Child custody is frequently one of the most challenging aspects of divorce. But child custody questions can be even thornier when domestic violence was involved in the family’s relationships. Learn more about this topic below, and if you have questions, our child custody lawyers in Dallas can help with your divorce and child custody questions today.
Child Custody And Domestic Violence In Texas
Domestic abuse that occurred in the home will almost always be exposed and presented to the Court during a Texas child custody proceeding. If it is confirmed by the Court that a party committed domestic violence, it can permanently affect which parent obtains primary custody of the child. Depending on the severity of abuse, the abuser could have very limited visitation rights—or even a complete loss of parental rights in extreme circumstances.
When the judge sets up orders for child custody, the goal is, broadly, to determine what is in the child’s best interests. Texas has two major aspects to child custody: (1) conservatorship, and (2) possession and access.
Conservatorship addresses the rights to make educational, religious, medical, and other major decisions for the child. Possession and access are related to how often each parent will have the child with them. If one party has a history of domestic violence, the judge will consider this when deciding on issues of child custody.
Further, the Texas Family Code prohibits the judge from making the parties joint managing conservators if there was sexual or physical abuse by one party against the other parent or child. Further, the Court can order a severely restricted possession schedule for a parent who has a family violence history in the previous two years or sexually assaulted or abused the child.
A history of domestic violence will limit the parent’s chances of being a child’s sole managing conservator. However, the abusive parent could still get custody rights and access to the child in these circumstances:
- The parent’s visitation or access will not endanger the physical and emotional health of the child.
- The parent’s visitation or access is in the child’s best interests.
- A visitation order exists that effectively protects the child (which could include supervision of that parent’s access to the child).
Contact Our Child Custody Lawyers In Dallas Today
If there was domestic violence in the home, it can affect the court’s child custody decision. Retaining an experienced child custody attorney to assist you in this type of case is essential. Contact our child custody lawyers in Dallas at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson for assistance at (214) 273-2400 today.