How Domestic Violence Allegations Factor into Custody Cases in Dallas

When your child’s other parent has been physically violent towards you or your child in the past, it can be scary to think what might happen once custody is determined and your child is ordered to spend a portion of time with that parent alone. Fortunately, just an allegation of domestic violence can protect your child. The Dallas courts do not take domestic violence allegations lightly, and if one parent believes that the other poses any sort of threat to the child’s wellbeing, either physically or emotionally, the courts will take immediate action to limit that parent’s involvement for the time being. If you are in the midst of divorce and your spouse is physically abusive towards you and/or your child, inform your child custody lawyers right away. At Clark Law Group we use this information to fight for full custody on your behalf and to ensure that your child does not end up in the wrong hands.

What an Allegation Means in Terms of Custody

Because domestic violence is becoming a national crisis, many states have enacted a presumption of domestic violence, which means that the abusers past and future potential actions have the ability to harm the child. Section 153.004 of the Texas Family Code states that,

“The court may not appoint joint managing conservators if credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect, or physical or sexual abuse by one parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a child, including a sexual assault in violation of Section 22.011 or 22.021, Penal Code, that results in the other parent becoming pregnant with the child.”

It goes on the say that it is presumed that custody or visitation of any kind shall not be appointed to any parent that has evidence against them of past or present domestic violence, sexual abuse, or neglect.

However, in Texas, credible evidence must come from within two years of filing for custody. Furthermore, the state of Texas does allow an abusive parent to file for visitation at a later date if:

  • The court finds that awarding the parent visitation would not endanger the child;
  • The visitation is supervised;
  • The exchange of custody occurs in protective setting;
  • The parent abstains from drugs and alcohol for at least 12 hours prior to visitation; and
  • The parent attends and completes a battery intervention and prevention program.

Of course, the judge will use his or her discretion to determine whether or not the parent is ready for and deserves visitation rights—supervised or not.

Consult a Dallas Family Law Attorney

At the law offices of Clark Law Group, our Dallas child custody attorneys fight to ensure that your child is not put in a situation that may endanger his or her physical or emotional well-being. If you allege that your spouse is physical abusive, we will make sure that the judge is aware of this belief and that he or she gives it proper consideration when making the final custody determination.

Likewise, if you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf to ensure the allegations are not given any precedence.

To consult with a compassionate family law attorney regarding this difficult time in your life, call Clark Law Group at (214) 438-1152 today.

(image courtesy of Aaron Burden)

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