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Protective Orders in Dallas

Compassionate & Attentive Dallas Divorce Attorneys

When a divorce is pending, it sometimes occurs that one of the parties may be a genuine threat to the other party or other family members. A protective order can be issued to allow for an immediate arrest if the order is violated. Family violence is defined as when one member of a family physically or emotionally harms or threatens to harm another member of the family, including children. In Texas, the term "family" encompasses any persons related by blood or marriage. It also includes former spouses, two people who are the parents of a child, foster parents, foster children, and any other member of the household, related by either blood or marriage. Threats of violence require immediate action to obtain a protective order, and our Dallas divorce attorneys are prepared to immediate obtain the protection you need.

What do protective orders do?

When a protective order is served on an abusive or violent spouse, its purpose is to restrict that person's contact and communication with the person who obtained the order, including any children who could be victims. In general, a protective order can state that the abuser cannot come near the home or workplace of the abused spouse, as well as the child's school. The orders can also often dictate that the abuser undergoes counseling, not carry a firearm, or communicate to the other party. While a protective order is usually intended to prevent any predictable violence or abuse, it can also include other stipulations, such as how property is to be handled, visitation rights, child support, and others. A protective order is generally affective for 14 days, during which time the abuser can contest it in court. An ex parte order may also be issued by the court, which is valid for up to 20 days. This temporary order is issued when the court agrees there is an imminent danger of violence, and the abuser does not need to be notified of the order. Within 20 days, a hearing will decide if a final protective order will be issued. If so, the final order can be extended up to two years.

A judge issues protective orders if he is satisfied that one is needed. It must be filed in the same court where the divorce is filed. The subject of the order must have committed at least one act of family violence in the past, and the person applying for the order must be able to prove it as well as convince the court it could likely happen again. The testimony of the applicant, and / or any witness, as to the prior violent act(s) might be all that is necessary. However, providing compelling and convincing evidence can be beneficial in getting the order. If a spouse has been previously battered, for example, then doctor or hospital records can be provided as part of the supporting evidence.

Violations of Protective Orders

Any person who is the subject of a protective order, and who violates the terms of the order is subject to fine, arrest, or both. Law enforcement must keep records on protective orders issued, so if they are notified of a violation, the offender will be arrested and charged with a criminal offense. Conviction of violating a protective order is punishable by being sentenced up to one year in county jail and / or up to $4000 in fines. If this is the third or subsequent conviction, a possible prison sentence of 2 to 10 years could result.

Restraining Orders vs. Protective Orders

Restraining orders are much more likely to be issued in divorce cases, although many times people use the terms restraining order and protective order interchangeably. Restraining orders in divorce cases basically serve to control the conduct of the people involved. Rather than serving to prevent family violence, they prevent the parties from emptying bank accounts, seizing mail, incurring additional debt, and restricting abusive language used in the presence of the other party or speaking badly of the other party to a child. Restraining orders are put in place by the divorce court. They are not enforceable by law enforcement as protective orders are. If one party violates the restraining order, the court needs to be notified, and then fines and / or arrest could occur.

Trust Experienced Dallas Divorce Attorneys

The Mathur Law Offices, P.C. has been providing our compassionate, experienced services to local residents since 1995. We know that when clients come to our firm in their time of need, they need the facts, support, and swift legal action. Should you choose to work with our legal team, you can be confident that we will be here to protect your rights and ensure that you obtain the protective order you need. We are committed to helping our clients through this difficult and emotional time to a calm and safe resolution. Contact our firm to learn more about how we can help.

  • Dear Mr. Mathur: I want to thank you and Anamika at Mathur Law Offices in representing me in my divorce case and getting me the desired result. They are very trustworthy and put in effort and time to understand your legal needs to achieve the best for you. I highly recommend them.

Mathur Law Offices, P.C. - Dallas Family Law Attorney
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