When Violence is an Issue: What You Need to Know About Obtaining a Protective Order in Texas

January 18, 2019 Posted in Divorce

One in three Texans will experience family violence in their lifetimes, according to the Texas Council on Family Violence. In 2015 alone, more than 211,000 people in Texas were the victims of family violence, up five percent from the previous year.

Protective Orders in a Divorce

Divorcing spouses – predominantly women, but it occurs with men too –may worry that their soon-to-be-ex will harass them, stalk them or physically harm them. If you are in this position, a Dallas divorce attorney can help.

When you file for divorce in Texas, along with requesting the standard Temporary Orders, you may ask the judge in your case to issue a Protective Order to prevent or deter your spouse from harming you or your family members.

When you apply for a protective order, the court will hold a hearing and make its findings. The court may issue a protective order if a determination is made that family violence has occurred and that it is likely that the aggressor will commit family violence in the future. Most protective orders are issued for a period of up to two years, and more in some cases. In some divorce cases, both parties may apply for protective orders and may come to an agreement regarding the terms of mutual protective orders.

Protective orders often do one or more of the following:

  • Identify the individuals, including children, who are protected under the order
  • Prohibit your spouse from removal of any children, property and/or pets that are identified in the order
  • Grant you exclusive possession of a residence
  • Order your spouse to vacate the residence
  • Prohibit your spouse from communicating with you or your children or any other individuals named in the order in any way, including phone, text, email or through another person
  • Prohibit your spouse from coming within a certain distance from your home, your job, your children’s school, etc.
  • Provide for additional prohibitions allowed by the statutes and the court’s discretion.

What If Your Spouse Ignores the Protective Order?

If your spouse violates the protective order, he or she is subject to arrest. Call the police as soon as you are aware that the protective order is being violated. If you are under immediate threat, call 911. Keeping yourself and your family safe is your first priority. If necessary, request that you and your family be relocated to a shelter until you feel you are out of danger.

As soon as you can, notify your divorce attorney so that any additional action necessary may be taken regarding your divorce case.

Contact Dallas Divorce Attorney Michael P. Granata

Contentious divorces are hard enough, but when they involve domestic abuse issues the stakes are even higher. It is important to work with an attorney who will aggressively fight to protect your rights.

To learn more about how Dallas divorce attorney Michael P. Granata can help, call 214-977-9050 or contact us online to make an appointment for a paid initial consultation.