Legal Information: Texas

Restraining Orders

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July 20, 2016

Who is eligible for a protective order?

You can apply for a protective order on behalf of yourself and/or your child if you meet one of the following:

  • The abuser is “a family or household member,” which is defined as:
    • A current or former spouse;
    • A blood relative such as a parent, sibling, child;
    • A relative by marriage (an in-law);
    • A person with whom you have a child in common;
    • A household member (such as a current / former roommate);
    • A foster parent; or
    • A foster child; 
  • The abuser is someone with whom you have/had a “dating relationship;" or
  • The abuser is/was married to or is/was dating someone you are/were married to or are/were in a dating relationship with (for example, the abuser is your girlfriend's ex-husband).*  

In addition, a prosecutor/district attorney or the Department of Family and Protective Services can file an application on behalf of any person alleged to be a victim of family violence.**

You may also be able to get a protective order against someone who has sexually assaulted you even if s/he is not a family or household member (like a co-worker or neighbor).  See Protective Orders for Victims of Sexual Assault or Abuse, Stalking, or Trafficking for more information.

* Tex. Fam. Code § 71.0021, 71.003, 71.005, 71.006
** Tex. Fam. Code § 82.002(d)