Divorce attorneys in Pasadena have seen too many couples end their marriages because of other legal issues like bankruptcy, fraud and domestic abuse. Country music singer
Rodney Atkins says it was his estranged wife's accusations of domestic violence that drove the couple to divorce. Recently, a Tennessee judge dismissed those charges.
Last November, Atkins was arrested at his home in Brentwood after his wife Tammy Jo told police he tried to suffocate her after a night of drinking. Tammy Jo Atkins told police that the couple had been arguing all night and that her husband was intoxicated. After he allegedly tried to smother her with a pillow, the next morning she said Atkins grabbed her face and shoved her. She says the alleged assault happened in front of their young son. He says the altercation was exaggerated. Now a judge has ruled Atkins will not be prosecuted on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge if he continues to meet court-ordered conditions.
On Wednesday, a Tennessee judge agreed to "retire the charge." This means it will be removed from Atkins' record provided he completes 30 hours of community service and stays out of trouble for the next 11 months and 29 days. Atkins, according to Attorney Rose Palermo, passed court-ordered anger management, drug and alcohol evaluations. Atkins has not admitted guilt as part of this deal.
Atkins, who exploded on the country music scene with platinum-selling No. 1 hits like "If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)"
and "Take a Back Road," and his wife are divorcing. In a statement from December, Atkins said it was his wife's allegations that led the couple to divorce. Palmero says the pair currently shares custody of their son Elijah and are working on a custody arrangement and divorce settlement.