What is the Difference Between a Restraining Order and Protective Order?
Protective Order versus Restraining Order
A Protective Order and Restraining Order have common purpose: to keep a person from hurting or harming you or performing certain acts.
Also, both orders are signed by a Judge/Court.
However, these two Orders have differences. They differ in purposes, length of time, and the consequences of violation.
See below for the differences between these two orders.
- Specifically prohibits family violence – threats of immediate harm or injuries, assaults, harassment, etc.
- There must be a finding family violence to be an issue (meet the 2 elements: violence has occurred and will likely occur in future).
- Specific to violence against household members.
- The standard is preponderance of evidence (i.e. more likely than not).
- Must submit evidence of abuse.
- Emergency Protective Order is available; for example, if the abuser had just been incarcerated, you don’t need further evidence.
- It can lasts for up to 2 years.
- You may request for an order with or without a hearing, i.e. temporary ex-parte protective order.
- Order can exclude an abuser who lives in the house to vacate.
- It may include temporary child support, access, and possession.
- How to apply for restraining order is in Texas Family Code Chapter 82.
- Offers protection for a person, their children, and their property and assets.
- It is not specific to family violence. Therefore, you don’t have to prove that you are a victim.
- More common in divorces or suits affecting parent-child relationships (SAPCRs).
- The Order restrains a person or entity from certain acts like hiding a child, taking money from joint account, or harassment.
- It may be with or without a hearing/notice.
- The available restrictions are in Texas Family Code Chapter 6.501.
If you need legal assistance with filing for a restraining order or getting a protective order, call us.
Our office phone number is (832) 529-1255.