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restraining order

A restraining order—also known as a protective order, a stay away order of protection, or an order of protection—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 restraining order, commonly referred to as a protective order, is a legal directive issued by a court to prevent acts of family violence, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault. During divorce proceedings or between intimate partners, such orders can mandate that one party refrain from contacting or coming within a certain distance of the other party, and may also prohibit the possession of firearms, even if the individual is licensed to carry one. Texas law allows for the issuance of an ex parte temporary protective order in emergency situations without prior notice to the other party, which remains in effect for a specified period until a hearing can be held for a more permanent order. The requirements for obtaining a protective order in Texas typically involve providing evidence of violence or abuse, and these regulations are found within the state's Family Code. An attorney can assist in navigating the process of obtaining a protective order and represent an individual's interests in court.

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