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Dispute about visitation rights leads to shooting in Tennessee

Courts in Tennessee believe in shared parenting and prefer to award joint custody to both parents in the case of a divorce or a separation. In Clarksville County, judges try to reach a fifty-fifty arrangement in a parenting plan whenever possible whereas other county judges prefer to have one primary custodial parent and grant visitation rights to the other. However, these arrangements only apply to cases where the presence of neither parent is detrimental to the best interests of the child.

While it is universally acknowledged that a child custody arrangement should be mutually agreed upon, there are a number of instances where the disputes have gotten out of control to a great extent. A recent incident in Tennessee displays the extent of this bitterness while permitting visitation of a non-custodial parent. In Knoxville, Tennessee, a man and his companion were shot at by another man when they went to meet the victim's ex-girlfriend to discuss child visitation arrangements.

The victim and his companion were lucky to escape with only minor injuries. According to them, upon arriving at the apartment complex where the ex-girlfriend lived, a man emerged from a nearby apartment, threatened them and fired a handgun. According to Knoxville Police, the shooting was related to a dispute about visitation rights. The suspect has been identified. It is expected that the investigation will shed more light on the incident.

Disputes related to family laws cannot be resolved in this manner. More often than not, they have adverse effects on the parents. More importantly, disputes over custody and visitation take a severe emotional toll on children. In some cases, parents may wish to engage in mediation, which will ultimately be beneficial for the child.

Source: WATE, "Child visitation dispute leads to shooting near Knoxville apartment," Jan. 15, 2014

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