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Protecting Yourself Against Family Violence

On behalf of Charles Hardy at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P.


Divorce can be stressful. It can also be quite terrifying if family violence is involved. The Texas Legal Code defines family violence as an act by a member of a family or household against another member of that family or household intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or a threat that places a person in fear of imminent harm or assault or injury. You do not have to be married to the abusive party to be considered family and you do not have to live under the same roof. If you share children, are ex-spouses, or live together you are a family in the eyes of the law.

If you are filing for divorce because you have been subject to family violence, we at HHZ Family Law are here to help you. As experienced San Antonio family law attorneys we know you may also need to talk to someone to re-establish your self-esteem and confidence before you go to court. Other people in the same situation can provide a wonderful forum to talk and exchange advice. Your Doctor or counselor can refer you to a group in San Antonio or elsewhere in Texas.

During your divorce, we are here to work for you. If you are the victim of family violence in San Antonio, one of our San Antonio divorce attorneys can apply for a protective order on your behalf. If a protective order is issued against your spouse, the court can direct your spouse to start performing or refrain from performing specified acts. If you are the victim of family violence, your spouse might be ordered not to speak to you unless it is to discuss the divorce and your San Antonio family law attorney must be present, to protect you from further violence. Once a protective order is issued, it can last for up to two years, depending on the terms the court decided on. If your spouse is imprisoned while the order is still imposed, it will last one year from the time they are released. Please check with us as San Antonio family law experts to see if you can get an extension beyond this period.

There is no cost if you are the applicant for a protective order. As your San Antonio family law attorneys we will handle this application for you. They will make sure that no one tries to assess a fee for any of the services to apply for this order. All the fees associated with filing for the protective order must be paid by the respondent (your spouse in this case).

While you are waiting for a protective order to be granted, you can also have a temporary ex parte order issued. If the court believes you are in imminent danger of family violence, this is like granting a temporary protective order while you are waiting for the real protective order to be granted. The temporary ex parte order lasts 20 days, although whichever San Antonio family law attorney you retain can file for an extension on your behalf.

Even with a protective order in place a divorce trial can be a very stressful time as you may be concerned that the abuse and harassment will continue when you have contact with your spouse. And seeing your spouse during the divorce may be unavoidable. As good family law attorneys, we will support you anytime you have a meeting with your spouse. Meetings may happen repeatedly; when you come together to make agreements on property, child custody, spousal support and other details relevant to your divorce. For any of these legal discussions, an experienced family law attorney such as San Antonio based HHZ Family Law should be present if there is a protective order against your spouse in place.

Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. 12000 Huebner Rd #200 San Antonio, TX 78230 Telephone: (210) 349-9933 Fax: (210) 349-9988
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