Tag Archives: domestic violence

Legal Tools for Fighting Domestic Violence in Texas

If you’re in a relationship and your partner makes you feel unsafe–through physical abuse, emotional abuse, gaslighting you, isolating you from friends and family or in any other way–the lawyers at the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., are determined to protect you.

Our attorneys help survivors of domestic violence by using the legal tools that Texas courts make available. We can help you understand what these tools are and take steps to use them efficiently, protecting you and your family.

Protective Orders

One of the tools available is the petition for a protective order (which people also call a “restraining order”). In cases of family violence, we can file a request for a protective order on your behalf to protect you or your children, as well as your pets. Protective orders are an option for many people, including a victim who is related to the offender, living with the offender, or has a child with the offender.

There are several types of protective orders:

  • Temporary restraining orders: These can be granted by the court very quickly and remain in place for 14 days. 
  • Permanent protective orders: If you feel you need a longer protective order, you can ask a judge for a permanent order for protection, which lasts two years. To do this, you and your attorney will need to attend a second hearing.
  • Sexual assault protective orders (SAPOs): These can last from two years to a lifetime. They require the perpetrator to say 200 yards away from where you live, work or go to school.

Safety Planning

Domestic violence experts recommend that you have a safety plan in place. A safety plan is a practical plan for staying safe while you are in a relationship, while you are leaving that relationship or after you have left. Many people can be part of your safety plan, including your friends and family, coworkers and boss.

It’s important to have a safety plan in place because, in times of stress, adrenaline can keep you from thinking clearly. If you have rehearsed different scenarios, you’ll be more likely to think clearly and follow the plan you practiced.

Need Domestic Violence Help?

If you think you might need help escaping domestic violence, talk confidentially with one of our lawyers. At the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can answer your questions about the legal protections available to you, guide you through the legal system and help you achieve the best possible results. Call 817-755-1852 or send us a message to talk with us about your situation.

How Allegations of Family Violence Can Affect a Texas Divorce

Family violence happens when someone uses abusive or controlling behavior to harm another member of the family. It can be complicated and deeply personal. While violence takes different forms in every family it touches, one thing remains constant: Domestic violence can have a significant impact on the outcome of a divorce. Here are some things to consider.

Family Violence and the Divorce Process

The divorce process is often different for people who face violence in their family relationships. Victims of domestic violence also have legal tools they can use for protection. One option is to petition the court for a protective order (sometimes called a restraining order). When a protective order is in place, it can affect many different things–from where a spouse lives during the divorce process to how often he or she sees the children.
Options for resolution are different, too. For example, mediation is often used as a tool for couples to come to an agreement on the issues in their divorces. However, professionals do not recommend medication for couples when domestic violence is a factor. The reason? Judges and lawyers worry that one spouse will have too much leverage in negotiations, and the outcome won’t be fair.
Domestic violence can also speed up a divorce. The Texas Family Code says that couples must wait at least 60 days after filing a divorce petition for a divorce to be final. But this requirement can be waived in cases involving domestic violence.

Family Violence and Child Custody

Judges consider the “best interests of the child” when making child custody decisions. If one parent has a history of domestic violence, the judge will consider that as part of the best interests’ evaluation. Texas law says that parents who physically or sexually abused their children during the previous two years cannot have custody. Even if the kids were never harmed, domestic violence affects things like the ability of parents to make major parenting decisions together, as well as child custody drop-offs.

Family Violence and Property Division

Texas is a community property state. Generally, couples split the things they acquired during the marriage 50/50. However, there are some exceptions, including family violence. Domestic violence can be a reason for courts to decide on the unequal division of assets.

Fighting False Allegations of Violence

Our firm has handled several cases where on spouse made false allegations of family abuse in order to influence a pending divorce or child custody case. This is a serious injustice, and we won’t let our clients be falsely accused. We believe in fighting allegations aggressively and protecting our clients’ rights.

Choose an Attorney With Family Violence Experience

When you are choosing your divorce lawyer, pick one who has experience in domestic violence and divorce. Your lawyer will be experienced in advocating for your rights during the divorce process so that they are protected. You can get started by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125.