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Does Domestic Violence Affect Divorce Proceedings?

Domestic and family violence can have a drastic impact on divorce proceedings. The state of Texas treats domestic violence accusations seriously, and the court will do what it can to ensure the safety of all affected parties.

How Domestic Violence Changes Divorce

Waiting Period

In Texas, couples are usually required to wait 60 days after filing a petition for divorce for the action to take effect. However, a judge will waive this requirement if:

  • one party has previously filed a restraining order against the other; and/or
  • one party or another household member has been convicted of domestic violence in the past.

Property Division

Texas is a community property state, which means a judge can divide property based on what they believe to be ‘fair and just.’ If one party has a history of domestic violence against any other household member, the judge could grant most of the property to the non-abusive spouse.

Child Custody

A judge will always rule in favor of what is in the best interest of the child. If one parent has a history of violence and/or abuse, it could be hard for them to obtain sole or joint custody of the child.

Spousal Maintenance

If a marriage lasted less than 10 years, a judge won’t normally grant spousal maintenance to either party. However, the judge may consider granting this award if:

  • there is evidence of domestic violence (within the last 2 years); and/or
  • one party is seeking support from the other and they were convicted or received deferred adjudication in a domestic violence case.

Protecting Your Rights

Domestic violence has the potential to seriously impact a family. If you are a victim of domestic violence and are seeking divorce from your partner, we will help you through the entirety of the legal process.

Call our firm today at (713) 903-8112 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.