Divorce is tough in and of itself. When it involves children, it becomes even more so. However, if your divorce is the result of or triggers domestic violence, sexual assault or some other equally offensive action by the other party and against you or a child, you will encounter unique issues and challenges from day one.
One unique issue with which you may have to content is acquiring a protective order. The issue becomes even more complex if you and your spouse continue to live together for the duration of your divorce and if you have children together.
Getting a protective order against your spouse when he or she still lives with you and when you have children together
When you initially think about your situation, it may seem hopeless — you live with a person who is emotionally and physically abusive to you and you have children with said person. You may wonder if the law offers any legal recourse for a situation as unique as yours. You may be surprised to learn that a) your situation is not all that unique and b) the law does afford several options.
According to the Texas Courts, you can get a protective order against someone with whom you live and with whom you share children together. In creating the order, the judge will account for unique factors, such as who gets the home or apartment and who get the vehicle. While making the order, the judge may also make determinations regarding child custody, visitation, child support and spousal support. If you and your spouse share responsibility of one or several pets, the judge may also include them in the order.
The speed with which protective orders can go into effect
If you and the subject of the protective order are still legally married at the time you apply for said order, the judge may give you what the law refers to as a “temporary ex parte protective order.” This order does not always, but can, order the subject of the order to leave the home immediately.
If you believe you need a protective order against the mother or father of your children, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate its necessity. The same lawyer who you hire to help with your divorce can help you apply for an order and submit appropriate evidence.