Protective & Restraining Orders Attorneys, Houston TX
In family law cases in Texas, sometimes clients can get confused about the difference between a temporary restraining orders, temporary ex-parte protective orders, and final protective orders. These orders serve different purposes.
Protective Orders and Temporary Ex-Parte Protective Orders
Protective orders are used in cases where there is allegations of family violence or dating violence. The procedure for obtaining one can be extremely complex and fact intensive. But in general, all of these orders are designed to protect families and children from further acts of violence. The term violence is broadly defined in the family code.
Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO’s)
Temporary restraining orders, or TRO’s, are highly recommended in Texas family law cases. These orders are usually prepared at the same time as the initial pleadings. They contain injunctions against both parties. In a divorce case for example, the injunctions usually relate to the preservation of property. So, for example, a common injunction would be to prevent either party from selling, transferring or disposing of any property. This would deter a party from deciding to sell off a good chunk of the estate and absconding with the money they get from it. Each party is almost always prohibited from going on a wild spending spree or incurring massive debt, in order to ensure the community estate’s integrity.
There can also include injunctions regarding the children. Most courts will order both parties to not withdraw the children from the school they are in, or taking them out of state without prior written permission. TRO’s are essentially a ‘status quo’ order, ensuring the preservation of the estate and stability of the children until the court can get the parties to a hearing where evidence and arguments can be presented.
How Long TRO’s Last
TRO’s last for only 14 days from the time the judge signs the order. Usually, the judge will sign off on an extension, particularly if there has been a problem in getting the other party served with the case. A temporary orders hearing should be set prior to the expiration of the TRO so the parties can get some temporary relief like support, the use and management of the property, and custody and possession of the children. There will usually be a determination as to whether the injunctions listed in the TRO’s should continue throughout the case. (Usually, they are).
Currently, the trend across counties in Texas is to issue ‘Standing Orders’ with every case. These are a list of common injunctions regarding children and property in order to presentederve the status quo of the parties. You can find a good example of a basic standing order for Bexar County, Texas at this page.
Depending on your case, we can let you know whether we believe a protective order is warranted. If you are the subject of a protective order, we can also defend you against the allegations, and mitigate the potential exposure you face if an order is issued against you. As for TRO’s, we will ensure that any specialized language is presented to the judge in order to preserve your estate. If you have unusual circumstances regarding your children or your property, it is important for the court to be aware of these circumstances so that they can issue the appropriate orders. Our team is ready to ensure your rights are protected to the maximum extent.