It has been our experience here at The Law Office of Roland R. Esparza, P.C. that when child custody disputes arise between San Antonio couples, almost nothing is considered to be “out of bounds.” The high levels of emotion involved in these cases can often lead people to suggest that their ex-spouses pose a risk to their children. Some may even make accusations of child abuse. If this has happened to you, know that the Texas Family Code has policies and procedures in place to help determine the validity of such an accusation.
As is the case in many criminal investigations involving alleged child abuse, the best method for the court to prove child abuse charges brought up during a custody case may be to speak directly to the child involved. According to the law, the court can interview a child privately in chambers as to any issue related to a suit that potentially affects the parent-child relationship. The court may choose to do so in your case by its own ruling, or by a petition submitted by:
- The amicus attorney (the attorney appointed by the court to protect your child’s best interests)
- Your child’s attorney ad litem (the attorney appointed by the court to represent your child)
You, either of the aforementioned attorneys or your child’s court-appointed guardian (if he or she has been assigned one) may be present for this interview.
If it is determined that the accusations made against you do not have any evidence to support them, the court impose a fine of up to $500 against the party that made them. The evidence of a false report may also be admissible in your suit for custody.
More information of court guidelines for child custody hearings can be found here on our site.