Residing with Someone with a Protective Order

A protective order in Texas is a civil court order, issued after a hearing in front of a judge.  It is intended to stop continuing acts of family violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, and/or intentional property damage.  Unlike a restraining order, protective orders are enforceable as crimes.  If you violate a restraining order, you might be held in contempt and you might go to jail or pay a fine.  If you violate a protective order, you are going to jail.  You will have to pay a bond in order to get out of jail.  If you continue to violate a protective order, you can be charged with a felony & sent to prison.

The term, “family violence” (also sometimes called “domestic violence”) is basically defined as (1) any act by one member of a family or household intended to physically harm another member, (2) a serious threat of physical harm, and/or (3) the abuse of a child.  This does not just include people who are married or blood relatives, but it also extends to people who are in romantic or dating relationships.  The term “family” specifically includes blood relatives or relatives by marriage, former spouses, parents (married or not) of the same child, foster parents and foster children, adoptive parents and children, or any member or former member of a household (that is, people living in the same house, related or not).

A parent has the duty to inform the other parent of the children if the parent establishes a residence with a person who they know is the subject of a final protective order that is in effect on the date the residence with the person is established.  Notice about this information must be provided to the other parent of the children as soon as practicable, but not later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the date the conservator establishes residence with the person who is the subject of the final protective order.  A PARENT COMMITS AN OFFENSE PUNISHABLE AS A CLASS C MISDEMEANOR IF THE PARENT FAILS TO PROVIDE THIS NOTICE;

If a parent has sought and obtained a protective order against someone, they have a duty to inform the other parent of the children if the parent resides with, or allows unsupervised access to a child by, a person who is the subject of a final protective order after the expiration of the sixty-day (60-day) period following the date the final protective order is issued.  The law requires a notice of this information to be provided to the other parent of the children as soon as practicable, but not later than the ninetieth (90th) day after the date the final protective order was issued.  WARNING:  A CONSERVATOR COMMITS AN OFFENSE PUNISHABLE AS A CLASS C MISDEMEANOR IF THE CONSERVATOR FAILS TO PROVIDE THIS NOTICE.

A Class C offense in Texas is the lowest level criminal offense.  With Class C offenses, the fine is limited up to $500 and there is no jail time attached.