How Does Family Violence Impact Child Custody?

Child Custody Lawyer

If you are getting divorced and there has been family violence involving the parties, it will always come up during child custody proceedings. Family violence, sometimes called domestic violence, can greatly affect which parent is awarded primary custody, how much possession the other party has of the children, and what rights a court can order between the parties.

If you have questions about how family violence can affect child custody, our Dallas child custody lawyers can help.

Child Custody Laws In Texas

Texas divides what many other states call “child custody” or “custody” into (1) possession and access, and (2) conservatorship. “Possession”, generally speaking, means where the child will be or which parent the child will physically have the child at a given time. Generally, access means how often and when a child can see the other parent, be it in person, telephonically, or virtually. Possession and access often operate in tandem, but not always.

On the other hand, conservatorship refers to the parents’ legal ability to make psychological, medical, religious, legal, educational, and other decisions for their child. Parents to whom the rights are allocated are considered to be in a “joint managing conservatorship.” If only one parent has these rights, there is usually considered a “sole managing conservatorship.”

In a case involving family violence, this is a critical distinction. If the Court finds that family violence has occurred, this factors into its determination of the child’s best interests.

In some cases, a parent with a history of domestic violence issues having a relationship with the child may not be seen as in the child’s best interests. In others, the abusive parent may still be able to have limited visitation rights.

Family Violence And Child Custody In Texas

It is important to remember that the Court will hear the evidence and make a determination of whether it believes that family violence has occurred or not.

According to the relevant parts of the Texas Family Code, the Court cannot name both parents as joint conservators of the child if one is found to have a pattern of emotional, sexual, or physical abuse or violence against anyone in the home.

However, the Family Code does allow a parent with a history of family violence history to have limited rights to custody and visitation or to be named as a “possessory conservator.”

Contact A Child Custody Lawyer In Dallas

If you are divorcing with children, custody issues are often contentious. Things get more complicated when family violence is a part of the picture. If you have custody issues with your ex-spouse, talk to the child custody lawyers at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson. Whether you are seeking to limit your ex-spouse’s access to the children as a result of family violence or you have been accused of abuse, you may need legal assistance to protect the rights of you and your children.

We can help you to resolve your child custody and visitation concerns in a way that is best for you and your children.  Our child custody attorneys serve the cities of Dallas, Frisco, and San Antonio. Please contact our Dallas child custody lawyers at (214) 273-2400.