Obtaining a protective order during divorce

Individuals in Texas who are divorcing and dealing with domestic violence in their relationship may want to obtain a protective order. A protective order can stop another individual from stalking or threatening them. In an emergency, a court can issue a temporary protective order than can later be replaced with one that lasts for up to two years.

A county office, local domestic violence center, attorney or legal aid program may all be able to provide an individual with forms for a protective order, and applying is free. If a divorce is in process, the protective order must be filed in the same county as the divorce. However, a protective order cannot be used as part of divorce proceedings.

A protective order may compel an individual to take a number of other actions besides ceasing contact. For example, it may require an individual to attend counseling or pay child support.

An individual who is going through a divorce when there has been abuse in the marriage may want to consult an attorney. Even though the protective order itself is not a custody order, the fact that the other spouse was abusive may have an effect on how custody and visitation are decided. In some cases, a court may rule that it is in the child’s best interests to not have visitation with the other parent.

A potentially contentious divorce may bring other issues with it as well. For example, there may be efforts to hide assets. If an individual has left an abusive spouse, the abusive spouse may refuse to return property. Support may be more difficult to obtain. An attorney may be able to suggest some legal strategies for dealing with issues such as these.

Source: The State Bar of Texas, “Ending the violence: How to obtain a Texas protective order,” Accessed March 17, 2015