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How does appealing for a protective order work?

When your safety or the safety of your child is on the line, it is important to leverage any tools at your disposal. In the case of an immediate threat, calling 911 may get you the help you need.

If you find yourself on the other side of a domestic violence incident or your spouse has threatened you in any way, you may appeal for a protective order for long-term distance. This may give you space enough to work things out or initiative divorce proceedings.

The initial appeal

According to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, anyone may apply for a protective order, provided they meet two requirements: you must be the victim of physical abuse or the threat of dangers and you must be in a certain relationship with the abusive person. Qualifying relationships include with your spouse, blood relatives, biological parents of the same child and other dating relationships.

Application involves talking to a victim’s advocate and providing any information you have about your encounter. Once filed, a judge reviews the case and may issue a temporary protection order. This order lasts until the court date for the hearing where both you and the abusive person may state your cases.

If the judge feels the situation merits it, he or she may issue a protective order that lasts for up to two years.

Immigrants and protective orders

Everyone who falls into those first requirements has these domestic protections, no matter your nationality or legal status. If you are an immigrant, your case is just as important. Researching more or talking to a local domestic violence advocate may help you learn about seeking the court’s help.