Protective Order vs. Restraining Order: What’s the Difference?


A great source of confusion exists relating to the difference between a Restraining Order and a Protective Order.  Gerald Tadlock is a Collin County Divorce Attorney with significant experience in seeking, and defending, requests for both types of Orders.  In Texas, a Restraining Order is simply a court order instructing a person or entity to not take a certain activity.  An example of a typical restraining order would be to restrain a divorcing spouse from making withdrawals from their retirement account.  Such a withdrawal is not uncommon in the early stages of divorce when people may be trying to hide funds.

A Protective Order is a completely different type of court order.  In Texas, a Protective Order exists when family violence has occurred, and is issued for the protection of the victim.  The legal standard for issuing a protective order is two-fold.  First, a court must find that family violence has occurred.  Second, a court must find that family violence is likely to occur in the future.  When both findings have been made, a court can issue a protective order for up to two years.

In requesting a Protective Order, the burden of proof is whether the preponderance of the evidence favors the accusing party.  This is a fairly low burden of proof, and can make it difficult to defend against without an experienced family law attorney.  This burden of proof is far lower than a criminal case, which requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Collin County Divorce Attorney With Experience

While there are substantial differences between Restraining Orders and Protective Orders, they are both tools available to assist parties in a family law matter.  If you are in need of the protections offered by these orders, contact the Tadlock Law Office at 214-550-1122.  Delaying a request for these orders can significantly jeopardize your legal rights.  Trust a Collin County Divorce Attorney with the experience to assist with Restraining Orders and Protective Orders.