hide my visit

I need a protective order

Related Legal Issues

Title

I need a protective order

PLEASE BE CAREFUL 

Anyone who uses your computer can see what websites and pages you have visited.  You cannot completely clear it.  If you think this may happen, please use a safer computer, call your local shelter, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY: 800-787-3224.

This toolkit tells you about getting a protective order to protect you from someone who has been violent or threatned to be violent. FORMS ARE INCLUDED.

This toolkit includes:

  • Instructions & Forms you can use to file a protective order.
  • Frequently Asked Questions aboutprotective orders 
  • Articles on topics related to protective orders.

Need Help?

For more information on organizations that may be able to help you try contacting:

WARNING! The information and forms in this toolkit are not legal advice and are not a substitute for the help of a lawyer. It’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer about your particular situation.

Checklists
Answers to Common Questions
What is a Protective Order?

It is a court order that protects you from someone who has been violent or threatened to be violent.Violence can include sexual assault.

How can a Protective Order help me?

It can order the other person to:

  • Not hurt you or threaten to hurt you
  • Not contact you or go near you, your children, other family relatives, your pets, your home, where you work, or your children’s schools
  • Not have a gun or a license to carry a gun The police can arrest the other person for violating any of these orders
Can I get a Protective Order?

You can get a Protective Order if:

  • Someone has hurt you, or threatened to hurt you, and
  • You are afraid that person may hurt you again, and
  • Either you, or your spouse or dating partner has a close relationship with the person who hurt you
    • A close relationship includes: marriage, close relatives, dating or living together, or having a child together.

You can also get a Protective Order if you have had a Protective Order against the other person before and the other person violated the parts of the Protective Order designed to protect you.

You can also get a Protective Order if you have been sexually assaulted or stalked, even if you do not have a close relationship with the person who sexually assaulted or stalked you. To get more information about this kind of Protective Order, contact the Texas Advocacy Project, Inc. at 800/374- HOPE(4673) or the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault at 512-474-7190.

For a protective order, what if the other person and I live together or have children together?

The judge can make orders about who gets to use the house, apartment or car.

The judge can also make other orders like child custody, child support, visitation, and spousal support. The judge can also make an order to protect pets. 

Can I get protection right away?

The judge may give you a temporary order that protects you until your court hearing.

This order is called a “Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order”.

Please note: if you do not receive a court document entitled “Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order” that is signed by the judge after you apply, you do NOT have a protective order yet.You must go to a hearing and ask the judge for a Protective Order. In some cases, the judge orders the other person to leave the home right away. If you want this, you should ask the judge. Be ready to testify at a hearing when you file your Application.

Do I have to go to court to get a protective order?

Yes. Even if you get a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order, you must go to the next hearing. It should be in about 2 weeks.The judge will decide if you should have protection and for how long. If you do not go, the Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order may end.

How long will the Protective Order be in place?

In most cases, a Protective Order will last up to two years. There are some situations where a court can issue a Protective Order that lasts longer than two years.

Getting Ready to Go To Court

The video below can give you general tips on going to court in Texas.