When will a judge refuse to appoint an abusive parent as a joint or sole managing conservator?
A judge may not appoint joint managing conservatorship between the parties if s/he finds that there is:
- a history or pattern of child neglect;
- a history or pattern of physical abuse or sexual abuse of a parent, spouse or child; or
- if the judge finds that the abusive parent committed sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault that led to the child being conceived (even if there was no arrest or conviction).1 Note: The judge can place other restrictions against a parent who committed sexual assault that led to the child being conceived. See If my child was conceived from sexual assault, can the parent (offender) get any rights to my child? for more information.
If any of the above are true, the judge will also assume that it is not in the child’s best interest for the abusive parent to be a sole managing conservator or to be the conservator who has the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of a child. However, that parent has the right to present evidence to try to change the judge’s mind.1
1 Tex. Fam. Code § 153.004(b)