A collaborative divorce may help you end your marriage in a healthy and amicable way, but sometimes that is not an option. When the safety of yourself or your children is on the line, there are legal tools you may leverage to get some needed space.
Calling 911 is your best solution in an immediately dangerous situation. Otherwise, as detailed in the Texas court’s kit, a protective order is an available resource for anyone experiencing family violence in the home. It may offer protection for the longer term.
Protective order basics
You are eligible for a protective order during divorce if you have proof that your spouse hurt or threatened to hurt you and you worry they may do so again. The process involves filing the forms included in their kit, informing your spouse — known here as the respondent — and both of you attending a hearing.
If a judge finds that your case merits immediate protection, they may issue an ex parte protection order that details the distance your spouse must keep until the protective order hearing.
The details of this distance may include physical distance, restrictions on communication like email or messenger apps and even award temporary custody of children to you.
Protective orders in a divorce
Courts may award a protective order for as long as the situation deems necessary, including the length of your divorce proceedings. A protective order may give you distance and peace of mind during a troubled separation.
While it is not a substitute for custody orders or the actual divorce, it might allow time between you and your spouse to cool off and approach the situation more safely.