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Protection After Divorce if your Ex is Dangerous

There are many reasons why couples find it necessary to file for divorce. While some of them can seem trivial, in some instances, the divorce could be a matter of life and death. In cases when the ex-spouse poses as a danger to you or others, Texas law has provisions for protection.

Protective Orders 

Most people would not be able to distinguish a restraining order from a protective order. The misconception is that they are interchangeable. They are actually very distinct.

In case of protection towards violence, that is a protective order. It is designed to protect those who have been victims of abuse or violence, whether it is a married couple or even while they’re just dating. If there is a threat of physical harm or even stalking, you can request a protective order during the course of the divorce proceedings. It can also be petitioned even while you are still married, though.

If the order is meant to protect a child from domestic abuse, then the order may have one person evicted from the home and instructed to stay a certain distance from a child. It can also declare that a child should stay in the shared home, and also take away the gun rights of the accused spouse. 

The judge can also order your ex-spouse to undergo therapy, anger management or rehabilitation. The judge can also declare these as conditions for visitation rights.

Restraining Orders

A restraining order is just a means to prevent an ex-spouse from doing something. It can be to prevent them from leaving the country, withdrawing the full amount from a bank account or to enter transactions. 

It is not limited to finances, as it can also be restraint in making decisions for the child, or attending a child’s events in school.

Temporary restraining orders do not require proof, so it is more commonly requested. A protective order would require the burden of proof on those requesting it.

Proof for Protective Orders

Before a protective order is issued, the judge needs proof that there was abuse. The evidence depends on the type of protection. For violence, it could be physical injury or eyewitness accounts. For stalking, it could be messages or calls sent, or video footage of the threats being uttered or even the extended presence of the stalker.

The duration of the protective order depends on the case. The usual duration for family violence is for two years, but the court can extend that, even for life. 

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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