protective-orders-contentWhile not frequently part of a family law case, protective orders may nonetheless be involved where family violence has occurred. In Texas, family violence generally refers to acts that cause harm to another or making a threat to do an act of harm. This is generally limited to acts against family members and members of a household. If this has occurred, then a suit for a divorce may include a request for the court to issue a protective order. Protective orders may remain in place for the time that the suit is pending and in certain instances may remain in place after a final decree of divorce has been entered.

In addition to working through the process of a protective order, the attorneys at our firm also understand that issues concerning protective orders are very emotional. Therefore, whether we are addressing obtaining a protective order to protect a party or we are defending against a protective order, we realize that the situation is extraordinary and requires significant attention to facts, details, and personal relationships.

When do you request a protective order?

An application for a protective order may be filed in a divorce matter, a modification suit, a paternity suit, or even separately. An application for a protective order may even be issued when the parties have been involved in a dating relationship. The application for the protective order may be filed on behalf of the filing party, on behalf of a child, or both. Regardless of the party to be protected, the court nonetheless generally must find that family violence has occurred before a protective order will be issued.

In cases involving protective orders, our firm is very cautious and takes many steps to attempt to minimize any danger to the parties. We take seriously all concerns regarding the safety of parties, children, and even pets.

What may a court include in a protective order?

If the court determines that a protective order should be entered, then the court has many options concerning what to be included in the order. Generally, the court will prohibit the party found to have committed family violence from doing certain things including communicating with the protected party and going near the protected party or the family of the protected party. In some instances the individual will be prevented from possessing a gun. The individual will likely also have to attend a long-term counseling program and provide a certificate of completion. This program may include classes concerning anger management or other specialized classes.

Dissolving a protective order

In certain instances, a party may seek to have a protective order dissolved. In those cases, our firm works to ensure that the court is made aware of all facts necessary to make a proper ruling.