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What Kind of Protections Are Available to Victims of Domestic Violence in Texas?

 Posted on August 25, 2022 in Divorce

Hurst Domestic Violence LawyerDomestic violence is a serious problem in Texas. Around 200,000 incidents of family violence are reported every year, but the estimates of incidents that are not reported are much higher and experts suggest one in three Texans will suffer from domestic violence in their lives. Texas has strong laws to protect victims of domestic violence, but for these laws to be helpful, victims must come forward to hold an abuser responsible. While this is not easy, an experienced Texas domestic violence attorney can help. 

How Can I Get an Order of Protection in Texas? 

While it may feel deeply unfair and frightening, the burden of proof falls on victims of domestic violence. If you make a claim that your partner or ex is abusing you, you need to support this claim with evidence. There are three types of protective orders available in Texas; two of them must be applied for and supported with evidence. The third is issued by a criminal court after an abuser has already been arrested. These protective orders are: 

  • Temporary ex parte protective orders - “Ex parte” is a Latin term meaning “one side only.” Temporary ex parte protective orders can be obtained when a victim presents a court with evidence that an abuser is putting a victim or a family member, including children, in clear danger of family violence. A judge will issue a temporary ex parte order and it usually lasts around 20 days. 

  • Permanent protective order - As the name indicates, permanent or final protective orders are usually issued for up to two years after both the victim and the alleged abuser have a chance to appear before a judge. While attending hearings for permanent protective orders can be scary, they are important for keeping you safe long-term. The alleged abuser will have a chance to argue against a victim’s evidence. In serious cases involving a felony or repeat family violence offenses, permanent protective orders can be issued for longer than two years. 

  • Magistrate’s order for emergency protection - Also known as an emergency protective order, a magistrate’s order for emergency protection can only be issued if an abuser has been arrested for family violence. While a victim can ask a judge to issue an order for emergency protection, a judge may do so of her own accord. In certain circumstances, a judge must issue an emergency protective order even if it is not requested. 

Will Family Violence Protections Cover My Children? 

It is not only the victim of domestic violence who is protected by protective orders. The term “family violence” also includes the following people: 

  • Anyone related by blood or marriage

  • Former spouses, parents of the same child, and foster parents and children

  • People, even unrelated people, living in the same home

  • People in intimate or ongoing romantic relationships 

When a victim is being abused and needs to seek legal protection, that protection can cover other members of the household as well, including children. An abuser can be specifically prohibited from contacting children, especially if the abuser has endangered or abused the children in the past. 

Call a Hurst Domestic Violence Attorney for Help 

If you are being abused by your partner and need help seeking protection, you can schedule a free, confidential consultation with the team of Tarrant County domestic violence attorneys at Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C.. From helping you secure a temporary protection order to making sure you have the resources to leave your relationship safely, we are here to help. Call our offices today at 817-498-4105 to schedule your case review.  



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