In Texas, a no contact order prohibits an abuser, such as an ex-spouse, from having any contact with their victim. The order is designed to create clear boundaries for the offender, but sometimes the person will intentionally or unintentionally violate the order.
If there is a pattern of violations, you should consider taking legal action to enforce the original order or modify the order to strengthen the language. Let’s focus on how to modify a no contact order in Texas, which will help strengthen the language of the original order to deter your abuser from continuing to cross the line.
Determine If You Qualify to File for a Modification
Before you file for a modification of a no contact order, you must first determine if you qualify for this legal action. To qualify, you must have a current protective order that includes a no contact provision against your ex-spouse.
The language of the order should include provisions that your ex cannot contact you in person, by phone, text, email, or social media. It should also include provisions that your ex cannot contact you through a third party, such as asking someone else to pass along a message.
The protective order must have been issued in Texas, and you must currently live in Texas. If you move out of state, you must file for a modification in the state where you now live.
As a family law attorney, I can help you confirm whether you qualify for a modification of the original order. Following my review, we can walk through the required steps to modify the original order.
Steps to Modify a No Contact Order
The key steps in the modification process include the following:
- File a motion
- Serve notice
- Attend a hearing to modify the order
- Enforce the modified order
1. File a Motion
The first step is to file the proper paperwork with the court where the original order was created. We will request a motion to modify the order, which will include certain filing fees.
When filing the request, be sure to include all relevant information about your ex-spouse’s violations of the no contact order. If you have documentation of the violations, such as text messages, phone records, email communications, or a police report, be sure to make a note of that evidence as well.
2. Service of Notice
After you have filed your motion to modify, the court will schedule a hearing, and the next step is to serve your ex-spouse with the motion; this is typically done by having the sheriff’s department or other process server present your ex-spouse with the notice.
This step aims to give your ex-spouse a heads-up about the motion and provide them with an opportunity to respond to it. The papers served to your ex will detail when and where the court hearing on the motion will be held.
3. Attend the Hearing
Once your ex-spouse has been served with notice of the motion, it’s time to attend the scheduled hearing. At the court hearing, you and your ex-spouse will have an opportunity to present evidence and argument in support of or opposition to the motion.
After evaluating the facts of your case, the judge will decide whether to modify the no contact provision of the protective order. If the judge grants the modification, they will issue a new order with the modified terms.
4. Enforce the Modified Order
If all goes well, the modified order should deter your ex-spouse from future violations. However, if your ex-spouse violates the terms of the modified no contact order, you can file another motion to enforce the order. This is typically done by filing a motion for contempt.
If the judge finds that your ex-spouse has violated the order once again, they may impose sanctions, such as ordering your ex-spouse to pay a fine, serve jail time, or both.
How to Modify a No Contact Order: Find Expert Legal Support
The above details cover only a fraction of what it takes to modify a no contact order in Texas. If you are seeking to modify the provisions in a protective order, it’s critical to seek the help of an experienced attorney. I can help you determine if you qualify to file for a modification and will help you navigate the process.
I currently help victims of abuse in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County. If you live in one of these counties, then contact me for trusted legal advice and support every step of the way.
As your attorney, I will review the language in the original order and represent you on the journey to securing a modification. Call my offices today at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to request a consultation about how to modify a no contact order. Let’s get started on resolving your situation.