In order to prevent the abuse of a child or other family member a Protective Order can be issued by a Court. Clients of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan walk into consultations with our attorneys with some regularity and ask them about getting a protective order against their spouse for a variety of reasons.
What surprises me is just how well known the concept of a protective order is. Regardless, if you believe you are in a situation that requires a protective order or are just interested in learning more this article is designed for you. To start our discussion, it is relevant to provide detail on just what types of protective orders are available in Texas.
Types of Protective Orders available in Texas
In Texas, a protective order restricts the offending party from:
- directly or indirectly threatening or harassing the victim;
- approaching the school or day care center where the protected child is enrolled;
- committing any further acts of violence;
If the risk of family violence is extremely high, a person can request for a Temporary Ex-Parte Protective Order. After you’ve finished trying to say that three-times-fast, you should just know that this fancy sounding protective order does not require a court hearing and goes into effect within twenty days. The main purpose of this order is to ensure the safety of any potential victims until the time that the parties can present their cases to a judge
Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection
The next type of protective order that exists in Texas is called a Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection. This order becomes effective for between 31 and 61 days if an offender gets arrested for committing domestic violence crimes.
Similar to the temporary ex parte protective order, a Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection seeks to protect potential victims until a Final Order in a case can be issued.
Protective Order vs. Restraining Order
In Family Law cases, restraining orders are more typical than are protective orders. A Restraining Order manages the conduct of two spouses who have entered into a divorce by barring either from:
- wasting community assets (spending money frivolously)
- incurring debts other than for paying legal fees
- a host of conduct related “no-no’s” including using the children to pass a message to your spouse as well as using less than nice words to talk about a child’s other parent
What else can a Protective Order cover in Texas?
Protective Orders can deal with the following in addition to barring contact between an offender and potential victims:
- forbidding the transfer of certain property
- awarding spousal or child support up to one year in length
- requiring the offending party to leave the marital residence
- requiring the offending party to attend a course on counseling
- determining child visitation and possessory rights
If a party were to violate a protective order that does not mean that they are going to be dealt with criminally.
The offending party will not be arrested but they will need to appear before a civil judge for a hearing. If the offending party is found to have violated the court’s order then they can be fined.
How to Apply for a Protective Order in Texas?
If you are a person that believes a Protective Order is something you need it is likely because you have been a victim of family violence. Time is of the essence so you will want to apply for a protective order as soon as you are able.
In order to protect yourself against additional incidents of family violence you should immediately begin to prepare to file an application for a protective order in the county where you reside. You don’t even have to be the one to file the request. The following people can apply for a protective order on your behalf:
- A prosecuting attorney;
- The Department of Human and Regulatory Services
- An adult household or family member
- Any adult seeking to protect a child against violent acts
A person who applies for a protective order must be able to sufficiently show:
- The offender’s full name, address and the county in which they reside
- The victim’s name and county in which they reside
- A request for a protective order
- The relationship between the accuser and victim
These sort of protective orders will last for two years in most situations though they can last a longer period.
What Evidence do you need to get an Protective Order?
Prior to filing a request for a protective order it is important to be able to show:
- Evidence that is incriminating for the abuser
- Photographs of injuries or damage to property
- Copies of medical records or physician statements that can be used to corroborate your own statements regarding incidents of abuse
- Prepare witnesses to be able to testify to what they have seen occur between the parties
- Prepare the victim to be able to speak in open court about the abuse and the details of incidents between themselves and the abuser
- An existing history of family violence that has been committed by the abuser
Act now to protect your family- Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
Every person has instincts that tell us on a basic level when to proceed and when to retreat. If you or a loved one have been a victim of violence at the hands of a family member my advice would be to not ignore your instincts. Most likely you feel like you need to do something but don’t necessarily know exactly what that something is.
Fortunately, the family law attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are equipped to provide a thorough explanation on protective orders and how they can help you and your family during a difficult time. Our attorneys are trained and experience family law advocates who will help you achieve your goals in protective yourself and your family.
While the idea of filing a request for a protective order can be daunting it can mean the difference between having peace of mind and possibly having another frightening incident on your hands. Please contact us today to learn more about our office, our attorneys and our history of assisting people just like you.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- The Complete Beginner's Guide to Texas Protective Orders
- Divorcing from an Abusive Spouse in Texas: What you Need to Know
- 5 Things You Need to Know About Family Violence in Texas
- How Can I Prove to a Texas Divorce Court I am Sober?
- Common Law Marriage and Texas Divorce Guide
- I Want a Texas Divorce but My Husband Doesn't: What can I do?
- Am I Married? - Marital Status in Texas
- Can I sue my spouse's mistress in Texas?
- When is, Cheating Considered Adultery in a Texas Divorce?
- 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.