Select your state


family violence

The terms “family violence” and “domestic violence” include felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by (1) a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; (2) a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (3) a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; (4) a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the state or jurisdiction; or (5) any other person—when the violence is committed against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the family or domestic violence laws of the state or jurisdiction.

During a divorce, one spouse sometimes alleges the other spouse has committed family or domestic violence against the spouse or the spouses’ children.

Allegations of family or domestic violence are especially serious and the courts treat them as such—often involving child protective services when there are children involved, and the district attorney’s office, which may result in the filing of criminal charges.

A spouse who reports the other spouse’s family or domestic violence may unexpectedly face allegations and charges for participating in, facilitating, or failing to stop or previously report such behavior, allowing it to continue. And it is a criminal offense to intentionally make a false report of family or domestic violence to gain advantage in a child custody or divorce lawsuit, for example.

In an emergency, victims of domestic violence should call 911 or contact state or local law enforcement officials, who can respond to these crimes. Persons in need of non-emergency assistance can also all the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or visit

In Texas, 'family violence' and 'domestic violence' encompass a range of violent crimes committed by individuals in close relationships with the victim, including current or former spouses, intimate partners, cohabitants, and others as defined by state law. During divorce proceedings, allegations of such violence are taken very seriously and can involve the intervention of child protective services and the possibility of criminal charges by the district attorney's office. Texas law also recognizes the gravity of false allegations of family or domestic violence, which can be criminally penalized if made intentionally to influence a custody or divorce case. Victims of domestic violence in Texas are urged to contact emergency services through 911 for immediate assistance or reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline for support in non-emergency situations.

Legal articles related to this topic