We want to take a moment to clarify a point we made in the last post on our Dallas family law blog. In discussing the subject of which partner gets the house during property division in a divorce, we noted that it’s illegal for one partner to simply kick the other out of the house if it’s shared property. We briefly noted the exception of domestic violence, however.

This is a serious situation and one for which Texas law provides victims with special legal protections. These include the ability to remove the abusive partner from the family home and keep him or her out. The law recognizes that this is may be necessary when the immediate safety of family members is at stake.

The legal measure is referred to as an emergency order. An emergency order will generally involve a court hearing within about two weeks of the filing. Once the court has held a hearing, it may decide that the order be enforced for up to a year. The order may stipulate that an abusive partner stay out of the family home or stay away from one’s children; it may even order that a child be returned to a custodial parent.

Texas law also recognizes that victims of domestic violence who have children with the abusive partner need additional protections. For that reason, when seeking an emergency order, a parent may also file for emergency custody of the children at the same time. This is to help protect the children and prevent an abuser from trying to use them as leverage against the victim.

This is a frightening and stressful experience for any Dallas resident to go through. A Dallas emergency protective orders attorney with experience in family law issues can help ensure that all available legal resources are brought to bear on a victim’s behalf.