Woman putting together documents to request a restraining order

What Proof Do You Need for a Restraining Order Request?

Going through a domestic dispute can be very difficult. Fortunately, you can take action to request protection against another family member. To help your cause, you need compelling evidence to support your position, especially when requesting a restraining order in Texas.

You may have questions such as, “What proof do you need for a restraining order?” or “How can the proof help me obtain the right restraining order for my situation?” Find out more about how this works gathering and presenting evidence to help you receive the protection you need.

Understanding the Role of a Restraining Order in a Dispute

According to the Texas Family Code, a restraining order is an official court document that prohibits an abuser from contacting a victim – or risk facing legal consequences (such as being in contempt of court).

The purpose of this order is to protect the victim from further abuse. And, restraining orders can be requested by victims or by someone acting on their behalf.

The judge will decide how long the restraining order will be in effect, which can last from days to years. The person asking for the restraining order must have a valid reason for pursuing this form of legal protection, which is why the quality of evidence is vital to support your argument.

What Proof Do You Need for a Restraining Order in Texas?

Saying that you do not feel safe or have experienced abuse does not guarantee that you’ll receive a protective order. To be eligible, you must meet certain criteria and you must provide clear proof of unsafe conditions.

You can pursue a restraining order if you have been harmed (or threatened by harm) and there’s a close relationship between you and the person inflicting that harm. Some of the qualifying relationships include the following:

  • Marriage
  • Familial ties
  • Dating
  • Cohabitation
  • Parenthood

Then, you must provide ample proof to support your claims. We recommend gathering as much evidence as possible to help you throughout the legal process, including:

  • Detailed Statements: Written or recorded information detailing incidents.
  • Witness Testimonies: Statements from individuals who have witnessed the activity.
  • Photographic Evidence: Photos of injuries, damages, or any other physical evidence.
  • Police Reports and Restraining Orders: Copies of any previous police reports or restraining orders (even from other U.S. states).
  • Communication Evidence: Copies of emails, text messages, voicemails, social media posts, or other forms of communication.
  • Medical Records: Documentation of injuries that resulted from the abusive behavior.
  • Professional Statements: Statements from professionals who have knowledge of the improper behavior.

The specific proof required can vary depending on the situation, but the key is to collect and organize as much evidence as possible. The more proof you have, the stronger your request for a restraining order will be.

How Do You Obtain a Restraining Order in Texas?

Obtaining a restraining order in Texas requires a few important steps:

  • Speak with a family law attorney about your situation.
  • Go to your local district courthouse or district attorney’s office.
  • Fill out a Texas restraining order application.
  • Wait for the judge to look over your application.
  • Answer any questions asked by the judge.

You should let the judge know if you’re in any immediate danger, and be sure to attend the court hearing about your restraining order.

We recommend working with a family law attorney from the outset to ensure you set yourself up to receive the protection you need. One of our attorneys can review your situation, make a recommendation, and help you throughout the process.

What are the Types of Restraining Orders in Texas?

If you’re in imminent danger, obtaining a restraining order can be the best way to protect yourself and your children. The key is knowing which type of restraining order best suits your situation. Here are the three types of restraining orders you can request in the state of Texas.

Temporary Ex-Parte Protective Order

If you have been abused or assaulted by your partner and you believe he or she will most likely do it again, you can pursue a temporary ex-parte protective order with the help of an attorney who is seasoned in domestic violence restraining order cases.

To receive this kind of protection, you will have to prove that your partner abused you and that you’re at risk of being abused again. It’s important to gather evidence such as medical records, pictures, messages, eyewitness accounts, and other proof.

Final or Permanent Protective Order

You can pursue this restraining order if you feel a temporary order is insufficient. But unlike a temporary order, which can be issued without your abuser present, this type of order will involve the other party.

Your partner will also be at the hearing, where he or she will have an opportunity to present any arguments and evidence to dispute your claims. That’s why you need an experienced attorney by your side to help present rock-solid evidence on your behalf.

Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection

This is an emergency protective order that’s issued if your partner is arrested for any offense that affects your well-being (such as stalking, sexual assault, or sexual abuse). You can use the arrest as evidence of your partner’s behavior to indicate that you need the highest form of protection the law provides.

If you are facing this type of situation, be sure to speak with one of our qualified attorneys immediately for more information on obtaining this level of protection.

How Long Do Restraining Orders Last in Texas?

Temporary restraining orders last for a short time – typically 14 days – but the court may extend this duration depending on the circumstances. After issuing the initial order, the court will review the case in more detail to determine whether to advance to a more permanent level of protection.

Permanent orders can stay in effect for up to two years, so they are not lifetime protective orders. In some situations, a permanent protective order can be extended beyond the two-year period.

However, a decision to extend the order will depend on how much harm the abuser has inflicted. If he or she committed what’s considered to be a felony offense, the court may decide to extend the protective order beyond two years.

Emergency protective orders are issued primarily in the aftermath of violence. They generally last between 31 to 61 days, extending up to 91 days if a deadly weapon was involved in the assault. In some situations, judges may decide to issue an order on their own based on the information provided in an arrest record.

Find Support Receiving the Protection You Need

At the end of the day, what proof do you need for a restraining order? You need clear evidence that is well-documented to help you obtain the right level of protection for your situation.

The more proof you have, the better your chances of receiving a restraining order. Let us help you increase peace of mind by supporting your restraining order case from start to finish.

Our team of caring and helpful family law attorneys currently supports victims in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, and Matagorda County. If you live in one of these counties, contact our Angleton office at 979-267-7660 or our Sugar Land office at 281-944-5485 to speak with a local family law attorney.

We are on your side and ready to help you with the legal process. Please contact us immediately to discuss the next steps in your situation.