Couples in Louisiana obtaining a divorce can typically resolve a court proceeding not involving children within six to nine months, with some cases involving child support, custody, and visitation taking as long as a year to resolve. In some cases, when the couple agrees on most issues, a resolution can come even easier. In a divorce case for the record books, however, two law professors who were married to each other have been engaged in a protracted divorce and post-divorce courtroom battle that has lasted a total of 17 years — and it is evidently not done yet.
The court docket in the divorce proceeding and related cases currently contains over 1,400 entries detailing motions, hearings, rulings, and scheduling orders. The couple’s marriage, which began in 1986, lasted ten years. The divorce case itself took five years to resolve, after which the law professors squared off on a variety of post divorce matters, leading to the filing of no less than 28 cases involving various economic issues and issues relating to the custody and care of their two children.
The children were both very young when it all began, but they now are 20 and 17. Judges involved in the cases, in a number of instances, complained about one or the other party in the battle violated court rules or abused the court system.
The case has also involved a number of appeals, including two to a state Supreme Court which declined to get involved. Still pending is a case in which the ex-husband is raising three issues concerning items for which he believes that his ex-wife owes him money. The case is a cautionary tale, but involves a situation that few, if any, other couples will face. For almost all seeking a divorce, retaining an experienced divorce attorney and following her of his advice will result in a relatively quick resolution of all major issues.
Source: USA Today, “17-year divorce fight tests Ohio courts” Kimball Perry, Aug. 12, 2013