Should You Consult a Family Law Attorney to Get a Restraining Order?

Should You Consult a Family Law Attorney to Get a Restraining Order?

Restraining orders, known as “protective orders” or even just “PO” in Texas, protect individuals from threats, harassment, or harm. These orders come into play in various situations, particularly within the family context. Family law attorneys in Sugar Land, TX are best positioned to help you understand whether you need a PO and get one for you if so.


Protective Orders in Texas: An Overview

In Texas, a protective order prohibits a person from committing acts of violence, threatening the applicant, or communicating with the applicant in any manner, among other restrictions. The specifics of what the order entails can vary depending on the circumstances and the court’s discretion.

A Protective Order is designed specifically for individuals who have unfortunately become victims of certain harmful or threatening behaviors, including but not limited to domestic abuse, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking.


Provisions of the Protective Order

A PO aims to ensure the safety of the victim by imposing several restrictions on the abuser. The central directives of the order include:


Protection from Harm and Harassment

The abuser is legally mandated not to engage in any form of violence, threat, or harassment against the victim. This prohibition also extends to indirect harassment or threats made through third parties.


Firearm Restriction

Even if the abuser possesses a legal license, they are prohibited from carrying a firearm while the PO is active.


Mandatory Distance Requirement

The abuser is required to maintain distance and refrain from approaching or contacting the victim. This non-contact provision is not limited to the victim’s residence but also extends to their workplace, the school or daycare of their children, and any other place frequented by the family.


Other Discretionary Directives

Based on the specific circumstances of the case, the court can issue further directives to ensure the safety and welfare of the victim and their family. Some of these additional directives may include:


Child-Related Directives

The court can order the abuser to pay child and medical support. Moreover, the court can establish specific terms and conditions for the abuser’s visitation rights with the children, ensuring that such interactions do not pose any threat or harm.


Cell Phone Separation

If the victim’s cell phone is connected to or under the abuser’s account, the judge can order the separation of the phone connection, ensuring the victim’s privacy and reducing potential avenues of control or harassment.


Residential Restrictions

In extreme cases where the presence of the abuser in the home poses a continued threat, the court has the authority to issue a “kick out order”, which mandates the abuser vacate the residence.


Behavioral Interventions

Recognizing that some abusers may benefit from interventions, the court can order attendance in anger management classes, mandate drug testing, or require enrollment in a substance abuse treatment program.


When Can Family Law Attorneys in Sugar Land Get a Restraining Order for Me?

When Family Violence Is Evident

One of the most common reasons individuals seek protective orders is due to instances of family violence. Family violence in Texas is not limited to actual physical harm; it also encompasses threats that reasonably place the petitioner in fear of imminent physical harm, assault, or sexual assault.


In Contentious Divorce Proceedings

Divorce can be a tumultuous process, and emotions can run high. Sometimes, one party may feel threatened or harassed by the other. While not all divorce proceedings necessitate a restraining order, there are cases where one party’s behavior may cross legal boundaries, leading to a genuine need for protection. Find out more here about what a Texas family law expert can do for you.


When There Is Stalking and Continuous Harassment

In Texas, if a person has reason to believe they are being stalked, they may seek a protective order. A family law attorney can help delineate the line between invasive behavior and mere annoyance, ensuring that the court recognizes when true stalking is happening.


Men’s Rights and Protective Orders

Contrary to common misconception, men can easily be victims of harassment, stalking, or family violence. In situations where men feel threatened or at risk, consulting with a family law attorney can provide assurance that their case will be treated with the seriousness and impartiality it deserves.

Though as a protective order can be a shield for genuine victims, there are also instances where individuals might face unfounded allegations. It is more common for men to be falsely accused in these situations than women, though of course both sexes are and can be victims. In these situations, having a family law attorney is equally crucial, as they can help challenge the basis of an order, ensuring that a person’s rights are not unduly curtailed by baseless claims.

In the context of Texas law, an attorney brings clarity to the legal processes involved, also offers peace of mind to those genuinely in need of protection, and protects those who may be falsely accused.

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