DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & CHILD NEGLECT
A history or pattern of family violence by one of the parents of the children must be considered by a court in making a custody decision. The court must consider evidence of the intentional use of abusive physical force by a party against that party’s spouse, a parent of the child, or any person younger than 18 years of age, in determining whether to appoint the offending party as a sole or joint managing conservator of the child. The court may not appoint a parent as a joint managing conservator of the children if “credible evidence” is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect, physical abuse or sexual abuse by one parent against the other parent, a spouse, or a child. The court must also consider acts of family violence in determining whether to deny, restrict, or limit the possession of a child by a parent who is appointed as a possessory conservator of a child. It is a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interest of a child to have a parent who has a history of child neglect or physical or sexual abuse against the other parent or against a child to be appointed as a joint managing conservator of the child or as the parent who has the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of the child, or even to have unsupervised visitation of a child. T.F.C. § 153.004. Whether a protective order was rendered against a parent within the two-year period preceding the filing of the custody case, or during the case, must be considered by the court in deciding whether there is a history or pattern of child neglect or physical or sexual abuse against the other parent, a spouse, or a child.
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