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Does domestic violence affect custody rights?

Family courts throughout the country, and particularly in Texas, prefer to leave children in the care of their parents if they can justify doing so. However, instances of domestic violence do factor into the courts' decisions. If you have concerns about your ability to retain custody of your children because of volatility in your household, you may want to consider the legal tools you have to protect yourself, your child and your rights as a parent.

If a court sees evidence that your child is in danger under your care and believes that you cannot properly protect him or her, you face the possibility of losing custody. A single instance of domestic violence may demonstrate this in the eyes of the court, but it is more likely that a court to takes action after a pattern of conquering behavior emerges.

If a court suspects you of perpetrating the abuse, there is a much higher likelihood of receiving restricted custody. If the abuse occurs at the hands of some other party, the courts may simply impose limitations on the time that child may spend with the abusive individual. You may consider using a restraining order to reinforce your boundaries and keep your child safe.

Domestic violence and other forms of abuse are not something you should tolerate, for either yourself or your children. Carefully explore the tools and support that are available to ensure that you can provide a healthy, safe life for the children you love. Protecting them from volatile people and situations to the best of your ability is a good way to keep them safe and secure.

Source: FindLaw, "How Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody?," accessed June 15, 2018

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