Being charged with family violence charges in Texas could have a big impact if you’re going through a divorce.
In Texas, family violence is also sometimes known as domestic violence or domestic abuse. It occurs when an adult family member threatens or harms another family member. The adult family member may include:
- A partner or spouse
- An adult child
- An extended family member
- An adult who used to be a family member
The state of Texas takes family violence very seriously and provides victims of family violence with many legal protections. These include protective restraining orders against the spouse accused of domestic violence, which prevent them having any contact with their alleged victim.
Even more serious is being charged with domestic assault. If you’re convicted of domestic assault in Texas, you could find yourself facing years of jail time and big fines. You could also lose custody of your children.
Here’s a few examples of how a family violence conviction can affect your divorce:
A Family Violence Conviction Could Affect Who Gets Custody of the Children
Family violence charges will have a big impact on your custody and visitation rights. When determining custody and visitation rights, the judge is required to consider what is in the best interests of the child. Texas law often prohibits persons with a conviction for family violence from being awarded custody of their children.
A Family Violence Conviction Could Affect How Your Property is Divided
Texas is a community property state. When couples break-up, they generally divide the property they acquired during their years together equally, 50/50. However, if you’ve been convicted of family violence, the courts could change the balance to favor the family violence victim.
A Family Violence Conviction Could Reduce the Time it Takes for Your Divorce to Become Final
The Texas Family Code imposes a 60 day waiting period between the date a divorce petition is filed and the date the divorce becomes final. However, in cases involving family violence, this period can be reduced, giving the accused less time to mount a defense.
A Family Violence Conviction Affects More Than Your Divorce Proceeding
In addition to the negative impact on a divorce proceeding, having a family violence conviction on your permanent record could also affect your ability to get a job, qualify for a loan, and limit your educational opportunities.
Facing Family Violence Charges During Your Divorce in Houston? Protect Your Legal Rights
As you can see by the above examples, a conviction for family violence in Texas can have profound impact during a divorce. If you’ve been charged with family or domestic violence in Houston, you need to take immediate steps to protect your rights as a parent. Lisa Shapiro Strauss is an experienced family violence attorney who has successfully defended clients in Houston and Harris County charged with family violence, domestic violence and other criminal charges.
Contact the law offices of Houston domestic violence attorney Lisa Shapiro to discuss the facts in your case as well as possible defense strategies.