A non-custodial parent in Dallas may get reasonable visitation rights to ensure access to the child. When a parent physically abuses a family member in the home it is called domestic violence. In cases of child custody and parents’ visitation rights, domestic violence can affect a judge’s decision. In Texas, the courts consider multiple factors when assigning custody and/or visitation and when revoking parental rights.
Can someone who has committed specifically domestic violence get visitation rights?
The simple answer to this question is yes. In some cases, parents’ visitation rights are awarded and enforced even after a parent has been charged with domestic violence. Texas courts strive to consider all aspects of a custody situation to determine what custody and visitation arrangement will best serve the needs of the child both physically and emotionally.
If the parent has been issued a protective order within the past two years, the courts cannot assign custody to that parent, and will take the circumstances of the protective order under advisement when considering parents’ visitation rights. A protective order is generally issued when the threat of ongoing violence is present. A history that involves a protective order can greatly affect visitation.
What effect does a history of violence have on parents’ visitation rights?
While Texas law prohibits a judge from assigning physical custody of a child to a parent who has a history of domestic violence within the past two years, visitation can be granted in some cases.
The court will consider the following factors affecting a child’s wellbeing in cases involving violence.
- Will the parent’s visitation with the child benefit the child in any way?
- Will visitation put the child in any type of physical or emotional danger?
- Has the parent received treatment or therapy or is he or she going to be required to complete a program prior to visitation rights being established?
In cases where there is some concern about the child when in the presence of the visiting parent, but visitation is still deemed emotionally beneficial for the child, the court can require that all visits are conducted in a controlled, supervised environment in the presence of another designated adult.
In supervised visitation agreements, the parent cannot be alone with the child. In addition, the court can order a parent to submit to psychological evaluation and/or attend a treatment program as a stipulation of the visitation terms.
Is it possible for parental rights to be terminated due to violence?
Yes, parental visitation rights can be terminated by the court if it is determined to be the best way to protect the child. This is a very extreme and somewhat rare occurrence, and typically occurs only after severe abuse. This might be the case if the parent abuses the child in question, harms another child, or even the child’s other parent. The court will determine if continuing the parent’s visitation rights is in the child’s best interests.
Should I hire a lawyer?
Visitation cases can be volatile and complicated, especially when there is a history of domestic violence involved. The typical parent is probably not aware of all the factors involved in determining and granting visitation.
A family law attorney can help you understand your rights and can assist you in navigating the court process. If you are involved in a child custody/visitation case in Texas, call Warren & Migliaccio in Dallas to review your case. If you are seeking parents’ visitation rights or seeking to restrict or deny visitation rights for another parent, call 888-584-9614 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.