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Attorney Bob Huddleston: Conflict is Costly

Sometimes couples who have a child split up. When the parents disagree about how parenting time should be arranged and the best way to parent or raise their child, emotions run high. Tennesse law says that courts SHALL order a custody arrangement that permits both parents to enjoy the maximum participation possible in the life of a child consistent with a child’s best interest. Why? Because when parents don’t agree on what’s in their child’s best interest then a court, having no interest in the outcome other than following the law, has to made the decision.

Choice #1: Agreement

If the parents can come to an agreement on the issues surrounding their custody and visitation issues, then that is almost always the best (or close to it) way for the matters to be resolved. Co-Parenting classes, counseling focused on how to communicate with each other as parents in a healthy manner, and mediation are all valuable tools available to parents who both believe it could work. Call around and ask about pricing for Co-Parenting counseling and discuss it with the other parent. Talk to some mediators certified in family law issues, and work with the other parent to find a counselor and/or mediator that you both feel comfortable with. Those services are not free, but they are substantially less expensive than the cost of lawyers, court costs, and everything else that comes with taking a case to trial.

Choice #2: Trial

The legal process is costly. It costs money, time, emotional energy, lost wages, and lost value in relationships. Most parents, understandably, have a tendency to focus on the financial costs. However, a contested matter that involves extensive discovery seeking the contents of text messages, emails, social media communications, employment and banking records, and depositions with teachers, doctors, and others with any information that may help a parent *WIN* the legal case can leave emotional and psychological scars for years. Not only on the parents but on any children – especially if a child is called to testify (and both parents are required to leave the hearing during that testimony, leaving only the judge, lawyers, and the child in the court.

EXCLUDE ANY CONFIDENTIAL INFO! The opposing party may have already contacted us. Just provide us with enough info to help us determine what you are seeking to accomplish, the type of case you are dealing with, your name and the names of everyone you believe might be a party to the case or witness for a party to the case, where those people live, and where the child(ren) has lived for the past 5 years. YOU DO NOT HAVE ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE until we have confirmed that representing you will not create a conflict with prior clients or with anyone who has received a consultation from Midsouth Family Law, Midsouth Advocates, or Bob Huddleston.

Include names, addresses, phone numbers, ages, social media pages, employer of any adults who you think will be involved in any litigation. For any children, include their dates of birth and give a timeline of their addresses over the past five years.

If you have documents, including screen shots of social media posts, text messages, emails, etc., please make sure you tell us what they are and, in your opinion, what they show or tend to prove.

Let us know whether you are interested in scheduling a consultation after we’ve reviewed what you’ve sent us. If you do, we’ll get back with you promptly and make sure to get you on the calendar.

Thanks for reaching out to us!