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Custody in fault-based divorces

Dallas Child Custody Attorneys Fighting to Protect Parental Rights in Divorce Proceedings

While many people who decide to seek a divorce in Texas proceed on no-fault grounds, Texas does permit people to seek fault-based divorces. Parties in fault-based divorce actions rarely see eye to eye, and their disagreements are often contentious. While allegations of fault may impact parties’ rights with regard to the division of assets and spousal maintenance, they will not impact custody determinations unless they could affect the child’s health or safety. If you are involved in a fault-based divorce and you have questions about how it could alter your parental rights, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney. The proficient Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group can address your concerns regarding custody in fault-based divorces and aid you in fighting to protect your parental rights.

Custody In Fault-Based Divorces

Pursuant to the Texas Family Code (the Code), in any divorce action in which the parties have minor children that were born or adopted during the marriage, the suit must include a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. In other words, if a couple with children decides to divorce, it is mandatory that their divorce action incorporates an action to determine parental rights.

The Code allows parties to pursue a divorce on the grounds of insupportability, which is the term Texas uses for a no-fault divorce. This means that the courts can grant divorces without regard to fault if there is discord or a personality conflict between the parties that precludes any reasonable expectation that they will reconcile. The Code also allows for fault-based divorces on grounds including cruelty, adultery, confinement in a mental hospital, abandonment, or felony conviction.

Under the Code, the court is mandated to consider various factors in determining custody, irrespective of the grounds for divorce. Notably, the Code emphasizes that the best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration in custody determinations. In evaluating what is in a child’s best interest, the court will assess factors such as the child's physical and emotional needs, each parent's ability to meet those needs, the stability of the home environment, and the child's preferences if they are of sufficient age and maturity.

In fault-based divorces, however, the court may also consider the conduct of each parent and the reasons for the divorce when determining custody. For instance, if one parent is found to have engaged in behavior deemed harmful to the child, such as family violence, the court may view that parent as less suitable for primary custody or unsupervised visitation. Similarly, if a parent is incarcerated or confined in a hospital for mental health issues, the court may have concerns regarding the parent’s ability to care for the child safely and may limit their conservatorship or visitation rights.

Conversely, actions that may be grounds for granting a fault-based divorce but do not impact whether a parent has a healthy and nurturing relationship with their child, like adultery, are unlikely to affect custody determinations.

Talk to a Trusted Dallas Child Custody Attorney Today

It is not uncommon for parties to want to assign blame to one another for the end of a marriage, but even if the court determines one party bears the fault for the downfall of a relationship, it may have little impact on their parental rights. If you want to learn more about custody in fault-based divorces, it is wise to talk to an attorney without delay. The trusted Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group can evaluate your case and guide you through the process of seeking an outcome that benefits your child while protecting your parental rights. Our primary office is in Dallas, and we have a Collin-County office, which is located in Plano, where we are able to meet clients by appointment. We regularly aid people in custody cases in Dallas, McKinney, Fort Worth, Frisco, Rockwall, Irving, Richardson, and Garland. We also represent people in other family-law matters in cities in Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, Collin, Tarrant, and Grayson. You can reach us by calling 214.692.8200 or by using our form online to set up a conference.

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"McClure Law Group was very professional and responsive. They listened to my concerns and desires as it pertains to the service requested and I'm very pleased." Jade Nguyen
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"The McClure Law Group helped me through a very difficult divorce and they definitely had my back every step of the way. I couldn’t recommend the team enough!" Shell A.
"I could not be happier to have had McClure Law. I truly appreciate their accessibility and patience. I can tell they are very knowledgeable, and I trust their guidance. I am SO thankful I went with great lawyers to handle my family case." Victor Lollar
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