Q. Do I have to be married to the person I
want an order against?
A. No. You also meet the relationship requirement if you and the
abuser are divorced, lived together, or had a child together or
if you and the abuser are related by blood or marriage.
Q. Do I have to go to court to get a
A. Yes. The person against whom you want an order must receive
notice that you want a protective order and be given the chance
to appear in court and object to the order.
Q. Can I get a protective order because of
A. No. You must show that family violence -- physical abuse or
threats of physical abuse -- has occurred and is likely to occur
again. Mental and emotional abuse are not part of the definition
of family violence in the Texas Family Code.
Q. How much will this cost me?
A. Our office does not charge attorney’s fees to represent you.
By law, the district clerk cannot charge a protective order
applicant any filing fees, and the constable cannot charge the
applicant for service of the papers.
Q. How long does it take to get a
A. Usually it takes at least two weeks to get a protective order
that the police can enforce.
Q. What’s the difference between a
protective order and a restraining order?
A. Both types of orders can direct a person to stay away from
your home and place of employment. However, only a protective
order is criminally enforceable, meaning that the abuser can be
arrested and charged with a criminal offense for violating the
order. The police cannot arrest someone for violating a
restraining order; you must go back to the judge who issued the
restraining order to enforce it.