How Domestic Violence Can Impact a Texas Child Custody Case

Marriages and relationships have their ups and downs. Sometimes, disagreements and heated arguments can sometimes become physical.

In Texas, domestic violence—also known as family violence—occurs when a household member causes or attempts to cause physical harm or threaten harm on another member of the family.

A domestic violence charge or arrest can have a negative impact on your personal life and professional reputation. In addition, it can jeopardize your ability to obtain child custody.

According to Texas law, parents with a history or pattern of being physically or sexually abused are prohibited from obtaining joint conservatorship in a child custody dispute. Additionally, such parents are not even allowed to have possession of a child if domestic violence occurred within the previous two years.

However, abusive parents may still obtain custody rights and access to their children if the judge finds:

  • The presence of the parent does not endanger the child’s physical and emotional health.
  • It would be in the child’s best interest if the parent has access or visitation
  • There is a visitation order designed to protect the child
  • The parent is ordered to complete a treatment program and supervised visitation

Supervised visitation means a parent must have a designated adult present whenever he/she sees the child. While the state courts presume supervised visitation is in the best interest of the child due to the parent’s abusive history, the parent has an opportunity to prove that the abuse is not an ongoing issue.

In a worst-case scenario, the court may terminate an abusive parent’s parental rights. However, this only occurs when the parent seriously injures or sexually assaults a child.

Just because you have been arrested for domestic violence, doesn’t mean that you are guilty. There are many situations where one parent accuses the other of domestic violence in order to gain an upper hand in child custody proceedings.

If you have been accused of domestic violence in Texas, our Fort Worth criminal defense and family law attorneys at The Clark Law Firm can protect your rights, reputation, and future from false accusations. We have a comprehensive understanding of both the criminal justice and family law legal systems.

Do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a free consultation today.

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