By: Leslie Barrows
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Protective Orders in Texas for Family Violence and Domestic Violence Regardless of Filing for Divorce
Protective Orders in Texas: You Do Not Need to be in a Divorce
If you meet the legal conditions required for a Texas Court to issue a protective order, regardless of whether you are married to the other person or are married and have not otherwise filed for divorce. There are requirements that must be satisfied before the Court may issue a protective order. The conditions of protective orders in Texas are serious, and if you violate protective orders in Texas for family violence and domestic violence, you can end up in jail and face a variety of consequences.
People applying for protective orders in Texas for family violence and domestic violence, when they are concerned with their safety and the safety of their children, can file for a protective order on an ex-parte, emergency basis, when appropriate, so the other person does not know about it until the court issues the order.
Texas family law regarding protective orders for family violence and domestic violence is complex and involves a variety of moving parts that can affect people differently based on the facts of their situation.
Not Married, or Not Ready to File for Divorce?
All over Texas, there are people living together in all different types of relationships. Some are married and living together, while others are unmarried and living together with or without children. While common-law marriages can be established, some people do not wish to be married and continue in their relationships as singles.
Married may have a variety of reasons they do not want to get a divorce, although they need a protective order. For example, a spouse battling disease and addiction might need professional help. A strong spouse who wants to make sure the other gets the help they need may seek a protective order to temporarily remove the other from the house. While you usually can’t force your spouse to get help, you can use the Court to protect yourself and your children if necessary.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a great resource. Call the hotline 1-800-799-7233.
Qualifying for a Protective Order in Texas for Family Violence and Domestic Violence
Protective orders in Texas are serious. The consequences of violating them are serious. Asking a court to order exclusive possession of a residence is serious. Because protective orders are serious, there are specific legal requirements and findings the Court must make in order to issue protective orders in Texas for family violence and domestic violence.
The safety of people and children are the focus on most applications for protective orders in Texas for family violence and domestic violence. Allegations of family violence and domestic violence are set forth in the application which states the nature of the relationships between the individuals and what happened. After a hearing on the application, the Court may make its findings and enter the protective order.
Contents of Protective Orders in Texas for Family Violence and Domestic Violence
A Texas Court issuing a protective order has the discretion to prohibit someone from engaging in certain conduct. Most protective orders state that one of the parties must stay away from others protected in the order. The order can grant exclusive possession of a residence. The order can also require another to pay for the support of another party or a child, and the possession and access to that child may also be ordered. Possession of certain property, such as a vehicle can also be contained in a protective order in Texas.
Requirements in the protective order in certain circumstances can be the completion of family violence prevention programs as well as orders to consult with mental health and other relevant professionals. The individual may also be prohibited from possessing a firearm. They may be ordered not to engage with people or go near them or their place of business, school, or home.
What Happens if Someone Violates a Protective Order
A trip to jail may be the immediate result of the violation of protective orders in Texas for family violence and domestic violence. For example, if you have an active protective order against the other person and they show up at your home, work, or simply follow you into a grocery store, you can dial 911 and the person violating the protective order can be arrested and brought before the judge.
Remember that a protective order is a powerful court order, but at the end of the day, a court order cannot stop a bullet. In too many tragic cases, an angry spouse or significant other goes after the one who gets a protective order issued against them and it ends up tragically, including great bodily harm or death.
In April 2019, officers responded to a residence in Watauga, for a 911 call. The woman who obtained a protective order was found dead in her home. The offender recently served with the order, himself died from a gunshot wound to the chest, killed by police. Read the article, Fort Worth man killed aiming gun at Watauga police officers is identified.
Duration and Modification of a Protective Order
Generally, a protective order may remain effective for up to two years. Unless otherwise stated in the order, the second year after the issuance date would be the termination of protective orders in Texas for family violence and domestic violence.
Based on further circumstances, a protective order can be modified to exclude anything that could be included and to include elements that originally were not ordered. For example, the original protective order might be modified to apply to new circumstances.
Southlake Divorce Lawyer Leslie Barrows Can Help You with Protective Orders for Family Violence and Domestic Violence (817) 481-1583
When your safety or the safety of your child is endangered, you should get help immediately. If you are in the threat of immediate harm, dial 911. To get protective orders in Texas for family violence and domestic violence, to keep someone away, and prevent them from contacting you, married or not, and divorcing or not, call Leslie Barrows at the Barrows Firm in Southlake for help. You can also check out her Podcast on Domestic and Family Violence Divorce Issues.