Some individuals choose to get divorced to escape violent situations. Others may experience threats from their ex-spouse during a divorce. If this is you, please know that there are legal steps you can take today to protect yourself and your family. Protective orders are available to put boundaries between you and your ex-spouse during this time.
There are several types of protective orders you can receive for protection in Texas. The two main types of orders include:
- Temporary restraining orders: A temporary restraining order is a court order that lasts for 14 days. The order is served by the sheriff and requires your ex-spouse to stay a certain number of feet away from you, move out if he or she lives with you and stop contacting you. Other conditions may apply depending on the severity of the situation.
- Permanent protective orders: If you feel 14 days isn’t long enough, you can file for a permanent protection order that can last up to two years.
If your ex-spouse violates the protective order, there are major consequences. This is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas which is punishable by up to one year in jail as well as a fine. If your ex-spouse has violated other orders, they’re at risk of receiving a felony charge, which carries a longer prison sentence.
Obtaining a protective order will require you to file a form with the court. An attorney can help you fill out the form, so you can obtain your protective order faster. You’ll then need to attend a hearing where the judge will ask you questions about your need for an order.
If the judge finds you have cause for the order, they will grant a temporary order. If you need a longer permanent order, you’ll need to attend a second hearing. At this hearing, your ex-spouse will have the opportunity to dispute your claims. It’s recommended that you have an attorney to support you.
If you fear for your safety or the safety of your children, please reach out for help immediately. The attorneys at Schneider Law Firm, P.C. in Fort Worth can support you during this time. Reach out to us today by calling 817-755-1852 or, if the situation doesn’t require immediate action, send us a message.