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Tennessee court to try to bring six-year divorce trial to an end

It is no secret that divorce proceedings can be emotionally charged, especially when couples have to make decisions about property division and child custody. One couple is awaiting a decision from the Tennessee Court of Appeals after a six-year divorce battle.

The couple actually met on the West Coast. The two had a child and then got married, immediately after the husband divorced his second wife. The two then moved to Germantown, Tennessee where the wife gave birth to their second child. But in less than five months, the husband decided to file for divorce.

That was back in the spring of 2005. Two years after that, a Circuit Court Judge awarded primary custody of the two children to the husband. The wife was given supervised visitation and alimony while she transitioned from the marriage. The divorce proceedings could have come to a close.

But since then, the divorce decree has been contested and is now in the state appeals court. Though details are not given, it appears that there have been accusations flying back and forth between the two sides. The trial has been dragged on for so long that there are 35 volumes of court transcripts documenting testimony from 30 witnesses and over 100 exhibits.

This divorce, described as contentious by the appeals court, is clearly emotionally charged. But one issue that was raised by one of the psychologists who examined the couple is how this entire process is affecting the children. The psychologist notes that the children's lives have been full of instability and emotional trauma ever since their birth.

Though the Tennessee Court of Appeals typically does not take jurisdiction over cases like this, the court made an exemption in order to end the litigation.

Source: The Daily News online, "Six-Year Divorce Case Picture of Judicial Ineptness," Bill Dries, 13 April 2011

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