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What You Should Know About Protective Orders and Name Changes

Protective orders and name changes are some of the things that a party could want in a family law case. It is commonly needed when certain actions from a spouse or partner necessitate a request for protective orders from the court. This is pretty common in the presence of family violence. Family violence is basically a threat or an action of violence by one family member to another. Any threat or action that could cause or have caused physical harm, bodily injuries, as well as physical or sexual assault is classified as violence. Violence or threat of violence against a child who is not a biological member of the family but is living in the same household is still classified as family violence.

Violence from a person whom you are dating is classified as dating violence. Just like any other type of violence, it involves an action with the intention to cause physical harm and injury, as well as physical and sexual assault. An action that causes significant fear of violence also classifies as violence.

Any adult in the household can file for protective orders for any member of the family including children. For dating violence, any adult involved in the relationship can file for protective orders. In order for the court to release protective orders, the requesting party should provide proof that violence has occurred or that it is bound to occur in the future. At times, a testimony of the victim is enough for the court to issue protective orders.

What Happens When The Court Issues Protective Orders

If the court finds that you have been a victim of family or dating violence, the court will make sure that the perpetrator will not be able to continue his or her violent acts towards you. The protective order will keep the perpetrator from continuously committing acts of violence and he or she will also be barred from communicating with you and other affected family members. The protective orders also prevent perpetrators from approaching your home, workplace or the school of the child for whom the order is issued. At the same time, protective orders will stop the perpetrator from carrying a firearm at any given time.

If the perpetrator will violate the protective orders, he or she can end up in jail. If you happen to be in the United States illegally and you top that off with a protective order violation, you can expect to be deported. There’s also a possibility of criminal charges upon the violation of protective orders. Law enforcement will be aware of any protective orders because the court clerk will send copies to law enforcement bodies near your residence. The protective orders can remain valid for up to two years.

Name Changes For A Child Who is a Minor

If you are a legal guardian, a parent or a managing conservator of a child, it is possible for you to request a name change for your child. A name change for a minor child is only possible with the court’s approval. You will have to go through a legal process for your child’s name changes. First, you will have to file a petition for a name change for the child. The court will then evaluate if there is a proper reason for the name change to be granted. The next step would be for you to notify the other parent to let him or her know that his or her parental rights have not been terminated. Other conservators of guardians of the child should be notified as well as soon as you file your petition in court to change the name of the child.

As for the petition, it should state the current name and residence of the child, along with the reasons for the name change. Often, name changes are done so that the child can have the same last name with the rest of the family. Sometimes it is to give the child the same last name as his or her adoptive family. In filing the petition, you will also have to include the proposed full name of the child. If the child is older than ten years old, you will also have to include the child’s permission for the name change.

Adult Name Changes

Adult name changes usually happen because of a divorce. For women who are divorced or are going through a divorce, you can change your name back to your maiden name once the divorce has been finalized. For such changes, you will also have to file a petition for a name change the same way as you would do for a name change for a child. You will have to state your current name, reasons, criminal background if there are any. The court will do a background check on you and fingerprinting will also be done.

In case of any issues or difficulty with filing for name changes or protective orders, you can always contact a family law attorney to assist you.

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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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