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How can an order of protection keep me safe during my divorce?

A Texas man recently shot his estranged wife while the couple was going through divorce proceedings. Kenneth Martin and his wife Linda had been married for 20 years when Linda filed for divorce. The couple continued to live together as they attempted to work out the details of the divorce, but the situation became tense. Following a mediation session during which Linda asserted her rights to several critical assets, Kenny shot Linda in the face as she sat waiting at a red light. Linda tragically died as a result of her injuries.

The story of Kenneth and Linda Martin illustrates the worst case situation when it comes to divorce. Divorce is a process that can conjure up immense emotions. When one spouse involved has a history of violence, filing for divorce can go from painful to down-right dangerous. There are steps that a spouse concerned about violence can take to protect themselves before, during, and after the divorce, including seeking an order of protection.

Orders of Protection in Texas

An order of protection is a decree issued by a Texas state court that requires one person to stop harming another. Protective orders can also require the abuser stay away from you or stop contacting you. Protective orders are often sought by the victims of domestic violence.

If your soon to be ex-spouse has a history of violence or you fear he or she may become violent, you could consider filing for an order of protection prior to filing for divorce. The protective order can help you by ceasing all communications, contact, and threats by the abuser. Protective orders become more complex when the victim still lives in the home with the abuser. It is possible to have a judge order that the abuser leave the home and allow you to stay in it.

Orders of protection are not the only option when it comes to protecting yourself from violence during a divorce. Safe houses exist to shield abuse victims from their abuser, and are often utilized prior to divorce. There are options to help a victim obtain a swift divorce. Contact our experienced Texas domestic violence attorneys for more information about your options and legal rights.