Taking Legal Challenges Head-On

What are my custody options if I am a victim of family violence?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2023 | Child Custody

Many relationships in Kaufman County end because one of the parties has been physically abusive either to their romantic partner or to one of the children.

Not surprisingly, victims of abuse may worry a great deal about what will happen to their children and them. They may be concerned that their abusive partner will continue to harm their children and be a threat to their own safety.

While some Texans might feel like they are forced to stay in or return to a harmful relationship, this decision may not feel safe. Another option is for the person to fight hard for their custody rights in court so that the abuser must leave them alone.

As a reminder, in Texas, custody is called “conservatorship”, and visitation is called “access”.

Texas law offers protections for victims of family violence

As is the case in other states, Texas law provides victims of family violence protection in custody proceedings.

Judges can and do consider a person’s history of abusive behavior when making custody decisions.

Texas judges must consider evidence of abuse against either a child or a parent if that abuse happened within two years of the court case being filed.

It is important to remember that parent who committed the abuse does not have to have been convicted of a crime or even arrested.

Once the judge is convinced that abuse happened, the judge may not give the abuser legal decision-making authority over the child.  Furthermore, the abuser will have to convince the court that they should even be allowed to see the child.

While there are protections for Texas abuse victims available, importantly, a victim will have to prove their case to the court. Doing so will take a thorough investigation and careful preparation.