June 20, 2021

Family Violence (Part Three)

Frequently, one family member may be a target of violence initiated by another member. Such violence is called “family violence” and is defined as an action or the threat of an action by a member of a family or  household that is intended to cause physical harm, bodily injury, physical or sexual assault, or reasonable fear of such action.


Child abuse is family violence.

Dating violence is an action or the threat of physical harm, bodily injury, physical assault or reasonable fear of such by a person against another with whom they have had a dating relationship.


Who Can File for Protection?

Any adult in a household can file for themselves or any other member of the household, including a child.

Any adult member in a dating relationship can file for themselves.

If the State becomes aware that family violence has occurred, the Attorney General, the

District Attorney or the Department of Family Protective Services  may also apply for a protection for any person who is a victim of family violence.


Can I get a protective order because of mental abuse:

No. You must show that physical abuse or threat of physical abuse occurred and is likely to occur again. Mental and emotional abuse are not part of the definition of family violence in the Texas Family Code.


What is the Cost?

There is no filing fee to the person applying for the protective order, but a person found by the Court to have committed family violence may have to pay court costs.


How long is the order valid?

A protective order is effective for not more than 2 years.


Source of this information is taken directly from the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.