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Legal Information: Texas


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December 2, 2019

What factors will a judge look at when deciding if a parent who committed violence or sexual assault can get sole or joint managing conservatorship (custody)?

Whether or not an abusive parent can become the joint or sole managing conservator may depend on how long ago the domestic violence or sexual assault happened. If a parent is filing for sole or joint managing conservatorship, the judge will look at:

  1. whether during the two-year period of time before filing for conservatorship (or while the court case is pending), the party who is applying for conservatorship was physically abusive or sexually abusive towards:
    • his/her spouse; 
    • a parent of the child; or
    • any person under 18 years old;1 and
  2. whether at any time before filing of the petition (or while the court case is pending):
    • a final protective order was issued against either party; or 
    • either party engaged in a history or pattern of family violence, child abuse or child neglect.2

1 Tex. Fam. Code § 153.004(a)
2 Tex. Fam. Code § 153.005(c)