Know the Laws: Texas
UPDATED July 20, 2016
If you are planning to move to Texas or are going to be in Texas for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforceable.
Yes. Your protective order can be enforced in Texas as long as:
If you report a violation in Texas of an out-of-state protective order that was never served on the abuser, the officer is not necessarily required to arrest the abuser for the violation. The officer has to inform the abuser of the order and make a reasonable effort to serve the order on him/her. Then the officer has to allow the abuser a reasonable opportunity to follow what the order says before enforcing it.* Therefore, s/he might not be arrested for the first violation that you report since s/he had not been served with the order at the time s/he “violated” it. However, the officer can still arrest the abuser for any other crime committed at the time.
* Tex. Fam. Code § 88.004(d)
No. Only the state that issued your protective order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Texas.
To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living. To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders page for the state where your order was issued.
If your order expires while you are living in Texas, you may be able to get a new one issued in Texas but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred. To find out more information on how to get a protective order in Texas, visit our TX Family Violence Protective Orders page.
Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* Texas can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.**
To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets this legal standard, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area, select the state you are in from on the Finding a Lawyer page.
* The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and is consistent with the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.
** Tex. Fam. Code § 88.003(b)