Get Help With A Motion For A Protective Order
Allegations of family violence are all too common in divorces and custody disputes. If violence is occurring in your family, the Texas Family Code authorizes the issue of three different types of protective orders. All types of protection orders have serious consequences on family law cases.
What is a protective order?
A protective order is a court order protecting a victim of family violence from future violence or threatening contact. These orders are enforceable by civil and criminal contempt, which means that a party can be jailed if he or she violates the order.
Temporary Ex-Parte Order
A temporary ex-parte order is granted without a hearing when there is clear and present danger of family violence and goes into effect for 20 days. This order is designed to protect a victim until a hearing can be held regarding a final motion from the judge.
Magistrate’s Emergency Order
A magistrate’s emergency order goes into effect when a person is arrested for family violence or related crimes. This type of protective order is in effect for 31 to 61 days. It is also designed to protect victims until a more permanent order can be put into place.
Final Protective Order
A final order is granted after a hearing in which the evidence shows that family violence has occurred in the past and is likely to occur in the future. This order stays in effect for two years.
Who qualifies for protection in Houston?
You qualify for a protection order if you have been a victim of family violence and more violence is likely to occur in the future. Family violence is defined as violence against a member of the household, family, or child in the household or family, or violence against someone in a dating relationship. If you have been a victim of any type of violence, contact an attorney today to see what protection is available to you.
Should I hire an attorney?
If you already have a divorce or custody case pending, you will have to file a motion for protective order though the family court system, as generally the district attorney’s office will not be able to assist you if you are already represented by counsel. If you have any concerns about your safety or the safety of your children, we recommend hiring an attorney to protect your rights.
Should I hire an attorney if my spouse has filed for a protective order against me?
If you are accused of family violence, it is critical that you hire an attorney to defend your interests. You can fight a motion for a protective order, but hiring an ineffective attorney, or attempting to resolve the issue yourself, could result in an order issuing against you. The consequences of an order could limit access to your children in addition to other long term effects.
Even if family violence occurred, a protective order should not be automatically be granted against you, as it is not needed if you were acting in self-defense during an argument or if family violence is not likely to occur again in the future. Divorce and custody fights are extremely stressful periods of times, if an incident has occurred in your family, make sure you speak to an experienced attorney to protect your rights.
What are the potential consequences?
If an order is issued against you, the consequences are serious and may include:
- The other party doesn’t have to participate in mediation in any other family law case.
- You may have to pay all court costs and attorney’s fees incurred by the other party.
- You may have to pay spousal maintenance in the future.
- You may be denied access to your children or only allowed restricted / supervised access.
- You may no longer be considered for the joint managing conservator of your children.
- Any previous orders regarding your children can be changed to restrict your access.
- Potential deportation if you are not a citizen of the United States.
- You could face criminal charges.
Protective orders shouldn’t be taken lightly. Be sure to hire a trained attorney – like one of the team at Ramos Law Group – to help you avoid long-lasting issues.
Never agree to a protective order. Signing an agreement will not make your problems go away; instead it will make your other family law issues significantly worse.