The Woodlands High Conflict Custody Attorneys for Physical or Emotional Abuse
Divorce and custody battles can be highly emotional and contentious, especially if there is a credible allegation of physical or emotional abuse. Texas law carries severe consequences for parents shown to have a history or pattern of physical or emotional abuse, which can make the difference in joint or sole conservatorship being granted.
If you and your former spouse are engaged in a high conflict custody battle involving an allegation of physical or emotional abuse, you need a knowledgeable child custody attorney experienced in high conflict custody disputes. The Woodlands high conflict custody attorneys at BB Law Group PLLC have made it our mission to help parents like you in these challenging situations. We care deeply about our clients, and like them, we want what’s best for their children. That’s why the high conflict custody attorneys at BB Law Group PLLC will stop at nothing to protect your children and advocate for your rights.
When your child’s safety and well-being are on the line, do not depend on just any attorney to protect their future. Contact BB Law Group PLLC today at (832) 534-2589 to speak with one of our dependable high conflict custody attorneys about your situation.
How Is Child Custody Determined in Texas?
According to Texas law, the court’s primary consideration for determining child custody (called conservatorship in Texas) is the child’s best interest. Furthermore, Texas public policy aims to:
- Assure the child has frequent and sustained contact with both parents, assuming they have shown the ability to act in their child’s best interest
- Provide a safe, stable, nonviolent environment for the child
- Encourage parents to share in the rights and responsibilities of raising their child
With these principles in mind, Texas law does not favor one parent over the other in determining conservatorship and possession of the child. Typically, the court will name both parents as joint managing conservators. Joint managing conservatorship means that parents share in the decision-making regarding their children on issues such as education, healthcare, and religion.
However, certain factors may compel the court to rule otherwise and grant one parent sole managing conservatorship. A sole managing conservator has the exclusive right to make decisions regarding their child. Typically, the court will name the other parent as possessory conservator, which confers rights for possession of or access to (in other words, visitation) the child but without a final say in decision making.
The court also requires both parents to enter into a written agreement called a parenting plan, which outlines conditions for conservatorship, possession, and modifications.
How Can Accusations of Physical or Emotional Abuse Impact Custody?
A credible allegation of physical or emotional abuse can significantly impact a child custody battle.
Suppose there is credible evidence of a history or pattern of past or present abuse by one parent against the other parent, a spouse, or a child. In that case, the court may not permit both parents to be appointed joint managing conservators. Instead, the court will assume, unless proven otherwise, that naming the non-abusive parent as the sole managing conservator is in the child’s best interest.
Furthermore, the court may restrict, limit, or outright deny the abusive parent’s possession or access to the child. However, if it would not endanger the child’s physical or emotional health and is in the child’s best interest, the court may still allow access to the child with restrictions, protections, or supervision.
What Is Physical or Emotional Abuse?
Physical or emotional abuse looks different in each family. Parents, spouses, and children can be victims of physical or emotional abuse.
Examples of physical or emotional abuse of adults (called family violence) in the Texas penal code include:
- Intentional physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault to another member of the family
- A threat that reasonably elicits fear of imminent harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault
- Action that caused a protective order to be issued in the two years preceding the custody suit
Examples of physical or emotional abuse of children in the Texas penal code include:
- Intentional bodily injury to a child
- The genuine threat of physical harm to a child
- Failure to prevent physical injury by another person to the child
- Mental or emotional injury to a child that impairs the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning
- Exposing the child to unhealthy situations that harm the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning
- Sexual conduct harmful to the child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare
- Failure to prevent sexual harm to the child
- Encouraging or compelling the child to engage in sexual conduct
How Do I Prove Physical or Emotional Abuse?
Allegations of physical or emotional abuse in a high-conflict child custody battle must be proven with evidence. An experienced high conflict custody attorney can help you gather compelling evidence such as the following:
- Medical records showing physical signs of abuse
- Contemporaneous records of abuse, such as in a journal or messages to a friend or family member
- Police reports of family violence or abuse
- Parent’s criminal history
- Photos showing evidence of abuse, such as bruises, cuts, etc.
- Text messages or recorded calls, or videos
- Testimony of the abuse victim (including the child)
- Testimony of a professional, such as a teacher, nurse, doctor, day-care employee, another healthcare employee, or juvenile detention or probation officers
Contact a High Conflict Custody Attorney for Physical or Emotional Abuse Today
If you or your child experienced physical or emotional abuse and you are now seeking custody, you need an experienced, compassionate attorney to fight for you and your child’s best interests and safety. Parents in The Woodlands, Texas, turn to BB Law Group PLLC for help when they need it the most. Contact BB Law Group PLLC at (832) 534-2589 today to speak with our skilled, caring lawyers about your high conflict custody case.