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Domestic violence victim - what are my rights and what kind of laywer do I need?

Houston, TX |

After months of abuse I left my husband, took our child, and went to a battered women's shelter because I feared for my child's safety as well as mine. I filed for a protective order but it was denied without a reason. My husband filed for divorce and a restraining order and the TRO was granted. There have been several hearings but I wasn't served for any of I didn't go. My husband contacted me and threatened that i was going to jail for kidnapping and contempt of court. Can that be true? There is no court order for custody. There is another hearing coming up but i haven't been served. Do i go? Will the judge punish me once i do show up? I have been hiding for 2 months because of fear of my aggressive husband. Will the judge/court believe me after keeping quiet for so long?

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Attorney answers 3


You need to talk to the prosecutor's office again if in fact a protective order was denied. That would be VERY unusual here in Harris County.

You can tell your husband you want ZERO contact from him and that any contact is considered harassment, then record any calls and keep all proof of contact and contact the police.

What is the hearing for? if you are served, you must appear.

The head of the family violence unit is Jane Waters, and the head of the protect order unit is another nice lady (whose name current escapes me, dang it.)


in Texas, both the criminal court system and the family code provides different forms of protective orders for situation that you have mentioned.

Due to the extent that the case in the family court have commenced, it would be advisable to consult a local family law attorney to represent you. This is because thte case has already commenced by your husband filing the divorce and getting the intermidiate orders made against you.

Also, did you file a Protective order with the AG or by yourself and in which court, family or criminal? You can seek to file a PO again in the family courts and get a civil order that gives you legal protection for up to 2 years.

Sorry for the vague answer, but more facts are required.

Consult a local Houston attorney familiar with PO and also a family law attorney to handle your divorce. If what you say is correct and you have never been served with any docuemnts that is an issue that has to be address.

Also, Houston does have great legal clinics and legal bar associations where attorneys volunteer their time and service for low income individuals and families.

Good luck and wish you success

Min Gyu Kim (Peter)

The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, and in no way be interpreted as legal advice. Consult with a local attorney in your area to receive an answer specific to your case. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship.


If you have not already done so, hire a family law attorney immediately so they can look into the hearing and whether you were served. If you were not properly served it can nullify the court orders and they can be vacated. If you were served and failed to file an answer the Petitioner (your husband) will get everything he asks for, most likely. Go speak with a family law attorney immediately.

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