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What to Do If You Are Served with a Protective Order

Posted on in Domestic Violence

TX divorce lawyerOrders of protection can serve an important purpose during divorce cases. Sometimes, one spouse is legitimately a danger to the other and a protective order is necessary for safety reasons. Sometimes, however, protective orders are used maliciously by an unscrupulous spouse seeking to gain an edge during divorce and child custody proceedings. If you have been served with an order of protection - even if you did nothing to warrant one - it is important that you immediately comply with its terms and call a qualified family law attorney immediately.

Why Are Protective Orders Issued Unnecessarily?

It is rather easy to obtain a temporary protection order in Texas. This can usually be done ex parte, meaning that you have no opportunity to explain why the order is not necessary before a judge issues it. Generally, if your spouse alleges that you have been violent or made violent threats, they will get the protective order they are asking for. Spouses may do this during divorce proceedings for reasons like:

  • Custody advantage - Your spouse may believe that if they claim you are violent, they will get sole custody. This is often not true, and you will have the opportunity to defend yourself.
  • Spite - Some angry soon-to-be ex-spouses will take out a protective order out of sheer spite, to cause you aggravation, expense, and embarrassment.
  • Fear - Reasonable or not, some people will ask for a protective order out of fear during a divorce.

What Should I Do If I Get Served with a Protective Order?

Even if you did absolutely nothing wrong, it is important that you take the order seriously and comply with its terms. If you are being expelled from the place where you currently reside, you are likely understandably angry and afraid. You have every right to feel this way, but it is critical that you do not return to the residence except with a police escort to collect your personal effects as permitted in the order.

If you are ordered to have no contact with your spouse, children, or others, avoid all contact. Even if they contact you first, do not respond. Your spouse cannot waive the protective order without a court order. You will have an opportunity later to defend yourself and explain why a protective order is not reasonable or needed. In the meantime, as difficult as it may be, you will need to be patient and let your attorney build your case.

Speak with a Texas Divorce Attorney

If you have been wrongfully served with a protective order related to divorce proceedings, you will need an experienced Dallas divorce lawyer to protect your rights. The Clark Law Group understands how easily a protective order can be used maliciously and we will fight for it to be dropped. Call 469-906-2266 to schedule a confidential consultation with a qualified attorney.



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