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Ex-surgeon, estranged wife square off in Texas court

A divorce case involving accusations of domestic violence, drug abuse and hidden funds is playing out in a Texas family court, with the initial hearing over child visitation foreshadowing a potentially salacious divorce trial.

One on side is a prominent former hand surgeon. On the other is his wife, who admitted on the stand that she is involved in a romantic liaison with a former Houston Astros player.

The first day of the hearing addressed child visitation, and each side tried to portray the other as less than fit to care for their two children, a girl, 8, and a boy, 5. The husband said he has not had access to his children as frequently as he should have and asked the judge to terminate required supervision during his visits.

The man said that the armed security guards and the supervisors who attend each of his visits frighten his children. He also said that his estranged wife has denied him visits and phone calls and that she leaves the kids with nannies and engages in a drug-filled lifestyle.

The woman has admitted using cocaine in the past but said it was her husband who provided it. She said her estranged husband has a temper and should not see the youngsters without supervision. She contended he has beaten her, but he was found not guilty of felony assault in connection with a fight at their home in 2010.

She said she has not used drugs since 2009. She also acknowledged that she is involved in a relationship with the former Astros player, saying they love each other.

No matter what the issues between parents, it is wise in court to remember that their children are of the utmost importance and to keep their best interests in mind. It would be better for the children if they didn't hear their parents trading accusations.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Browns argue over child visitation on first day of divorce hearing," Mike Tolson, May 15, 2012

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