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Will My Husband’s History of Domestic Violence Affect Our Texas Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Sachse, TX domestic violence divorce lawyerWhen a marriage is affected by domestic violence, the divorce process can be affected beyond an immediate need for safety and protection. In Texas, even though it is a no-fault divorce state, a history of domestic violence can still change the outcome of divorce proceedings, especially for child custody. If you are getting a divorce and your husband has a history of abusing you or your children, let your lawyer know so that they can use this information to help you negotiate the terms of your divorce.

Can I Get Divorced if My Husband Is Abusive? 

Is your husband an alcoholic? Does he engage in extramarital affairs? These things might not matter in Texas when it comes to filing for divorce because the state follows strict no-fault divorce guidelines. This means that neither spouse must prove anyone did anything wrong to get a divorce. But while spouses cannot give domestic violence as the official reason for a divorce, domestic violence will still influence other aspects of the proceedings, particularly child custody.

Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody?

In child custody cases, the court’s biggest concern is the best interest of the child. When domestic violence is present, it is clearly bad for a child’s well-being and safety. As a result, a history of domestic violence can affect custody decisions in the following ways:

  • Presumption against an abuser – Texas courts generally assume that it is in a child’s best interest to have frequent and meaningful contact with both parents. However, in cases where there is evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, there is a presumption against the abusive parent; this means the abusive parent has to prove custody and visitation would be good for a child.

  • Protective orders – If an individual has obtained a protective order against their abuser, it will likely be able to be used as evidence in divorce proceedings. These orders are meant to keep an abused individual and their children safe, and the orders can be powerful evidence when making custody and visitation agreements. 

  • Impact on parenting ability – A history of domestic violence can influence the court’s opinion of an abusive person’s parenting ability. The abusive behavior may be seen as a lack of impulse control with the potential harm to the child, including an inability to provide a safe and stable home. The court may give the non-violent parent sole custody to keep a child safe.

Contact a Sachse,TX Divorce Attorney

If you have been affected by domestic violence and are getting a divorce, contact the skilled Cook County divorce lawyer with the Law Office of Brian Bagley. Call 972-422-2424 for a free consultation. 

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