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Sexual Assault and Child Custody: Understanding Your Rights under Texas State Law

Posted on in Child Custody

Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas complex custody lawyer, Texas is one of only a handful of states with a provision that is designed to protect sexual assault victims in the event that a child is conceived. This law allows women to seek termination of the father’s rights through family court. Unfortunately, there are some key flaws in this provision. On one hand, women may attempt to abuse the law and deny loving fathers the right to parent. On the other, victims may be denied their petition to sever parental rights and be forced to face their assailant. Regardless of which side of this law you fall on, it is critical that you understand your rights.

Petitioning for Termination of Parental Rights Due to Conception During Sexual Assault

If your child was conceived during a sexual assault, it is critical that you take the proper steps to terminate the assailant’s rights to the child. First, you must be able to provide proof that the rape or assault did, in fact, occur. This requires a guilty conviction, which must be obtained through a court of law. In addition, you must be able to provide proof that the child was conceived during the assault. Lastly, you must actively petition the court to have the rights terminated.

Keep in mind, however, that even when you have all of the required evidence, termination of parental rights is still left up to the judge’s discretion. If they do not believe that your attacker would harm your child, then they may consider it in your child’s best interest to allow visitation. If this happens, an attorney may be able to assist you in appealing the decision or modifying the visitation order. At the very least, they may be able to help you in working out an arrangement that could limit your contact with the assailant.

Defending Your Legal Right to Parent

While victims do have the right to protection from their assailants, there are some who may attempt to abuse the protection law. They may file a petition to try and terminate your rights, with or without a conviction, and could potentially have your rights temporarily denied or restricted. This can ultimately impact the child and their relationship with their biological father. The closer the bond, the more harm the temporary restriction or suspension of rights may have. As such, it is imperative that you take such accusations and petitions seriously and handle them swiftly.

Get Experienced Legal Assistance for Your Complex Child Custody Case

If you have received notice of a petition to terminate your parental rights because of an alleged sexual assault, it is critical that you seek skilled and experienced legal counsel for your complex child custody case. The same is true for sexual assault victims who have been petitioned for custody rights or wish to terminate rights before a request for visitation or custody is received.

At the Law Offices of William D. Powers, we understand just how emotional and complicated child custody cases can be, particularly those that involve sexual assault or an accusation of assault. Skilled in handling these sensitive cases, our compassionate Round Rock complex child custody law firm will aggressively represent you during a dispute and effectively argue on your behalf while preserving the best interest of your child. Schedule a initial consultation to get started. Call us at 512-610-6199 today.

 

Sources:

http://www.wltx.com/news/pregnant-through-rape-women-are-forced-to-share-child-custody-with-their-attackers/80675066

https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/faq/cs-parents-frequently-asked-questions#custody

http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/texas-rape-victims-may-be-vulnerable-to-attacker-filing-for-child-custody-ep-517754390-335824321.html

Tagged in: parental rights

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759