Domestic Abuse Protective Order
Domestic abuse is a common cause of divorce in Dallas. In these cases, the court may enter a temporary divorce orders that include a protective order, often called a ‘retraining order’. This order typically awards possession of the marital residence to one party, and enjoins the parties from harassment and physical or emotional abuse.
The application should allege acts of “family violence” as grounds for a protective order, such as:
- An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, other than defensive measures to protect oneself.
- Abuse by a member of the family or household toward a child of the family or household
Terminating Paternal Rights
A court may order termination of the parent-child relationship if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that termination is in the child’s best interest, and the parent has done either of the following:
- Knowingly placed or knowingly allowed the child to remain in conditions or surroundings that endanger the child’s physical or emotional well-being.
- Engaged in conduct, or knowingly placed the child with persons who engaged in conduct, that endangered the child’s physical or emotional well-being. Clearly situations involving domestic abuse would be serious areas of concern for the courts regarding these factors.
Furthermore, abuse of someone other than the child in question, often the other parent or one of the child’s siblings, may be grounds for terminating parental rights under. In order to support termination, the domestic abuse of the sibling or other parent must be found to endanger the child in question either physically or emotionally. In one case, for example, the abuse of a daughter in the presence of a son that resulted in the daughter’s death and abnormal fear and anxiety of the son was sufficient to terminate the parents’ rights over their son.
False Allegations Of Abuse
If a party to a pending Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) makes a report alleging child abuse by another party and the reporting party knows the report lacks a factual foundation, the court is required to deem the report to be a knowingly false report.
If the court makes this finding, it is required to impose a civil penalty of up to $500. In addition, if the court finds that a party made a false allegation of child abuse or neglect, the court may impose any civil sanction permitted by law, including attorney’s fees, costs of experts, and any other costs.