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Child custody may be severely limited regarding convicted father

Child custody cases in Texas share similar procedural and substantive legal rules with all other states. The recent case of a disgraced former Congressman, including his divorce and child custody problems with his spouse, would likely play out under the same set of principles in this state. The couple's divorce case recently moved toward closure as the defendant husband admitted to criminal behavior involving illegal texting with a minor.

The former U.S. Congressman is Anthony Weiner and his estranged spouse is Huma Abedin. Weiner's wayward life brought the emails on his computer into suspicion during the last presidential race, and the investigation, made just before the election, is said by some political observers to have swayed the results. Recently, Weiner went before a court to plead guilty to criminal charges regarding his liaison with a 15-year-old girl to whom he sent obscene text messages.

The couple have a 5-year-old boy who is reportedly very close with Weiner. Although the media has long predicted a child custody battle, there will be little chance of Weiner obtaining any real shared custody rights for the immediate future. His conviction makes him a sexual predator who will have to register when he begins to serve his probationary period.

In such matters, if a father is legally determined to be a sexual predator, that father will likely have little contact with the minor child or children, at least until some years have passed. According to child custody experts, Weiner will be lucky to get supervised visits with the child on a limited basis. The mother, who has done nothing wrong, is now in the driver's seat regarding child custody. If the couple retains a line of civilized communications between them, however, the father may get more in the way of contact with his child than he could have legally expected. The same outcome is likely under the laws of Texas.

Source:, "Weiner coming clean about sexting will hurt child custody chances", Dale W. Eisinger, Nancy Dillon and Larry McShane, May 20, 2017

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