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Should some child custody factors be out-of-bounds in a divorce?

Divorce litigation can involve some uncomfortable areas, such as cheating spouses. In a recent example, a spouse was on the verge of requiring the deposition testimony of the “other man.” Even though the state of the divorce filing allowed no-fault divorces, the spouse’s intent was presumably to portray the other parent as unfit for joint custody of their child because of the affair.

As a law firm that focuses on divorce and child custody, we know that passions can run high between divorcing parents. Since family law courts in Tennessee have discretion to consider nearly any factor that might be relevant to the best interest of a child, it’s possible that the deposition testimony would have asked pointed questions about the cheating spouse’s ability to provide a stable home environment for the couple’s children. Fortunately, the divorcing couple reached an agreement, and the deposition was cancelled.

We have helped many clients through the process of determining child custody and visitation arrangements. When possible, we try to negotiate with the other party outside of court. If the parties are able to reach a settlement out of court, they can spare themselves substantial costs and heartache. 

Indeed, a divorce court will likely be inclined to accept a proposed settlement agreement, provided that it is not disproportionately unfair to one side and that it promotes a child’s best interests. Our attorneys have also have familiarity with alternative dispute approaches, such as family law mediation. We can utilize that experience to help divorcing couples efficiently negotiate. 

Source: Courier-Journal, “Blues settle divorce without Charlie Strong,” Andrew Wolfson, Feb. 25, 2016