Divorce was not meant to be made into a lifelong process that consumes one’s life. Judges and most good lawyers in Texas and throughout the country seek to achieve fair settlements and then see their clients move on to new lives and new beginnings. Unfortunately, there are some who would abuse the system. They can be from any walk of life, but the story today deals with the least likely of couples: formerly married law professors who’ve had various aspects of their divorce and custody case continuing for the past 17 years and it’s still going!
Most of the judges who’ve had to deal with these two feuding legal minds have rebuked them sharply for disregarding the ethical values of the profession. The judges have expressed shock and one said it was ‘frightening’ that the two professors are teaching law. Judges have complained that the law professors, who should know the court rules, repeatedly violated those rules and misused the system.
The ex-husband is a law professor at the University of Cincinnati. The ex-wife is a professor at the Chase College of Law at the University of Northern Kentucky. Typically, a divorce without children can be completed in six to nine months, and one involving kids and custody can be completed in a year.
While their divorce was concluded after five years, the ex-spouses have been involved in at least 28 other cases against each other. The ex-husband told reporters that he didn’t deserve the criticism and instead blamed judges for not cracking down on what he said were improper activities by his ex-wife. To some extent, he may be correct, based on the intense criticism made by judges against the ex-wife’s exclusion of the father from his children.
Nonetheless, in Texas and elsewhere this is not the intended use of the divorce process. The bickering here points to intense personal animosity and a basic failure to appreciate and use common sense, good manners and a cooperative framework of negotiations in resolving family law issues. Perhaps that’s why they are in academia and not out practicing in the trenches: they wouldn’t know how to negotiate a resolution to the simplest of matters.
Source: USA Today, “17-year divorce fight tests Ohio courts,” Kimball Perry, Aug. 12, 2013