Protective Orders and Family Violence

Unfortunately, there are numerous cases where a member of a household is the victim of domestic violence. In such a circumstance, the Texas family code provides for certain persons to have the ability to seek protection from the court for themselves, their child, and/or other persons. In order to obtain a protective order, a party must very carefully and thoroughly make his or her application to the court.

There are numerous requirements prescribed by law for the application to be proper and for the applicant to obtain a protective order. In most circumstances, a person who applies for a protective order also seeks a temporary protective order for more immediate protection which can be, in some instances, applied for and obtained the same day. A protective order, unlike a restraining order can be enforced by both civil and criminal means.

Protective orders can be issued in cases of both family and dating violence when a person:

  • Commits any act that was intended to cause physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault; or
  • Makes a threat that reasonably places a person in fear of physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.

How Can a Protective Order Help?
Protective orders can require an abuser to do a variety of things, and allows the police and court system a great deal more power in dealing with them if they violate the order. Some examples of things a protective order can force the abuser to compile with include:

  • Prevent acts of family or dating violence, and acts that are reasonably likely to annoy, harass, alarm, torment, or embarrass you.
  • Prevent all communication, or communication made in a threatening or harassing manner.
  • Prevent them from coming to your home or work.
  • Prevent them from coming to schools or day care facilities attended by household members.
  • Prevent them from removing your child from the Court’s jurisdiction.
  • Prevent them from removing pets or assistance animals from your possession.
  • Prevent them from harming or threatening to harm your pets or assistance animals.
  • Prevent them from transferring or disposing of any property that you own or lease together.
  • Require they allow you visitation with your child or children.
  • Require they complete counseling or a family violence intervention program.
  • Require they turn over any firearms in their possession to law enforcement.
  • Perform any other acts that the Court deems necessary to prevent or reduce the chance of them committing any additional acts of family or dating violence.

Who is Entitled to a Protective Order?
The person who committed the family violence against the victim must meet one of the following scenarios:

  • Related to the victim by blood or marriage
  • Currently living with the victim or must have lived with them at some time
  • Someone with whom the victim has had a child
  • Someone the victim has or had a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature
  • Someone that sexually assaults the victim
  • Someone of a third party interest; because of the victim’s marriage to or dating relationship with an individual whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage

Contact a Collin County Family Attorney
If you are the victim of family or dating violence getting a protective order is the first step you should take to get yourself out of your situation. Not only will it make it easier for law enforcement to handle any calls you may need to make, it also puts your abuser in a serious legal situation if they violate the order. Please contact my office at 972-369- 0577 to discuss how you can begin getting through this difficult time in your life.