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Protective Orders in Texas Family Law Cases

Picture this: you're juggling a cup of coffee, a tangled web of work emails, and an urgent reminder about tonight's dinner. Just as you're about to hit "send" on an important message, a notification pops up—a message from a dear friend. She's in a tough spot, wrestling with a protection order against her ex-partner while trying to keep things steady for her child. Suddenly, your multitasking day just got a lot more complicated. But fear not, because we're about to dive into the heart of the matter.

So, Can a Protection Order Really Affect Child Custody?

In one word: absolutely. But hey, I'm not here to drop a bomb and run. I'm here to take you on a journey through the twists and turns of this legal rollercoaster. We're going to unravel the mystery, from the nitty-gritty of legal processes to the surprising ways technology gets tangled up in all of this. And guess what? I've got a treasure trove of insights lined up just for you.

Why Keep Reading?

Well, apart from the fact that you're here, curious as a cat chasing after a laser pointer, there's a lot more goodness coming your way. We're diving into the deep end of the pool—no wading here. Think step-by-step breakdowns of the legal nitty-gritty, real-life stories that'll hit you right in the feels, and practical tips to keep in your back pocket. Plus, we're tossing in a sprinkle of unexpected twists to keep things spicier than a chili pepper eating contest.

So, whether you're a superhero juggling family dynamics or just a curious soul pondering how protection orders and child custody fit together like puzzle pieces, you're in for a treat. Buckle up, because we're about to roll into a world where law meets life, and things are about to get interesting. Let's roll!

Unlocking the Puzzle: Can a Protection Order Shake Up Child Custody?

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, PLLC 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:

  1. directly or indirectly threatening or harassing the victim;
  2. approaching the school or day care center where the protected child is enrolled;
  3. 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:

  1. wasting community assets (spending money frivolously)
  2. incurring debts other than for paying legal fees
  3. 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:

  1. forbidding the transfer of certain property
  2. awarding spousal or child support up to one year in length
  3. requiring the offending party to leave the marital residence
  4. requiring the offending party to attend a course on counseling
  5. 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:

  1. A prosecuting attorney;
  2. The Department of Human and Regulatory Services
  3. An adult household or family member
  4. Any adult seeking to protect a child against violent acts

A person who applies for a protective order must be able to sufficiently show:

  1. The offender’s full name, address and the county in which they reside
  2. The victim’s name and county in which they reside
  3. A request for a protective order
  4. 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:

  1. Evidence that is incriminating for the abuser
  2. Photographs of injuries or damage to property
  3. Copies of medical records or physician statements that can be used to corroborate your own statements regarding incidents of abuse
  4. Prepare witnesses to be able to testify to what they have seen occur between the parties
  5. Prepare the victim to be able to speak in open court about the abuse and the details of incidents between themselves and the abuser
  6. 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, PLLC

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, PLLC 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.

Can a Protection Order Affect Child Custody?

Protective orders play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals facing family violence. However, the intersection of protective orders and child custody is a complex and crucial topic that deserves careful consideration. In this article, we'll delve into the intricacies of how a protection order can impact child custody arrangements, shedding light on the legal processes, potential consequences, and available resources.

Legal Process and Requirements:

Applying for a protective order involves navigating a well-defined legal process. This process includes:

  1. Detailed Application Steps: Individuals seeking a protective order must follow specific steps outlined by the legal system. These steps usually involve filling out forms, providing evidence, and submitting the application to the appropriate court.
  2. Evidence Presentation and Burden of Proof: Presenting compelling evidence of family violence is crucial for obtaining a protective order. The burden of proof lies with the applicant to establish that the order is necessary for the safety of themselves and any children involved.
  3. Role of Legal Representation: Engaging legal representation can significantly impact the outcome of a protective order case. A skilled attorney can guide applicants through the process, ensure that evidence is presented effectively, and advocate for their rights.

Emergency Situations and Immediate Action:

In emergency situations where imminent danger exists, immediate action is essential. Here's what individuals should consider:

  1. Swift Protective Action: If facing an urgent threat of family violence, it's crucial to take immediate action to protect yourself and any children involved. Leaving the situation and seeking safety is a top priority.
  2. Emergency Hotlines: Various hotlines and contacts are available to provide immediate assistance in cases of family violence. These resources offer support, advice, and guidance on how to ensure safety.

Duration and Renewal of Protective Orders:

A protective order's duration varies, depending on the circumstances. Key points to note include:

  1. Order Duration: Protective orders are typically issued for a specific duration, often two years. However, this duration can be extended if the threat persists beyond the initial period.
  2. Renewal Procedures: Individuals can request the renewal of a protective order if they continue to face threats or violence. The legal system allows for extensions to ensure ongoing safety.

Modification and Termination of Orders:

Understanding when and how protective orders can be modified or terminated is crucial. Consider:

  1. Modifications: Protective orders can be modified under certain circumstances. Changes might involve adjustments to provisions such as distance restrictions or communication allowances.
  2. Termination Requests: If an individual believes that the threat has significantly reduced or disappeared, they can request the termination of the protective order. This involves a legal process to assess the validity of the request.

Civil vs. Criminal Consequences of Violations:

Violating a protective order can have both civil and potential criminal consequences:

  1. Civil Consequences: Violating a protective order can result in fines or other civil penalties. The individual may need to appear before a civil judge for a hearing to address the violation.
  2. Criminal Consequences: In more severe cases, violating a protective order can lead to criminal charges. It's important to understand the potential legal ramifications of disregarding the order.

