When Michigan couples divorce, it is up to them to decide how pleasant or acrimonious they wish the proceedings to be. For the most part, couples can choose how to approach a divorce or child custody dispute and this approach will set the tone for the whole process.
One Midwest couple is drawing criticism from judges and the legal community for their 17-year divorce case. Judges say that the case is one of the most contentious they've ever witnessed. The ex-husband and wife are both law professors, which makes their abuse of the legal system even more disappointing. Judges themselves have filed complaints against the couple stating that they should know better given their understanding of court rules and procedure.
The domestic battle has officially lasted seven years longer than the actual marriage. The divorce itself only took five years, while the remainder of the time has been post-divorce suits, including child custody and child support disputes. But even at five years, the divorce lasted much longer than average for divorces that involve children.
Throughout the course of the lawsuits, both the mother and father have been awarded custody of their two children, and also lost custody. The children are now grown-ups, ages 20 and 17. Although both parents say their goal throughout was to be good parents, it's hard to reconcile that with such an excessive timeline. There is yet another hearing scheduled for September.
Money is certainly important during divorce and child custody matters. Parents need to meet the financial needs of their children. But when money becomes more important than the children, that is an issue.
Source: USA Today, "17-year divorce fight tests Ohio courts," Kimball Perry, Aug. 12, 2013