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When Should I File for a Protective Order?

Posted on November 20, 2023 in Family Law

Parker County Family LawyerWhenever you feel as though your life or your children’s life is in danger from a current spouse or former romantic partner, a protective order can help. Survivors of sexual assault or stalking can also benefit from filing a restraining order against the perpetrator. If you need help with filing for a protective order, seek the counsel of a trained and experienced family law attorney.

What Is An Order of Protection?

A legal court order prohibiting a person from interacting with the petitioner in specified activities. The person who files for the order is known as the plaintiff, whereas the prohibited individual is referred to as the defendant.

What Types of Protective Orders Are Available in Texas?

Texas has three types of protective orders for family violence:

  • Temporary ex parte
  • Final or permanent order
  • Magistrate’s emergency protective order

You can file for a protective order against the abuser if they are:

  • A family or household member
  • A former or current romantic partner
  • A former or current romantic partner’s current or former romantic partner
  • Anyone who has sexually assaulted you or your child

A family or household member is defined as:

  • A blood relative
  • A current or former spouse
  • An in-law
  • A person with whom you share a child
  • A roommate
  • A foster parent or child

Temporary Ex Parte

Similar in a small way to an emergency protective order, a temporary ex parte order is meant to provide immediate protection from an abuser for you and your family members. The abuser does not need to be present in the courtroom for you to petition for the order. A judge must believe that you and your family are in immediate danger of family violence without the order. The information you provide in the application will be the basis for the judge’s decision.

A temporary ex parte order will last up to 20 days or once the final protection order has been granted, whichever comes first. You can petition for an extension of an additional 20 days, or the judge can choose to give them to you if they feel it is necessary.

Final Protection Order

A final or permanent protection order usually covers the same protections as a temporary ex parte order. The order will normally last two years and can be extended if the judge feels:

  • The abuser committed a felony act against you or a family member, even if there was no conviction
  • The abuser caused serious bodily harm to you or a family member
  • If the same plaintiff has two or more protective orders issued against the same abuser and the judge feels that the abuser committed family violence in those prior cases with the likelihood of committing additional family violence in the future

An abuser can file to have a protective order discontinued after one year of effect. The judge will hold a hearing to decide whether or not the order must continue.

Magistrate’s Emergency Protection Order

Unlike the other two orders, the civil court does not issue a magistrate’s emergency protection order by application. Instead, this order is issued by the criminal court after an abuser is arrested. Your presence in the courtroom is not necessary for the issuance of this order. The magistrate must issue an emergency protection order if the act of family violence caused serious physical injury or was committed with the use of a deadly weapon.

A magistrate’s emergency protection order typically lasts between 31 to 61 days. Use of a deadly weapon during the assault can increase the order to 61 to 91 days.

Contact a Parker County, TX Family Law Attorney

Do not allow an abuser to continue to commit violent acts against you, your children, or another family member. Reach out for help and consult a Palo Pinto, TX order of protection lawyer to defend you in court. Contact The Law Offices of Kary L. Key at 817-599-6969 to set up an appointment and go over your case.

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