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protective order

A protective order—also known as a stay away order of protection, an order of protection, or a restraining order—is an order from the court requiring spouses in the divorce process (or other intimate partners) not to come within a specified distance of the other spouse, not to harass the other spouse, and not to contact the other spouse by phone, e-mail, text, or otherwise. A protective order may also order the spouse against whom it is issued not to carry a firearm—even if the spouse is licensed to do so.

Under some circumstances a court may issue an ex parte (pronounced x-par-tay) temporary protective order that is in effect for a certain number of days. An ex parte protective order is issued in an emergency situation without notice to the other spouse and an opportunity for the other spouse (and the spouse’s lawyer) to respond to the application for a protective order.

When the spouse or intimate partner is served with the ex parte temporary protective order it will include notice of the hearing date on which the court will consider the application for the more permanent or full order of protection.

Laws regarding protective orders and the circumstances under which they may be issued vary from state to state but are generally based on proof of family or dating violence, domestic abuse, stalking, harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault. These laws are usually located in a state’s statutes—often in the family code or domestic relations code.

In Texas, a protective order, also known as a restraining order, is a legal injunction issued by a court to prevent acts of family violence, which can include abuse by a spouse or other intimate partner. The order can prohibit the abuser from committing further acts of violence, harassing or threatening the victim, coming within a certain distance of the victim, or communicating with the victim in any manner. It can also forbid the abuser from carrying a firearm, even if they are licensed to do so. Texas law allows for the issuance of an ex parte temporary protective order in emergency situations where there is a clear and present danger of family violence. This type of order can be granted without prior notice to the abuser and is temporary, typically lasting up to 20 days, until a full hearing can be held. At the hearing, both parties can present their case, and the court may decide to issue a more permanent order, which can last up to two years and may be extended under certain circumstances. The relevant statutes can be found in the Texas Family Code, which outlines the requirements and procedures for obtaining a protective order.

Legal articles related to this topic

Protective Orders: A Brief Overview
A protective order, often known as a "restraining order" or "order of protection," is a court order issued to protect an individual from being harmed or harassed by another individual.