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Ex wants custody on my 5 yr old daughter, he has domestic violence from 2003, he hit his mom, will that hold in court in 2012?

Lubbock, TX |

He was charged and convicted of Asslt w/bdly injury on a family memeber in 2003. Can I use that against him in a court room in 2012?

Attorney Answers 4


All history can be used by your attorney. Speak to your family law attorney.

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A conviction for a family violence assault is always indicative of a person's potential for doing violence to others, but this conviction is 9 years old and it was not against your child or against you. In the courtroom, the Court has discretion to hear all sorts of evidence to assist it in determining the best interest of a child, but it is important to remember that just because something is legally admissible in evidence, it doesn't mean that much weight will be given to that evidence in determining best interest. judges are not required to tell how much weight they give a particular item of evidence, and they rarely do. The Texas Family Code provides that the Court should give consideration to any acts of family violence occurring within the 2 year period immediately preceding the filing of the lawsuit, so my best guess is that while his conviction is relevant and probably admissible, the Court will be much more interested in your ex's actions in the years since 2003. As always, your own lawyer can give you the best advice, so I urge you to hire one if you haven't already. I wish you the best.

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The general rule is that criminal matters over 10 years prior to the case are not admissible in evidence. 2003 is under the wire. However, seeing the actual police reports and and criminal case pleadings and orders will give you a better idea of how "valuable" this even is. In Illinois, we have a domestic battery statute where all you need to do is touch the tip of your finger to the other person while in an argument with them and you can be charged with domestic battery. The photos in the police report may also be of value as there are injuries and there are injuries, some times it is a matter of his not having proper counsel at the time he was charged. Texas being a state with statutes, case law and the old civil code you really need counsel to evaluate your use of the old charge.

This is a general answer and does not address the specifics of your individual case. To give the specific answer you need our firm needs you to come in for a consultation.

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You should pose this question to your family law attorney. Good luck to you.

No attorney/client relationship is formed between the attorney responding to this question and the individual asking the question.

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