If you are the victim of domestic abuse or another form of family violence in Texas, please be aware that you can find immediate relief. You can call the local police, or you can work with a family law attorney such as myself to request legal protection until a hearing can be held.
If you’re in a difficult situation and wondering to yourself, “How long does it take to get a restraining order?” just know that you can find immediate help. The state of Texas has specific provisions that allow victims of family abuse to receive protection as quickly as possible.
The key is understanding that you eventually want to advance from a basic restraining order to a Protective Order that will provide you with long-term protection from your abuser. First, let’s unpack the basics of how the timeline works.
Requesting a Restraining Order in Texas
In Texas, a judge can issue what’s called a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to provide victims of abuse with immediate protection until a court hearing can be held. I can work with you to request this form of protection through the legal system by filing a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order.
Take note that when requesting a TRO, you will need to provide information that captures why you are making this request. This is a serious legal matter that needs to be handled carefully to help your case. The information you will be asked to provide includes:
- The victims of abuse (yourself and children if applicable)
- The alleged offender (known as the respondent)
- The action you are requesting the court take to protect yourself and the children
Once you file the Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order in the county where you live, a case number will be created, and a court date will be set. Your offender will then be served with notice of the order filed against them. If you fear that this could trigger further hostility, you can request that law enforcement serve the offender with papers.
Keep in mind that a TRO only lasts for 14 days (or up until a hearing can be held). This is considered an emergency filing that is not designed to provide a final decision until the court can hear the case. Then, you will want to move toward requesting a protective order.
Advance from a Restraining Order to a Protective Order
The assigned judge will hear testimony and review evidence from both parties during the court hearing. Beforehand, you will want to gather as much evidence as possible to prove your case. I can work with you to gather information such as:
- Threatening text messages, phone calls, or emails
- Medical records (if physical or sexual abuse)
- Eyewitness accounts and testimonies
- Other pertinent evidence that supports your case
You will also be asked a series of questions about the allegations. You will want to provide clear answers that support the argument you are presenting to the judge.
The judge will then review the evidence and decide whether to grant you a long-term form of protection against your offender. If the judge rules in your favor, then they will sign a Protective Order granting you long-term relief from your offender.
The Protective Order will include specific provisions to protect you and certain restrictions against your offender. You will want to request multiple copies of the Protective Order so that you can share this order with your employer, the school where your children attend, or other locations where your offender may attempt to engage you or your children.
Other Elements of a Protective Order to Keep in Mind
There are a few other important things to consider regarding a Protective Order.
– A Protective Order is typically two years in length. Within those two years, your offender may attempt to contact you or make veiled threats against you.
If you believe that you are in danger again and that your offender has violated the protective order, then you can pursue an Enforcement of the Order. This will allow you to reinvolve the court to enforce the original order and remind your offender that there are penalties for violating the order.
– The Protective Order may also lead to complications within a marriage setting. For example, if you are married to the offender, this could lead to a host of follow-up legal proceedings involving divorce, child custody, and child support.
If this pertains to your situation, I can help walk you through all of the steps required to go through the legal process of arriving at the best possible situation for you and your children.
Work With a Family Law Expert to Protect Your Family
I understand this is a tough situation for you and your children. However, help is available right now. If you’re in an emergency situation, please call the police, and you can also reach out to me for support.
I practice family law exclusively, and I have a decade of experience in these types of situations. I have helped numerous individuals in Fort Bend County and Brazoria County find the legal support they need during a family violence situation.
If you live in Fort Bend County or Brazoria County, please contact me right away for support. I can answer your specific questions about how long it takes to get a restraining order and eventually obtain protection through a Protective Order.
Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to further discuss your situation. I am here to help you!