How to File a Restraining Order in Texas
Lewisville Family Law Attorneys Protecting Texas Families from Domestic Violence
If you are in an abusive relationship with a partner or spouse, you and your children need help. Protective orders, also sometimes called restraining orders or Orders of Protection, order the abuser to stay away in addition to stopping any and all contact with the victim and any listed children. There are criminal and civil penalties, including jail time, if an abuser violates a protective order.
Our Lewisville family law attorneys, two of whom are former police officers, work closely with victims of domestic violence, harassment and stalking claims to make sure they are safe, to make sure their children are safe and to obtain a protective order and/or a divorce, so abuse victims can safely move forward with their lives.
How Do I File a Restraining Order in Texas?
If you are in a dangerous situation with your spouse, get to a safe place with the children and call the police immediately. The police will likely order the person to leave the house for the night or make an arrest. This gives victims breathing room to take charge of the situation. While you can get a temporary protective order by yourself, it is highly recommended that you hire an attorney. The paperwork you need to fill out must be done properly from the very beginning of the case.
Your attorney can assist in filing for a temporary restraining order. This will require a petition to be filed and an ex parte (one-sided) hearing before a judge. To file a restraining order in Texas that is temporary, the defendant (or person the restraining order is against) will NOT get notice of the hearing and will NOT be present. In a temporary restraining order, the judge can order the defendant to stay away from the victim and any children named in the petition. Once the temporary order is granted, the sheriff or a private process server must personally deliver the order to the defendant for it to be enforceable. A copy of the order will also be sent to the local police department.
The temporary protective order will only last about two weeks. On the order, a date will be given for a hearing for a full protective order.
How Can a Full Restraining Order Help Victims of Domestic Violence?
At the hearing for a full protective order, the defendant will have notice of the date and will likely appear with a lawyer. At this hearing, it is extremely important that victims are represented by an attorney. If you obtained the temporary restraining order without a family law lawyer, it may be in your best interest to get one before the full hearing date.
A full restraining order or protective order can do any or all of the following:
- Forbid any and all contact between the defendant, the victim and any children listed under the order
- Keep at a distance from work, schools or daycare centers
- Grant temporary child custody
- Order the defendant to vacate the family residence
- Pay child support or spousal support
- Attend counseling
- Not carry a gun or weapon at any time
What Happens If Someone Violates a Restraining Order?
Keep a copy of the restraining order on your person at all times. If the defendant violates the protective order, get to a safe place and call 911 immediately. The police should arrest a person who is violating a restraining order. If the person is calling, texting or emailing, that is also a violation of the restraining order. Call the police and call your attorney. It is a crime to violate a restraining order.
Do I Need a Criminal Attorney to File a Restraining Order of Protection in Texas?
While an attorney is not required to file a restraining order in Texas, our family law attorneys protect and advocate for victims of domestic violence. The best attorney to file a restraining order in Texas should have experience and understanding in both Texas family violence law and criminal law. As former police officers, the Lewisville family law attorneys of Julian, Crowder & Shuster, P.C. know exactly the type of danger abusive spouses are capable of, and they want to help you.
Since starting the firm, our Lewisville attorneys have assisted individuals and families throughout the DFW area with a wide range of family law issues. This includes representing Grand Prairie, The Colony, Addison and residents all across North Texas in getting legal protections, when necessary. We help clients work toward resolutions to their family law matters, especially when their safety may be at risk.
Call (972) 315-6222 to arrange a free initial attorney consultation to discuss your need for a temporary restraining order or permanent protective order with dedicated family law lawyers in Lewisville, Texas, who will aggressively represent your rights.