How to get a protective order in Texas
Unfortunately, abuse or family violence is somewhat common in Texas. The good news is that the court can intervene by issuing a protective order that orders the abuser to stay away from victims such as a spouse or child.
If a divorce case has already been filed, then your divorce lawyer will be in charge of applying for a protective order on your behalf.
If a divorce case has not yet been filed, you can find a family law attorney to apply for a protective order on your behalf or you can work with the District Attorney’s Office in your county to apply for one.
The protective order can prohibit an abuser from coming to your home, work, child’s school or child’s daycare in addition to other places. It also forbids the abuser from harassing, stalking or threatening you and/or your children.
A protective order can be sought by adult victims of abuse, or it can be sought by an adult on behalf of a child or children. These orders can be filed against family members, members of the same household or former members of the same household.
In other words, a victim doesn’t need to be living with the abuser in order to ask for a protective order to be put in place.
Keep in mind that several things need to happen before a protective order will be issued, including a hearing where the abuser will have a chance to defend himself or herself. Additionally:
- You must apply for the protective order in the correct jurisdiction (the county where either you or the abuser lives).
- You must have had a dating, family or household relationship with the abuser.
- You have to know where to find the abuser so that the abuser can be served notice about the hearing.
- It must be proven that family violence occurred such as an actual assault or threats of violence.
- It must be proven that family violence is likely to occur again in the future.
Because this process can be somewhat difficult for victims of abuse, it’s important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can stand up for your rights and interests.