If you have been a victim of
family violence due to the actions of a spouse or person you are involved in a relationship
with then you have the option to attempt to get a
protective order from a court. This all begs the question: what exactly is family violence?
Family violence is an action or threat of an action by a member of a “family”
or “household” against another member of a “family”
or “household” that is intended to cause physical harm, bodily
injury, physical assault or sexual assault or reasonable fear of such
action. Abusing a child that lives in the same household or is in the
same family as the perpetrator is also considered to be family violence.
Dating violence explained
If you are in a relationship with a person it is possible to suffer or
dating violence. Dating violence is defined as an action or threat of an action by a person
against another person with whom they have or have had a “dating
relationship” that is intended to cause physical harm, bodily injury,
physical assault or sexual assault, or reasonable fear of such action.
Who can actually apply for a protective order
Any adult in a household can file for a protective order in regard to family
violence on behalf of themselves or any other member of their household
including a child. The Attorney General of Texas, a District Attorney
or the Department of Family and Protective Services can file for a protective
order in regard to family violence as well. In relation to dating violence
any adult member of the relationship can file for a protective order.
Again, you must be able to show a court that either family violence has
already occurred or it is likely to occur in the future. A victim’s
testimony may be enough on its own to garner a protective order being awarded.
What happens to the perpetrator of family violence?
If a court determines that you were the victim of an act of family violence
then the perpetrator will likely be barred from committing acts of family
violence or communicating in any form with you. The perpetrator will be
barred additionally from going near your home or business as well as the
school or daycare of a child that is protected under an order. Harassing
behavior is barred as well. Something that not a lot of people think of
in the context of a protective order is that if you are found to have
committed an act of family violence the protective order will more than
likely stop you from having a firearm on your person at any time.
Violations of a protective order can wind up causing you to spend time
in jail, possibly. In the event that you are in the United States illegally
and violate a protective order then you may be deported as a result of
that violation. Criminal charges are also possible if they stem from the
violation of a protective order.
Law enforcement becomes aware of a protective order going into place against
you when the clerk of the court sends copies of the order to any law enforcement
body that is near to where you reside. The protective order can remain
in effect for up to two years but frequently the time length is less than
Name Changes for a minor child
With the approval of a court, you may
change the name of a child if you are that child’s parent, legal guardian, managing
conservator. The process involves you filing a petition requesting the name change.
A court will evaluate whether there is good cause to in fact change the
name of the child.
You must notify the other parent of the child if his or her parental rights
have not been terminated. Likewise any other managing conservator of the
child or guardian of the child must be notified once you file your petition
to change the name of your child.
The petition itself must state the current name and address of the child
as well as the reason that the name change is being requested. Often times
a name change is requested in order to give the child the same last name
as the rest of the family or the same last name as an adoptive parent
or newly adjudicated father. A proposed full name but be provided in the
petition. If the child is over the age of ten he or she must give their
permission to having their name be changed.
Name Changes for an adult
The majority of
adult name changes come about as a result of a divorce. If you are a woman filing for divorce
then you can request a name change to back to your maiden name. Otherwise,
you can file for a name change within a petition (like for a child) and
would need to include the same information- your current name, reason
for requesting the name change as well as your criminal background (if
any) so that the court can determine that you are not attempting to evade
law enforcement as a result of your name change.
An entire background check will be completed and fingerprinting will be
done. This Is not required if your name change is going to become official
as a result of a
divorce but will be in the event that you file a separate petition to change your name
Questions about name changes or protective orders? Contact the Law Office
of Bryan Fagan
To learn more about how to change the name of an adult or child, or to
inquire about a protective order please
Law Office of Bryan Fagan. One of our licensed
family law attorneys would be honored to meet with you six days a week in a free
of charge consultation. Your questions can be answered and our staff will
walk you through the services that we can provide to you as a client.