Lawyer for Restraining Order in Dallas, Frisco, Plano & North Texas
Restraining orders are often confused with protective orders, but the two are not the same and each serves a different purpose. A protective order is designed to protect one person from the violence of another. The terms of a protective order are enforced by law enforcement officers and those who violated the terms of the protective order will be arrested and may be criminally prosecuted. Restraining orders are different and are not enforced by law enforcement officers. If you think you need a restraining order lawyer, we recommend contacting one as soon as possible to protect your safety.
Restraining orders are common and may be part of any divorce proceeding. They are designed to control and supervise the conduct of the parties during the divorce process. The orders are often issued when the original petition for dissolution of the marriage is filed and may be made upon request of the party or by the court on its own motion. The orders go into effect even if the other party has no notice.
Some common restraining orders provided for in Texas Family Code § 6.501 include prohibiting either party from:
• Depleting the bank account.
• Closing the bank account and canceling charge cards.
• Incurring new debt.
• Selling property.
• Damaging any property or taking any action that will reduce its value.
• Hiding assets, including intellectual property that may be a marital asset.
• Failing to pay insurance premiums and prohibiting the change of beneficiary.
• Talking badly about each other in front of the children.
• Making any false record of any property of either party.
• Making harassing or obscene phone calls to the other.
• Threatening harm either on the phone or in writing.
Essentially any type of behavior can be prohibited by a restraining order during the pendency of the divorce proceedings. If a reasonable reason is presented to the court for why a restraining order is necessary, it is likely the court will agree and issue the order.
Enforcement of Restraining Orders
Unlike protective orders that are enforced by law enforcement, law enforcement officers have no authority over a person who violates the terms of a restraining order. It is not a criminal matter, but a civil one. If one party violates a restraining order, the remedy is for the other party to file a motion with the court that issued the order requesting the court to enforce its order and/or to hold the violating party in contempt.
If the court finds the violating party in contempt, it may send the party to jail. The court may also impose a fine or order both jail time and a fine. Community service may be ordered instead of jail time or a fine. The court does have the authority to order a first-time offender to shape up and comply with the order without imposing any harsher penalty. It all depends on the circumstances and the nature of the violation.
If you are in the process of divorce or other difficult situation and need to request the court to issue a restraining order, contact Jeff Anderson today. He has nearly 20 years of experience guiding his clients through the family law court system. He will consult with you, listen to the circumstances of your case and help you decide what to do next.