstanding. They never would have told me that behaving the way you all have, both of you, over the past 20 years, is acceptable behavior,” Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Leslie Ghiz told the attorneys in a July hearing.

The pair’s divorce lawsuit involves more than 1,400 entries filed. A typical divorce tops out at about 400.

A lot of the problem seems to involve their children, now 17 and 20 years old. Both lawyers have had and lost custody and have extensive financial squabbles seemingly with regard to child support.

“Both parties have behaved in an appalling manner, and both parties are harming their children,” the court of appeals apparently wrote in 2003. The lawyers are also accused of extensively manipulating the court system.

According to the article, a normal divorce case in which the couple has children is over within a year.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

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