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McKinney Family Violence Attorney
While the grounds for seeking to modify a child custody order are limited, cases of family violence are a clear exception to the general rule that custody orders should be considered final. If your child has reported abuse, or if your child is exhibiting physical or emotional symptoms of abuse after spending time with his or her other parent, our attorneys can act quickly to help you secure legal protection.
Protective Orders and Custody Modifications in Cases of Family Violence
In Texas, the legal mechanism for preventing ongoing family violence is a “protective order.” The Texas family courts will issue protective orders against abusive parents in any situation where:
- Family violence has occurred; and,
- Family violence is likely to occur in the future.
In cases of family violence against children, judges can issue Protective Orders that prohibit further acts of family violence, prohibit communication between the abusive parent and the child, prohibit the abusive parent from going near the child’s home or school, and establish parental rights regarding possession and visitation.
If necessary, our attorneys can help you seek a temporary protective order on an emergency basis. This temporary order will be valid for up to 20 days. To secure ongoing protection, during this 20-day period we can work with you to present a compelling case for a final protective order. Final protective orders are typically valid for two years.
In addition to seeking necessary protective orders, we can also file to modify your current custody arrangement. The Texas family courts allow for modification of custody under limited circumstances, including in cases of family violence. While the courts generally favor allowing children to spend time with both parents (as this is generally viewed as being in a child’s “best interests”), extricating a child from an abusive situation takes priority over virtually all countervailing considerations.
Can I Keep My Children Away from Their Other Parent?
This is a difficult question that requires a careful assessment of the circumstances at hand. If you have a child custody order that entitles your former spouse or partner to custody or visitation, keeping your children away from their other parent can potentially have negative legal repercussions. However, protecting your children’s safety is obviously a top priority, and the Texas courts focus on protecting the children’s best interests in all custody-related matters. Before you do anything, we encourage you to contact us so that we can explain your options and help you make an informed decision.
Should I Call the Police?
If your child has been abused, or if you are concerned about possible abuse, you absolutely should call the police if you feel that it is necessary to do so. However, you should also keep in mind that the options available to the police are limited – and this is why the legal mechanisms for obtaining protective orders and child custody modifications exist. For legal advice from an experienced family violence attorney, please contact us for a free consultation.
Contact a McKinney Family Violence Attorney for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation
To speak with a McKinney family violence attorney at Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC about your situation, please call (214) 726-1450 or contact us online. If we are not available immediately, we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.