As a Dallas divorce and child custody attorney, I often get asked about Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) and when they are appropriate in a custody case.

What is a TRO?

A TRO is a court order that can be used in emergency situations to protect a child from harm or the risk of harm. These situations may include instances of child abuse, neglect, or family violence. When a child is at risk of harm and a protective order is not suitable, a TRO can be issued. It is a court order that prohibits a person from certain actions such as harming a child, leaving the state with a child, or being around a child.

How is a TRO different from a Protective Order?

A TRO can be granted without notice to the other parent or conservator, which allows for a quick response to an emergency situation. It is also valid for a shorter period of time, usually 14 days, while a protective order may be valid for a longer period. A protective order may also be a better option if a child is a victim of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or family violence and is in fear of being harmed again. Unlike a TRO, a protective order is criminally enforceable.

Who can file for a TRO?

A person who has standing to file a Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship (SAPCR), Modification, or Enforcement can file a Motion for TRO. This must be filed along with an Original SAPCR Petition, Petition to Modify, or Petition for Enforcement, or filed into an active SAPCR, Modification, or Enforcement case.

What is a Temporary Injunction?

A temporary injunction is similar to a TRO in that it also prohibits a person from certain actions. The main difference is that a TRO is only valid for 14 days, while a temporary injunction is valid until a more permanent order is made by the court. It can also be used to address custody, visitation, and child support issues.

In any case, it is important to consult with an attorney to determine the appropriate legal action to take in any given situation. If you have any questions or concerns about TROs or child custody, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with the team at The Blacknall Firm.