August 16, 2013

Midwestern divorce case spans 17 years and counting

When two law professors from nearby Midwestern universities entered court to end their marriage in 1996 after a 10 years together, they had the rare benefit of extensive legal knowledge and experience with their state’s courts. However, judges have chastised the former couple, who are still fighting it out in court 17 years later, their divorce lawsuit accruing over 1,400 entries in that time. At one recent hearing, a Common Pleas Court judge chided the pair for making a mockery of the legal system and teaching future lawyers and judges that the way they have conducted their dispute constitutes “acceptable behavior.”

While some particularly bitter Michigan divorce cases do result in numerous post-divorce lawsuits, legal experts agree that a battle of nearly two decades would be exceptionally unusual for the state’s family courts. In most cases, even fiercely combative ex-spouses can resolve their issues in a matter of months. According to one legal expert, a typical divorce involving issues of child custody and parental rights takes about 12 months to reach completion. Of course, Michigan residents who retain experienced, reputable divorce attorneys maximize their chances of a timely and satisfying result.

The two professors’ marriage was officially ended after five years in court, but prompted at least 28 subsequent lawsuits connected to the divorce. Two of those cases sought an audience with the state’s Supreme Court, though it chose not to hear them.

Over the course of their 17-year dispute, both law professors have received complaints and admonitions by judges who claim they have attempted to circumvent and outright violated court rules several times. The case has also prompted several police visits and turned the pair into local celebrities among domestics relations attorney.

If you are considering a divorce, contact an experienced divorce attorney. Your attorney can provide information and advice on such important matters as child custody and support, alimony and property division. This will allow you to make crucial decisions that will affect your future and the future of your children.

Source:, “Court calls law profs’ 17-year divorce fight ‘appalling’” Kimball Perry, Aug. 12, 2013