Divorce Law Firm Austin, Texas
Sometimes, what begins as a fairy tale romance can quickly turn into a nightmare when a loved one becomes an abuser. When this happens, you may feel stuck in the relationship for a variety of reasons, including a feeling or shame or embarrassment. It is important to remember that no matter what form of violence you are undergoing in your relationship, the shame belongs to the abuser, and not to you. Although many abusive relationships may be romantic relationships, there can also be abuse in a familial relationship. If you are in an abusive relationship, contact our Austin, Texas divorce law firm to find out how we can help.
When exiting an abusive relationship, you should take steps to ensure that you and any children involved are safe. This could mean calling a shelter and making a quiet and secret escape or calling the police. In some cases, you may have to leave in a hurry and leave your belongings behind; your safety is paramount, and there are a variety of community resources available to help you recover after you leave. A divorce lawyer Austin, TX families trust from our firm can help you form a plan to leave.
Once you have gotten away from the abusive situation, you should immediately apply to have the law protect you through an order or protection. An order of protection is an order issued by a civil or criminal court, ordering a person accused of domestic violence to do or refrain from doing certain things. Our Austin, Texas divorce law firm can assist you in obtaining an order of protection to ensure you are not going through this difficult process alone and that all of your legal rights are protected.
Filing for the Order of Protection
In most states, you can file for an order or protection in family court or request the prosecutor to seek one on your behalf in criminal court. If the order of protection is criminal, the person you accuse of abusing you will also be charged criminally and be prosecuted with you as a witness. You can seek an order of protection against the same person in both courts at the same time. If granted, the order can be temporary or final; the final order can be in effect for a period of several years.
In family court, you can file against a person who:
- Is a current or past spouse
- Is a blood relative
- Has a child with you
- Has been in an intimate relationship with you (this does not necessarily have to be a partner)
In addition, in family court, you have to claim domestic violence in the form of certain crimes in order to get the order of protection. These are called family offenses, and an attorney from our Austin, Texas divorce law firm can help you determine which offenses qualify.
If an order of protection is granted, the court can order the abuser to refrain from any contact with you, including through third parties. The court can also order the person to leave your home under police escort. The judge can even order the abuser to relinquish his or her gun if one exists. If the person goes against the judge’s orders and violates the order of protection, you should call the police to have the abuser arrested. You can also file a report in family court if that is where you initially filed for your order of protection.
Contact an Austin, Texas Divorce Law Firm for Help
When you are petitioning the family court for an order of protection, you are allowed to have an attorney. Having an experienced attorney from a divorce law firm Austin, Texas clients trust by your side to guide you through the process can offer peace of mind and make the process more unnerving. For a consultation, contact the domestic violence attorneys at Gray & Becker, P.C. who have experience with orders of protection.