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Obtaining a restraining order in Texas

Texas law recognizes the need that some people have to protect themselves from the persistent hazards generated by certain dangerous or erratic individuals, especially in cases of domestic abuse. There are two types of protective orders, or restraining orders, available in Texas. Someone who feels threatened by another person may petition the court for the imposition of an order to prevent the other individual from contacting them, modify their child custody arrangements when applicable and suspend the other person's right to carry deadly weapons.

The two types of restraining orders in Texas are general and temporary. A temporary restraining order can last as many as 20 days, while a general protective order may be applicable for up to two years. The restraining order can prohibit the subject from contacting the protected individual and entering their dwelling or place of employment, and it can demand the surrender of any firearms or concealed weapons permit. The court may also order the subject to seek counseling or treatment for substance abuse problems. Violation of any of these terms can result in imprisonment for a term as long as a year and a fine up to $4,000.

Although it is common to seek a protective order in the case of an abusive partner or other case of domestic violence, minors may also require restraining orders. The court may order a temporary reassignment of custody if deemed necessary. They may require the target of the order to pay child support as well.

Anyone who desires a restraining order for the protection of themselves or a minor child may choose to seek the guidance of an attorney. Texas law contains provisions to require the target of the order to pay the attorney fees and court fees necessary in order to set up the order.

Source: Findlaw, "Texas Protective Orders Laws", September 02, 2014

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