A typical divorce without children can be completed in six to nine months, while one involving children, custody and visitation can be completed in a year. However, this was not the case for two law professors who have engaged in a 17-year legal fight over their divorce and other related issues. The feud has drawn unusual criticism from judges in southwest Ohio who say the pair set a bad example.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the feud has lasted seven years longer than the couple’s marriage and included fights over custody of their children.
Judges hearing the case complained the professors broke rules or abused the system. One said the pair should be ashamed and called it “frightening” that they teach law students.
Christo Lassiter, 56, is a law professor at the University of Cincinnati, while Sharlene Lassiter, 52, now known as Sharlene Boltz, is a law professor at Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law. The couple was married in 1986, and after 10 years of marriage, they called it quits but have done so in such a hostile way that judges have scolded the pair during the numerous hearings.
One judge noted the ex-spouses are both law professors and, by their actions in court, are teaching future lawyers how to make a mockery of the legal profession.
Not so for Lassiter and Boltz. The filings have included Boltz calling the police to Lassiter’s workplace several times; both having and then losing custody of their two children, now ages 20 and 17. It also involves several complaints by judges presiding over the case that the law professors, who they say should know the rules of the courts, repeatedly violated those rules.
While the divorce itself was concluded after five years, the ex-spouses have been involved in at least 28 other cases against each other – including two that went to the Ohio Supreme Court, which declined to hear them.