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Legal Information: Texas

Custody

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Updated: 
April 10, 2018

If my child was conceived from sexual assault, can the parent (offender) get any rights to my child?

If the judge believes that your child (the one who the court case is about) was conceived due to sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault by the other parent (even if there was no arrest or conviction), the judge may not order joint managing conservatorship between the parents (the victim-parent and the offender-parent).*   In addition the judge could terminate the parent-child relationship with the offender-parent as follows:

  1. The judge has the option to terminate the parent-child relationship if all of the following are true:
    • during the two years after the birth of the child, the parents lived together or were married;
    • the offender-parent was convicted of a sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault that led to the child being conceived; and
    • termination is in the best interest of the child.** 
  2. The judge must terminate the parent-child relationship with the offender-parent if all of the following are true:
    • during the two years after the birth of the child, the parents did not live together and were not married;
    • the judge finds “clear and convincing evidence” that offender-parent committed sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault that led to the child being conceived but there does not need to be an arrest or conviction; and
    • termination is in the best interest of the child.***  

* Tex. Fam. Code § 153.004(b)
** Tex. Fam. Code § 161.007(b)
*** Tex. Fam. Code § 161.007(a)