Tennesee Husband and Wife have two young boys.
Schoolteacher-intern Wife had affair with former student.
Husband was convicted of shooting and killing Wife’s former student.
Husband was convicted of reckless homicide. Sentencing is pending.
Previously, the Court ordered that Husband and Wife should have equal timesharing with their sons. Then Wife secretly left the area with the children and allegedly was involved with other teenaged boys.
More recently, Wife’s contact with the children was restricted by court order, presumably both for her previous flight and for her exercise of poor judgment with teenaged boys.
And Husband’s contact with the children was also restricted by court order, due to the reckless homicide of which he was convicted.
The Husband was deprived of contact with the children for a year.
As a result of both parents being barred from contact with the children, the Court awarded temporary custody of the boys to the Husband’s mother and sister.
The Court’s charge of determining what is in the best interests of the children is more challenging in this case than in most. So the Court tapped some expert assistance.
The Court appointed a guardian ad litem for the children. (A guardian ad litem is a lay advocate for the best interests of children.)
The Court also appointed a psychologist for the children.
The guardian ad litem recommended more and less restrictive contact between the children and their father.
The psychologist conducted two therapeutically-facilitated visitations between the children and their father.
After the second session, the therapist also recommended both more and less restrictive contact between the children and Husband (now ex-husband).
For the moment, that means visitations that are not supervised by a therapist, but that are supervised by another adult relative.
The Wife has had one therapeutically-supervised visitation with the children.
In time, barring the unexpected, visitation with Husband, at least, would likely be progressively less restrictive.
Husband’s sentencing is coming up early next month. His sentence could range from probation to four years’ incarceratoin.
Thereafter, the family Court will have to decide what is in the best interests of the children with regard to permanent custody of them.