Texas individuals who are divorcing and are concerned about violence from a spouse may want to file for a protective order. There is no cost associated with a protective order, and it prohibits the other individual from stalking or threatening their spouse or ex-spouse and, if necessary, children or other family members.
A protective order may have a broad range of functions, and a judge may use it to require the respondent to pay child support, not possess a firearm, attend counseling or other actions. If a person has left an abusive situation, they can still file for the protective order. Protective orders have a broad remit and can protect people in a number of different relationships, so individuals who feel threatened by another individual should look into domestic violence resources or contact law enforcement to find out what their rights are.
A protective order may be obtained from the county, an attorney, a legal aid program and sometimes from a domestic violence program. As part of a divorce, it has to be filed in the same county where the divorce is taking place. A protective order can last for up to two years, and in an emergency, a court can put a temporary one in place while the more permanent one is pending.
Individuals who are involved in a divorce where there has been domestic violence or threats may be particularly concerned about protecting themselves, their children, assets and even family pets. They may want to ensure that the other parent does not get visitation rights. The domestic violence situation may also affect whether support is ordered or desired. If violence occurs after a divorce, it may be necessary to make modifications to custody and support orders.