Divorce can be a highly emotional event, sparking anger and sadness in spouses who can no longer maintain a loving relationship. Unfortunately, these situations can also turn violent as many Texas divorce lawyers know. Depending on the circumstances, family law attorneys may recommend filing a protective or restraining order. Although different, both serve to help spouses who fear violence from the other spouse remain safe during the progress of their divorce as well as protect property pending a final divorce decree.
What Is A Protective Order?
A Protective Order is a court order that a person can file with their local municipal court or district attorney’s office to prevent contact by an abuser who has previously shown violence or has threatened acts of violence against them. These orders can be obtained when a person has been physically harmed or fears they may be harmed by a person either living in their household or a person they have dated.
Family law attorneys may suggest that an individual who has experienced violence or threats against them by their spouse apply for this protection if they are afraid of being hurt again or that current threats may lead to actual violence in the future. If the court agrees the petitioner could be in danger, a Protective Order will be granted.
When a Protective Order is issued, the person named in the Protective Order cannot have any contact with the petitioner named in the Order for a fixed period of time. In Texas, this be as few as 90 days for an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) or long as two years for a standard order.
What Is A Restraining Order?
A Temporary Restraining Order or TRO is filed by a party currently involved in a lawsuit against another party and is presented to a judge for signing without the benefit of any notice or hearing. As the name indicates, it is a temporary action for a period of 14 days that is taken to keep everything "as is" until evidence can be presented to a judge for a final decision.
In the context of family law situations such as divorce or child custody proceedings, most parties involved are working with divorce lawyers. These experienced attorneys know the current Family Code laws and can best advise if the filing of a TRO is the best step to take.
Applicability To Divorce Proceedings
A Temporary Order can provide for provisional living arrangements for one spouse and any children. It can also order both parties to refrain from damaging property, attempting to remove property from the family home, restricting money for reasonable and normal expenses, and much more. It may also grant one spouse temporary custody of any minor children.
The initial 14 day time period can be extended for another 14 days while a hearing is being set up for a judge to decide if a temporary injunction is needed for the duration of the divorce proceedings. Since there are many things that can be covered by a TRO, the best course of action is to seek the help of family law attorneys who can guide a spouse seeking a divorce through the period of time leading up to a final divorce decree.
When divorces are complicated and violence erupts, it is important that the spouse against whom violence is being directed take steps to protect themselves, their children, and their property. Although protective and restraining orders cannot offer comprehensive 24-hour physical protection, divorce lawyers advise that such orders can help avoid more violence during divorce proceedings. It can also establish some grounds to keep community assets untouched until the divorce is finalized. The best course of action for any spouse facing a difficult divorce situation is to speak with family law attorneys who can help them get necessary support and protection.
Foreman Family Law
309 North Washington Avenue, Suite 12
Bryan TX 77803