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Knoxville Legal Blog

Child custody dispute over vaccination order

When parents divorce, they often have many crucial decisions to make about the future of their children. More often, parents can arrive at those decisions without the need for litigation or protracted courtroom battles. Nevertheless, even child custody decisions made outside a Tennessee courtroom need approval of a judge to be legally binding. One mother in another state recently lost many custody rights after violating such a court order.

Determining how the child will practice religion, where the child will attend school and when the child will see a doctor are all decisions parents may make gradually as the child grows. However, when legal custody is settled, many of those questions must be addressed ahead of time. The mother in this case had primary custody of their 9-year-old son, but she and her ex-husband had made many decisions about the best interests of their child.

Stalking: More than coincidental meetings

You had a friend you adored. You occasionally showed up at the end of her shift to see if she wanted to hang out. Other times, you'd bump into her at the store, since you live close together. You never meant any harm, and since you were both friendly to each other, you assumed everything was fine even when she'd tell you she didn't want to go somewhere with you or just wanted to go home.

It's not hard to imagine the shock you suffered when you found out you were being accused of stalking her. Instead of asking you not to visit at her job or taking the accidental meetings in local stores as a coincidence, she's convinced you are following her and won't leave her alone.

Drunk driving charges for man who hit police car

When a Tennessee driver is involved in an accident, he or she can usually expect to face many consequences and complications. There will likely be the bother of car repairs and higher insurance rates, which may seem pale if someone is injured in the crash. Perhaps complicating the situation even more is when the injured party is a police officer. One man is charged with drunk driving after an accident involving a patrol car.

Just after midnight on a Sunday morning, a police officer responded to a single vehicle accident in the northbound lane of a local highway. Upon arriving at the scene, the officer positioned his car across the northbound lane to alert oncoming traffic of the disabled vehicle. However, within a few moments, a car driven by a 29-year-old man is said to have crashed into the patrol car.

Study connects divorce to teenage drama

As if teenagers did not have enough making them feel insecure, a new study reveals that they may contribute to the demise of their parents' marriages. The study examined data collected by Dutch researchers to determine how children factor into their parents' divorces, and the results were surprising. Parents in Tennessee who are dealing with the drama of teen children may find the information useful in their efforts to preserve their marriages.

According to Dutch research, couples with girls between the ages of 13 and 18 have a 5 percent higher rate of divorce than those with teenage sons. Couples with girls in this age range -- particularly girls around age 15 -- have an 11.3 percent chance of splitting up. Dutch researchers and their American counterparts stop short of blaming the girls for the breakups, but they suggest that the typically tense relationship between teenagers and their parents may create tension of its own between the parents.

Man faces drug charges after multi-agency investigation

Investigations into the drug trade often involve numerous law enforcement agencies. Investigators also rely on information from those inside an organization and from civilian tips. Probable cause and search warrants may be obtained with the slightest evidence, and some police are not above using unethical means to improve the chances that a judge will grant such a warrant. Tennessee police recently arrested a man on drug charges and are not sharing how the investigation into his alleged activities came about.

Officials say an extensive investigation led to the search of the man's house and his subsequent arrest, but they declined to give details. Police reports show the search yielded 59 pounds of marijuana, $9,570 in cash and 10 guns. Tennessee authorities also confiscated a boat and a tractor from the man's property.

Child custody includes structure and cooperation

While many divorced Tennessee couples think the divorce was the most difficult thing to get through, they soon learn otherwise when the real work of co-parenting begins. Child custody agreements only go so far, and the nitty gritty of raising children in two separate households often requires a skillful balancing act. Some child experts have pinpointed the most common mistakes divorced parents make that add anxiety and frustration to their children's lives. Learning to avoid these mistakes may reduce the element of stress for the children.

One of the most difficult things for children to bear is to hear their parents arguing. When a child's belongings are divided between two households, disagreements about what things go where may be symptomatic of a power struggle, or they may be a very real issue based in financial struggles. Nevertheless, finding ways to avoid those confrontations is in the best interests of the children. It is especially important that children never hear one parent disparage the other.

Debunking 3 alcohol myths

Drinking and driving is a crime, yet people still do it and fairly frequently. Sometimes, people drive drunk because they're misinformed. There are many different myths about drinking alcohol that need to be debunked, from thinking coffee makes you sober to believing mixing drinks have no negative effect on your blood alcohol concentration.

Knowing the truth about these myths could help you avoid getting pulled over and breath tested. Here are a few myths that you should know the truth about now.

Man charged with drunk driving and child endangerment

Because of the potential dangers involved when a driver is impaired, the courts in Tennessee and other states typically impose harsher penalties after a conviction if children were involved in a DUI incident. In fact, in some situations, a simple DUI can quickly become a felony if a minor was in the vehicle. One local man was fortunate to have avoided an accident, but he now faces drunk driving charges complicated by the presence of his child in the vehicle.

A witness reported having to stop suddenly in an intersection to avoid colliding with another vehicle. The 45-year-old driver of the other car apparently did not yield at the flashing red lights and narrowly missed striking the the first car. Police say when they stopped the man, they noticed classic symptoms of a driver under the influence, apparently including an overpowering odor of alcohol.

Divorce doesn't have to mean tension for kids returning to school

The normal stress of the back-to-school season may be felt even more when parents are divorced. While support payments may cover typical expenses such as clothing and shoes, other expenses and decisions may become a source of contention if parents are not prepared to work as a team despite the divorce. As difficult as it may be, family advocates urge Tennessee parents to share as much of the planning and provide as much financial, administrative and emotional support as possible throughout the school year.

When the children come home from school during the first few weeks, they may have forms to complete, schedules to learn and lists of supplies to obtain. If both parents can be present when these materials are reviewed, they may find it easier to help the child stay on track as the year progresses. Additionally, the parents can agree on the best ways to split the cost of some expenses that the divorce order may not cover.

Drug charges filed after responding to a suspicious persons call

A recent call to police in Tennessee to report two suspicious people ultimately led to an arrest. Along with other charges, a man is facing drug charges after law enforcement searched his car. Reportedly, police responded to a store after receiving a call from the manager at 4:30 a.m. on a recent Saturday morning.

Soon after officers arrived at the store, they saw one man coming out and getting into the passenger side of a vehicle. When a second man exited the store, officers approached him, apparently leading the man in the car to escape on foot. Although one officer made brief contact with the fleeing man, he managed to get away. Officers say he ran across Interstate 40 and entered an area with dense woods on the opposite side.

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