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Legal Information: Texas

Restraining Orders

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November 5, 2020

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;
    • blood relative such as a parent, sibling, child;
    • relative by marriage (an in-law);
    • person with whom you have a child in common;
    • household member;
    • foster parent; or
    • foster child;
  • the abuser is someone with whom you have/had a “dating relationship;”
  • the abuser is the current spouse or current boyfriend/girlfriend of your ex-spouse or your ex-significant other – for example, John and Maria broke up; Maria is now dating Mike. Mike (the new boyfriend) is threatening to kill John (the ex) because Mike doesn’t want John texting Maria; or
  • the abuser is the ex-spouse or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend of your current spouse or current significant other – for example, John and Maria broke up; Maria is now dating Mike. John (the ex) is threatening to kill Mike (the new boyfriend) because John is jealous that Maria has moved on.1

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.2

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.

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