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How Family Violence Claims Can Affect Divorce and Child Custody

Dec 24th 2014 at 3:19 AM

There are a number of serious issues that have to be considered when it comes to divorce and child custody. One of those issues is whether there has been violence in the family. If either parent has been shown to be violent to the other parent or to the child, that parent may not be able to get custody. He or she may even struggle to get unsupervised visitation rights, because family violence is considered significant in cases where child custody is being decided. Many divorcing couples have children, and claiming family violence can change the nature of their divorce proceedings.

Cases where family violence is cited are not "beyond a reasonable doubt." Instead, just seeing that there is a preponderance of the evidence is enough for the court to determine that family violence has occurred. Beyond a reasonable doubt means 99% sure, while a preponderance of the evidence only requires a surety belief of 51%. It is also not necessary to have a criminal court convict someone of family violence for it to be a believable factor in a divorce or child custody case. Some people will claim this type of violence in order to try to get custody, even if the violence did not occur.

Limited visitation is all that will be granted to you if you are deemed to have committed family violence. Additionally, the property division that is part of your divorce settlement may be affected. The court system is very careful about erring on the side of caution, so as to reduce the risk to the other parent and the child. Protective orders and other restrictions are frequently issued in cases where there has been alleged family violence, which can come as a shock to the accused parent. Something as simple as yanking an object out of the other parent's hands has been judged by the court to be family violence, so it takes very little to provide evidence that meets that standard.

Anyone who has been found to have committed family violence, even if was a very minor thing, can struggle with that stigma for a long time, at least in the eyes of the court. Family violence is not something a person can just "get out of" once it has been claimed and found to be accurate by the court. Unfortunately, many people make this claim just to get the upper hand in their divorce or child custody case.

About Walters Gilbreath, PLLC

Texas family law is a highly complex subject that touches every aspect of our personal lives. Selecting a lawyer who will stand by your side during a divorce or family custody battle is a decision that will affect you and your loved ones for the rest of your lives. Walters Gilbreath, PLLC is a full-service law firm dedicated to serving families throughout Texas in legal matters involving divorce, child custody, property division, and more. With offices in Houston and Austin, Brian Walters and Jake Gilbreath have specialized knowledge of family law, Texas Family Code in particular, and have defended and prosecuted hundreds of cases in the Texas state courts. The attorneys at Walters Gilbreath, PLLC understand the importance of winning your case and will do everything they can to get the right outcome. Brian and Jake focus their practice on handling legal matters as quickly and efficiently as possible – while ensuring that their clients emerge with the best possible outcome. Tough Lawyers – Smart Results.

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