Cleburne Family Law Attorney
A protective order, which is sometimes known as a restraining order, is a civil court order issued to prevent incidents of domestic violence. In Texas, domestic violence is defined as an act committed by a family member or member of a household that is intended to physically harm or threaten harm to another member, or the abuse of a child. At the Law Office of Robert E. Luttrell, our Cleburne family law attorney stands up families and supports victims of domestic abuse. If you need a protective order, seek our skilled legal help today to ensure your safety and the safety of your family.
Call (817) 645-6600 to request your free initial consultation with a trusted Johnson County family attorney.
In domestic violence cases, family includes blood relatives, relatives by marriage, former spouses, parents of the same child, foster parents and children, or any member or even former members of a household, regardless if they are related or not.
How Do Protective Orders Help?
Protective orders can prohibit an offender from any of the following:
- Committing further acts of family violence
- Harassing or threatening a victim, whether directly or indirectly
- Going to or near a school or day-care center of the child that is protected by the order
Additionally, a protective order has the power to prevent the transfer or disposal of property, establish possession and visitation of a child, pay child or spousal support, attend required counseling, and vacate a residence or other property.
Who Can Acquire a Protective Order?
If the court determines that family violence has taken place and is likely to occur again, a court might render a protective order. However, it is determined on a case-by-case basis.
In Texas, domestic violence is defined as:
- Acts intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault
- A threat that reasonably places the complainant in fear of immediate physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault
- Physical injury that causes substantial harm to a child
- Sexual conduct harmful to a child's mental, emotional, or physical welfare
- Forcing or encouraging a child to engage in sexual conduct
- Causing, allowing, or engaging in pornographic or obscene photographing or filming of the child
- Use of a controlled substance that causes physical, emotional, or mental injuries to a child
- Encouraging, causing, or permitting a child to use controlled substances
Can a Protective Order Remove the Abuser From My Home?
When you file for a protective order, a judge might consider excluding the abuser from the home and allow you to remain in it. This is known as exclusive possession and necessary to remove an abuser if the home is:
- Jointly owned or leased by both you and the abuser
- Owned or leased by the abuser and he or she has an obligation to support you or to support a child
- Owned or leased by you
To ask that an abuser be excluded as part of a temporary ex parte protection order, you must prove the following in your affidavit and testimony:
- You are currently living in the residence or have lived there within the past 30 days before filing
- The abuser committed family violence against you or a member of the household within 30 days before filing
- Clear and present danger exists and the abuser will likely commit family violence against you or a household member again
How Can I Get a Protective Order?
Protective orders can be filed by an adult member of a family or household, any adult for the protection of a child, a prosecuting attorney, or the Department of Human and Regulatory Services. You can apply for it through the district or county attorney, a private attorney, or a legal aid service program. Your application for a protective order must be filed in the county in which you or the offender resides. You do not have to meet any minimum time limits to establish residency in the state and such orders are available in every Texas county.
If you obtain a protective order and it is violated, you must call the police immediately. No court order can protect you from all instances of violence, so if you suspect you are in immediate danger and the abuser violates the order, it is imperative to call law enforcement. If violated, the offender could be punished for contempt of court by a fine of $500 or up to 6 months in jail. For the violation offense, he or she might be punished with a fine of up to $4,000 and up to 1 year in jail.
Helping Families Find Long-Term Solutions
At the Law Office of Robert E. Luttrell, our Cleburne attorney has more than 20 years of proven trial-tested experience to help you find solutions for a wide range of family law matters, including divorce, child custody and visitation, relocation, modification, and more. If you need to file for a protective order, we have the skills and insight to offer you peace of mind through legal advice and exceptional representation in all legal proceedings.
Do not hesitate. Contact our office today at (817) 567-2899 to schedule a free consultation with a trusted Johnson County family law attorney.