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Victims of domestic violence often feel trapped in their marital and/or living situations because of their children, a lack of resources, or out of fear. While there are many self-help resources for victims of domestic violence, victims should call the police if they are dealing with physical violence or threats of violence.

If you are a victim of domestic violence in Texas, you should seek legal help right away to protect yourself and any children living in the home as well.

If you are filing a protective order in Texas, you can receive protection from blood relatives, relatives by marriage, household members, previous cohabitants, or a person with whom you have a child. A protective order is a court order limiting the freedom of a person accused of committing a crime involving family violence, sexual abuse, or stalking. Some types of non-violent child abuse may also serve as the basis for a “family violence” protective order. Failure to comply with a protective order can also be a criminal offense. The limits a protective order can impose depend on which type of protective order is sought and/or granted.

Types of Protective Orders

The law offers domestic violence victims the following orders of protection:

  • Emergency protective orders (EPO): A Texas family law judge can impose emergency orders. This type of protective order is typically issued without a hearing while the defendant is still in jail on charges related to domestic abuse. An EPO is a 31-91 day “stay away” order keeping the offender away from the victim(s).
  • Protective orders: When a petitioner files an application for a protective order, the court reviews the allegations and may determine to grant a temporary restraining order (TRO) immediately without the respondent’s input. The TRO can be effective for up to 20 days. In certain instances, a protective order can also require the abuser to move out of a home shared with the victim. A permanent protective order prevents future assaults, making it illegal for the abuser to be near the other party. Violations of this order can be criminal behavior, with the violator subject to arrest.
  • Restraining orders: Temporary restraining orders are common in divorces. They offer immediate protection against an abuser and prevent the other party from emptying bank accounts, purchasing or selling assets, or running up credit card bills.

Texas Protective Order Lawyers

Dealing with domestic abuse is challenging, both emotionally and legally. A Texas domestic violence attorney will be your advocate in court, obtain and complete the required documents, and deal with the opposing side throughout the legal process. If you’ve experienced family violence, Terry & Roberts stand ready to help you seek legal protection, so contact us today for a confidential consultation.

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