There is a strong presumption in Texas family law that it is in the child’s best interest for a parent to be awarded custody over a non-parent. In a recent case, a father appealed a judgment naming him joint managing conservator with the child’s maternal grandmother. A central issue in the case was the father’s argument that he should have been appointed the child’s sole managing conservator based upon the parental presumption.
Should a rapist have the right to custody of a child who was conceived by rape? The United States Senate recently answered—unanimously—“No!” to that very question when it passed an amendment to human trafficking legislation that would give states a strong incentive to ban rapists from having parental rights regarding a resulting child.
The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act passed the Senate 99-0 and targets a pressing problem: in 40 out of 50 states, a woman cannot sue to terminate the parental rights of her rapist. In those states, a rapist can sue for custody of a child conceived by the rape. That means that a woman could be forced to face her rapist “every other weekend” to exchange their child—an outcome that can have devastating traumatic results. Continue Reading ›