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Protecting Your Rights Regarding Temporary Restraining Orders

The legal system is serious about protecting women and children from abuse and threats of violence. On the other hand, judges understand that domestic violence allegations may be a ploy to gain advantage in divorce or custody.

The Robinowitz Law Firm, P.C., assists clients in seeking or defending against temporary protective orders and restraining orders. I represent men and women of Harris, Galveston, Montgomery and surrounding counties in the greater Houston, Texas, area. We offer a free initial consultation, and I respond promptly to your urgent needs, day or night.

Restraining Orders In Houston

Either side may request a temporary restraining order (TRO) in a divorce, custody or modification proceeding. The order may be granted by a judge ex parte (without the other party present), based solely on the allegations or concerns of the person requesting it. The temporary order is good for 14 days, and can be extended another 14 days or until the hearing is set. The TRO sets limits on both parties to:

  • Not harass, stalk or threaten
  • Not damage property, hide assets or empty bank accounts
  • Not change the child's school or leave a certain geographic area

At the hearing (typically within 28 days), the judge will decide whether to make the order — or portions of it — ongoing or even permanent. With more than 20 years of experience as a family law and criminal defense lawyer, I can prepare clients to strongly state their case in court.

Protective Orders (Temporary And Permanent) In Houston

A protective order is issued when violence (assault, battery, threats) has already occurred, or the petitioner has a legitimate fear of violence. The order may be granted ex parte on an emergency basis. It typically includes a "kick-out order" to remove the accused from the home, and prohibits the accused from calling or contacting the spouse/partner or children.

Because of the high stakes — in criminal court and family court — judges require a high burden of proof before issuing a temporary protective order. A finding of domestic abuse or imminent threat at the protective order hearing can have a major impact on:

  • Custody and visitation
  • Division of property
  • Paying attorney's fees
  • Ability to possess firearms
  • Employment

The Criminal Law Aspect

Violating a temporary or permanent protective order is a felony crime in Houston. I have represented a number of men who had a great case for custody until they were falsely accused of domestic assault or violating an order for protection. Answering criminal charges and proving that the allegations were a set-up requires an attorney with strong investigation and litigation skills.