One of the biggest concerns that Texas parents have is losing custody of their children. Whether you plan to pursue sole custody or would be happy with joint custody that’s shared with the other parent, you have a good chance of getting it as long as you put the safety, health, and happiness of your kids first.

On the other hand, if there’s evidence that you’ve done anything that could hurt your children physically, mentally, or emotionally, this will reduce the odds that you get sole or even joint custody. As such, it’s important to learn what actions the court considers wrong for parents to take when it comes to custody.

Will Physical Abuse Affect My Child Custody Rights?

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but if there’s evidence that you have abused your children, you will likely lose custody. So, if you have physically injured your children by punching, pushing, slapping, whipping, choking, or otherwise harming them, you could be accused of child abuse and will lose custody.

Abuse is not always physical, though. You could lose custody if there is proof you have verbally or emotionally hurt your kids through shaming them, isolating them from others, or withholding affection. If you have exposed them to sexual abuse, you will likely also lose custody and could be criminally prosecuted in Texas.

Note that if there’s evidence of any type of abuse in your home – not just toward your children – you could lose custody. If you’re convicted of domestic violence for harming a significant other, parent, roommate, or another child, you likely won’t get custody of your children.

Will Child Neglect Reduce My Custody Rights?

If you have not taken care of the basic needs of your kids, you will not retain custody of them. Examples of child neglect include not providing the basics they need in life, such as sufficient supervision, healthy food, medical care, clean clothes, proper hygiene, and a safe living environment at home.

Child neglect can also refer to not meeting educational needs, so if you do not get your kids to school regularly, you could lose custody. Leaving young children home alone or in the care of harmful people can also qualify as child neglect.

Does Drug Use and Mental Health Affect Child Custody?

If you abuse drugs or alcohol, you could lose custody of your children. You would have to get treatment and show that you’re sober to get your custody rights back. Similarly, if you’re battling mental illness and have not been properly treated for it, you will lose custody if the condition is a safety risk for your children.

If you have questions or concerns about child custody in Texas, you need a lawyer. Contact us today at (817) 813-8513 to learn how to protect your custody rights.