Domestic Violence Bill in Texas

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013 in Divorce, Domestic Violence | 1 comment

The growing number of domestic violence cases in the state prompted Texas lawmakers to pass a bill that would track repeat offenders and make it available online.

The Domestic Violence Registry, presented as House Bill 21 to the Texas House of Representatives and co-authored by State Representatives Jason Villalba and Trey Martinez Fischer, has passed muster. While it may be too late for thrice-victimized family members, the registry will be a valuable resource for people who may be considering becoming involved with these offenders once it is enacted.

Domestic violence is perhaps one of the most disturbing of all offenses, because it involves inflicting pain and suffering on family members. According to the website of the BB Law Group PLLC, victims of domestic violence are primarily spouses, but children also fall prey to abusive family members. Domestic violence is defined in the Texas Family Code Section 71.004 as the threat or actual inflicting of bodily injury, physical harm, sexual assault or assault on a member of the household.  According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, in excess of 177,000 cases of domestic violence were reported in 2011. Of these 40% was directed at a spouse, 16% against a child, and 44% against other members of the household.

The registry may also be a convincing piece of evidence against the offending spouse in child custody, spousal support and protective order issues in divorce cases. It is essential that access of the offender to children in a divorce is restricted. Moreover, victims of domestic violence are dependent on the offender for their financial support, so the process of divorce would present a hardship for the family. Judges consider the fact of domestic violence in their awarding of spousal support.

Divorce cases involving domestic violence are extremely complex; there are many legal considerations when settling major issues such as child custody and spousal support in Texas. Consult with a domestic violence lawyer specializing in divorce cases to increase the chances of getting a fair and just divorce settlement.

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