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Court of Appeals awards child custody to ex-prostitute

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has granted primary custody of two children to an ex-prostitute, who is the mother of the children. The award reversed a previous ruling by the Hamilton County Juvenile Court. According to the higher court, the lower court's ruling to strip the mother of her custody rights was made because it believed that she was still working as a prostitute, in spite of evidence proving that she had left the profession.

The mother of the children, who received her master's degree and is currently employed as a social worker in Nevada, was formerly employed at a prostitution facility known as the Moonlight Bunny Ranch in Nevada. Before that, she lived with her husband and her children in Chattanooga until the couple went their separate ways in November 2010.

After the breakup, the mother went to university in Ohio, and with primary child custody, she had her children for approximately two-thirds of each year. However, in March 2013, the father learned that his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his children had been working as a prostitute. In response, he filed for primary child custody in Hamilton County.

In court, the mother testified that, yes, she worked as a prostitute, but that was because she needed to pay of $33,000 worth of medical bills. Also, she pointed out that her ex owed her $10,000 in back child support. She also said that her children were not present when she was employed as a prostitute, and that she has since quit the job, earned her master's degree and was employed as a social worker. She presented proof of employment, degree status and other information to the court.

This case -- and the fact that the mother of the children did receive child custody in the end -- is an excellent example of how different courts, and different judges, can have different opinions about cases. Sometimes, if a case is lost in a lower court, it can be successfully appealed by the losing party to receive a fairer judgment that is more closely in alignment with the facts of the case.

Source: timesfreepress.com, "Tennessee court gives former prostitute primary custody of her children," Oct. 31, 2016

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