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Getting a Restraining Order in Texas

Posted by Robert Luttrell | May 01, 2017 | 0 Comments

Divorce can sometimes be a time of high conflict between marriage partners. As they both work to separate their lives, emotions can sometimes be rampant and volatile, particularly if one or both spouses have bad tempers or low self-control. If one spouse is threatening to harm the other, harm any children, or take any child away from the other partner, a restraining order can be issued against that spouse.

Temporary Restraining Orders

Temporary restraining orders (TRO) are dispensed by the court without full hearings on one or both parties getting divorced. Injunctions such as these keep people from doing specific actions that would endanger or damage property or children in divorce proceedings.

TROs are governed by Texas Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 680 and Texas Family Code § 150.001. Rule 680 states TROs can be issued without notice to the adverse party if it “clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the applicant before notice can be served and a hearing had thereon.” In other words, most TROs involve notifying the subject of a restraining order unless the applicant is in danger from that individual.

How To File For A Restraining Order

They are very straightforward about what is required to file for a restraining order. The forms to do so can be obtained from a local courthouse and filed with the courthouse in the county where you live. If you need immediate protection, notify the courthouse clerk so precautions can be taken.

In order to file for a restraining order, you need four forms:

  • Application for Protective Order
  • Temporary Ex Parte Restraining Order
  • Protective Order
  • Respondent Information

If, however, you can't prove that immediate injury, damage, or loss will occur if the adverse party is notified, he or she will have to be given notification they are being served with a TRO. Until they have been notified, the TRO will not be in effect. A hearing will be scheduled by a judge for the restraining order to ensure the order is granted with the requested stipulations. You will be required to bring evidence that proves why a TRO is necessary. However, to best present your case, it is advantageous to have an experienced Texas divorce attorney to represent you.

When & How Long a Temporary Restraining Order is in Place

If spouses also can't agree on how to divide property and child-rearing obligations temporarily, the court can issue a TRO that will temporarily grant specific duties and fiscal responsibilities to both parties until the formal divorce proceedings can be completed. For example, a TRO can place one spouse in the family home with custody over the children until a legal child custody decision can be made by the court.

TROs typically have a 14-day limit, and the order can be extended by a judge only once for another 14 days. If a TRO is filed against a person without a Protective Order, violations of the order will not lead to criminal consequences. However, anyone who violates a TRO might be found in contempt of court by the judge who ordered it and might be forced to pay fines. It can also negatively affect the outcome of divorce proceedings.

Get Help Today

If you have more questions about TROs and how to file them, contact our experienced Cleburne divorce attorney.  The Law Office of Robert E. Luttrell III is dedicated to tailoring our legal services to fit each family's unique dynamic, needs, and goals, and making the process as smooth and cost-effective as possible. Robert E. Lutrell III has more than a decade of legal experience to offer your case. For powerful representation, give our office a call.

About the Author

Robert Luttrell

Learn more about Attorney at Law, Robert E. Luttrell III Attorney Robert E. Luttrell III is the senior partner of the Law Office of Robert E. Luttrell III. He is a dedicated attorney who has years of experience in various types of law including family, divorce, child custody, criminal defense, b...

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