Legal Information: Texas

Restraining Orders

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December 26, 2021

What protections can I get in a protective order?

A protective order can order the abuser to:

  • stop committing acts of family or dating violence or any acts that are reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass you or a family/household member;
  • stop all communication with you or a family member (directly or through a third party) or stop communication made in a threatening or harassing manner;
  • stay away from your home or place of employment or those of your family or household member;
  • stay away from a school or daycare center that a child protected under the order attends;
  • complete a battering intervention and prevention program or attend counseling with someone who specializes in family violence;
  • follow any custody/visitation terms in the order (Note: The judge can establish temporary custody and visitation for any children you share with the abuser);
  • not remove your child from your possession or from the jurisdiction of the court;
  • stop any transfer or disposal of property that you own or lease with the abuser;
  • not remove a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal from your possession;
  • pay child support or spousal support for the time you have the protective order;
  • leave your home or other specified property if certain conditions are met and allow you to remain there;
  • not possess any firearms (unless the person is a peace officer actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time paid employee of a state agency) and the judge is supposed to suspend the abuser’s license to carry a handgun if s/he has been found to have committed family violence;
  • not harm, threaten, or interfere with the care, custody, or control of your pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, or that of your family or household member; and
  • perform any other acts that are necessary to prevent or reduce the likelihood of family or dating violence.1

In addition, if you and the abuser share a cell phone plan, you can ask the court to order that your phone number and the phone number of a child in your care or custody be separated from the abuser’s account into your own separate account. You would then have total financial responsibility for, and the right to use, each wireless telephone number transferred.2 The Texas Council on Family Violence has an FAQ booklet about transferring your cell phone number.

Note: Even if the order doesn’t specifically say that the abuser has to turn over his/her firearms, possession of a firearm by a non-police officer who is a respondent in a protective order case is illegal under Texas state law and federal law. Please see TX State Gun Laws and Federal Gun Laws for more information

1 Tex. Fam. Code §§ 85.021; 85.022
2 Tex. Fam. Code §85.0225(a), (d)(3)

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