Support and Resources for Victims:

Victims of family violence have access to various forms of support:

  1. Support Groups and Shelters: Local support groups and shelters provide a safe haven for victims, offering emotional support and practical assistance.
  2. Counseling Services: Counseling services help victims cope with trauma and work towards healing. Professional therapists can offer valuable guidance.
  3. Legal Aid Organizations: Legal aid organizations specialize in assisting victims with protective order applications, ensuring they have the necessary legal support.

Child Custody and Visitation:

Protective orders can significantly impact child custody and visitation arrangements:

  1. Impact on Custody: A protective order can influence child custody decisions, especially if the safety and well-being of the child are at risk. Courts prioritize the child's safety above all else.
  2. Shared Responsibilities: In cases where both the offender and victim share parental responsibilities, the court may implement measures to ensure the child's safety during visitation.


Child Custody

Protective Orders


The well-being and care of the child are paramount.

Primarily aimed at ensuring the safety and protection of individuals against family violence.

Court Considerations

Courts prioritize the child's safety, stability, and best interests.

Courts focus on the necessity of the order to prevent harm and violence.

Impact on Visitation

Aims to provide meaningful visitation while safeguarding the child's safety.

May restrict or modify visitation to ensure the safety of all parties involved.

Parental Responsibilities

Emphasizes shared parental responsibilities while keeping the child's welfare in mind.

May include provisions to prevent contact or communication between parties.


Promotes effective communication between parents for the child's benefit.

Often includes restrictions on communication to prevent harassment or threats.


Courts assess parenting abilities, involvement, and relationship dynamics.

Requires evidence of family violence, abuse, or potential harm to justify the order.


Decided based on the child's best interests and can change over time.

Duration varies but often aims to ensure the safety of the protected individuals.


Can be modified based on changing circumstances and the child's needs.

Can be modified or terminated based on changing threat levels and circumstances.

Technology and Protective Orders:

Modern technology introduces new challenges related to protective orders:

  1. Digital Harassment: Protective orders now extend to online platforms. Individuals protected by the order should take steps to address any digital harassment or violations.

Educational Efforts:

Raising awareness about protective orders is crucial for prevention:

  1. Workshops and Programs: Educational workshops and programs aim to inform individuals about protective orders, family violence prevention, and their legal rights.

Impact on Employment and Housing:

Protective orders can impact various aspects of life:

  1. Employment: Having a protective order in place might affect employment, especially if the offender and victim work together. Understanding workplace rights and policies is vital.
  2. Housing: Landlords might consider protective orders when renting properties. Victims should be aware of their housing rights.

Alternatives to Protective Orders:

In some cases, protective orders might not be the best solution:

  1. Alternative Legal Measures: Depending on the situation, alternative legal strategies such as mediation or negotiation might offer a more suitable resolution.

Cross-Border and Interstate Implications:

Navigating protective orders across state lines presents challenges:

  1. Interstate Enforcement: Situations where the offender or victim resides in a different state require understanding how protective orders can be enforced across jurisdictions.

Updates on Legal Changes:

Staying informed about legal updates is essential:

  1. Legal Changes: Laws related to protective orders and family law can change. Keeping up-to-date with these changes is crucial for accurate legal actions.

Case Examples and Testimonials:

Real-life experiences shed light on the impact of protective orders:

  1. Personal Stories: Hearing from individuals who have successfully obtained protective orders can offer insights into the process and its outcomes.

The question "Can a protection order affect child custody?" is one that delves deep into legal intricacies, emotional considerations, and the welfare of those involved. Navigating this terrain requires understanding the legal processes, seeking appropriate support, and making informed decisions that prioritize the safety and well-being of all parties.

In the End, What's the Verdict? Can a Protection Order Really Shake Up Child Custody?

And there you have it, intrepid readers! You've journeyed through the twists, turns, and tidbits of knowledge about protection orders and their uncanny dance with child custody. So, can a protection order shake up child custody arrangements? You bet your bottom dollar it can. But remember, this isn't just some legal phrase thrown into the wind—it's a question that can turn someone's world upside down.

As we bid adieu to our adventure, imagine this: You're at a neighborhood picnic, sharing stories and swapping life hacks with friends. Suddenly, someone mentions protection orders, and you—oh, you're ready. Armed with knowledge, you can chime in with confidence, shedding light on how these orders can sway the delicate balance of child custody like a gust of wind rearranging a house of cards. You're the conversational MVP, the guru of family law chatter.

So, as you go forth into the world, remember that you've unlocked a puzzle piece that not many dare to tackle. You've got insights up your sleeve, stories to share, and a newfound understanding of the intricate world where legal battles and the well-being of our loved ones collide. Keep this knowledge close, my friend—it's a gem that's worth its weight in gold.

And with that, our tale comes to a close. But hey, life's full of stories waiting to be explored, right? Until our paths cross again, keep learning, keep growing, and keep sharing those stories that make life the remarkable journey it is. Catch you on the flip side, adventure-seeker!

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  1. The Complete Beginner's Guide to Texas Protective Orders
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  3. 5 Things You Need to Know About Family Violence in Texas
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  10. 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
  11. What is the Difference Between a Protective Order and A Restraining Order?
  12. Child Protective Services Investigation- What to expect and how to handle the situation, Part 2
  13. Child Protective Services: Investigation Essentials for Texas Families
  14. Can a possession order be affected by the mental health problems of a parent?
  15. What does it mean to terminate parental rights in order to adopt a child in Texas?
  16. Preparing for a hearing in which a protective order has been requested in Texas

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