Texas Family Code
Sec. § 153.004
History of Domestic Violence or Sexual Abuse


(a)

In determining whether to appoint a party as a sole or joint managing conservator, the court shall consider evidence of the intentional use of abusive physical force, or evidence of sexual abuse, by a party directed against the partys spouse, a parent of the child, or any person younger than 18 years of age committed within a two-year period preceding the filing of the suit or during the pendency of the suit.

(b)

The court may not appoint joint managing conservators if credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect, or physical or sexual abuse by one parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a child, including a sexual assault in violation of Section 22.011 or 22.021, Penal Code, that results in the other parent becoming pregnant with the child. A history of sexual abuse includes a sexual assault that results in the other parent becoming pregnant with the child, regardless of the prior relationship of the parents. It is a rebuttable presumption that the appointment of a parent as the sole managing conservator of a child or as the conservator who has the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of a child is not in the best interest of the child if credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect, or physical or sexual abuse by that parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a child.

(c)

The court shall consider the commission of family violence or sexual abuse in determining whether to deny, restrict, or limit the possession of a child by a parent who is appointed as a possessory conservator.

(d)

The court may not allow a parent to have access to a child for whom it is shown by a preponderance of the evidence that:

(1)

there is a history or pattern of committing family violence during the two years preceding the date of the filing of the suit or during the pendency of the suit; or

(2)

the parent engaged in conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 21.02, 22.011, 22.021, or 25.02, Penal Code, and that as a direct result of the conduct, the victim of the conduct became pregnant with the parents child.

(d-1)

Notwithstanding Subsection (d), the court may allow a parent to have access to a child if the court:

(1)

finds that awarding the parent access to the child would not endanger the childs physical health or emotional welfare and would be in the best interest of the child; and

(2)

renders a possession order that is designed to protect the safety and well-being of the child and any other person who has been a victim of family violence committed by the parent and that may include a requirement that:

(A)

the periods of access be continuously supervised by an entity or person chosen by the court;

(B)

the exchange of possession of the child occur in a protective setting;

(C)

the parent abstain from the consumption of alcohol or a controlled substance, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, within 12 hours prior to or during the period of access to the child; or

(D)

the parent attend and complete a battering intervention and prevention program as provided by Article 42.141, Code of Criminal Procedure, or, if such a program is not available, complete a course of treatment under Section 153.010.

(e)

It is a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interest of a child for a parent to have unsupervised visitation with the child if credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect or abuse or family violence by:

(1)

that parent; or

(2)

any person who resides in that parents household or who is permitted by that parent to have unsupervised access to the child during that parents periods of possession of or access to the child.

(f)

In determining under this section whether there is credible evidence of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect or abuse or family violence by a parent or other person, as applicable, the court shall consider whether a protective order was rendered under Chapter 85, Title 4, against the parent or other person during the two-year period preceding the filing of the suit or during the pendency of the suit.

(g)

In this section:

(1)

"Abuse" and "neglect" have the meanings assigned by Section 261.001.

(2)

"Family violence" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.004.
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 774, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 787, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 586, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 642, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Amended by:
Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 907 (H.B. 1228), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.
Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 907 (H.B. 1228), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 99 (S.B. 495), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.
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Jun. 9, 2018