What is a Protective Order?
The state of Texas has enacted legislation, under the Texas Family Code, that allows a victim of domestic violence to ask a Texas family court of law to render an order that is designed to help stop an abuser from contacting, threatening, physically harming, a victim or a victim's household, and ordering the abuser to stay away from the victim's residence or place of employment.
When does a Texas Family Court Issue a Protective Order?
The Texas Family Code states that "A court shall render a protective order if the court finds that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future. Family violence means an act by a member of a family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.
Who Can Get a Protective Order?
Members of a Household
If family violence has occurred (an act by a member of a family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself) or if abuse has occurred against a child of the family or household by a member of a family or household then an adult member of the family or household may file an application for a protective order to protect the applicant or any other member of the applicant's family or household. That is a mouthful. Stated more simply, if a person who is a member of a home acts in a way that harms, or causes fear of harm, against another member of the household then they may qualify for a protective order. An adult may file for a protective order to protect themselves or another victim member of their household including children. It is also important to note that any adult can file for a protective order to protect a child from family violence.
Victims of Dating Violence May be Eligible for a Protective Order
If an adult person is a part of a dating relationship with the abuser then that adult person may file a protective order if dating violence has occurred against the adult person. Dating violence is defined as an act by an individual that is against another individual with whom that person has or has had a dating relationship and that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the individual in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.
Who is a Part of a Dating Relationship According to the Texas Family Code?
Obviously, not all relationships can be considered dating relationships. The Texas Family Code defines a dating relationship for purposes of obtaining a protective order as a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. That is a fairly vague definition and is open to several interpretations at first glance. Therefore, the Texas legislature has determined that the existence of a dating relationship is determined by three main factors and a certain type of relationship is specifically excluded. The first factor that a court examines in deciding if a dating relationship exists or existed is the length of the relationship, the second thing is the nature of the relationship, and the last thing is the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. These factors give a court the tools they need to determine if a dating relationship exists or existed. A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a "dating relationship." If you, a child, or a member of your family or household is a victim of physical violence or the threat of physical violence then you should get help immediately by calling the police, but additionally a protective order is an option that you have. You should get a qualified lawyer to help you with all of the complexities involved in obtaining a protective order in Texas. The Law Office of Chad Zubi can help you determine if you qualify for a Texas protective order and can aggressively represent your interests. You can call 281-962-3877 or click here to send your contact information. You can also reach the Law Office of Chad Zubi by sending an email to email@example.com.
Emergency Protective Orders
In certain circumstances an applicant for a protective order needs immediate temporary protection to protect themselves or another member of the family or household of the applicant from violence or the threat of violence of an abuser while the protective order proceedings are going on. Texas family law allows for a temporary protective order to be issued without giving notice to the other party if certain requirements are met. If a Texas court finds from the information contained in an application for a protective order that there is a clear and present danger of family violence, the court without further notice to the alleged abuser and without hearing may enter a temporary order for the protection of the applicant or any other member of the family or household of the applicant. If you or a member of your family or household is in danger then call the authorities. The Law Office of Chad Zubi can help you decide if you qualify for a temporary ex-parte protective order and help you obtain one. Call the Law Office of Chad Zubi at 281-962-3877 to schedule a free consultation. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your contact information by clicking here.