Navigating Protection During Divorce: TROs, POs, and Standing Orders in Texas

When faced with a divorce or family law dispute, it's essential to understand the legal tools available to protect yourself and your loved ones. In Texas, two key options are Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) and Protective Orders (POs). However, some counties, such as Travis, Williamson, and Hays, add another layer of protection through Standing Orders. Let's break down these legal instruments and explore when each might be appropriate.

Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs)

A TRO is a court order typically filed alongside a divorce petition. It can prohibit both parties from:

  • Hiding or destroying assets
  • Harassing each other or the children
  • Canceling insurance policies
  • Taking the children out of a certain geographic area

TROs are relatively quick and easy to obtain, putting immediate restrictions in place to maintain the “status quo.” Violating a TRO can result in being held in contempt of court. However, TROs do not make a finding of family violence, cannot remove an abuser from the home, and expire when the divorce is finalized, if not sooner.

Protective Orders (POs)

A PO is a separate legal proceeding sought when family violence has occurred or is threatened. It can:

  • Prohibit the abuser from committing further acts of violence
  • Order the abuser to stay away from the victim's home, work, or school
  • Require the abuser to complete a battering intervention program
  • Award temporary custody, visitation, child support, etc.

POs provide more robust protection than TROs. They can remove an abuser from the home, criminalize further acts of violence, and are valid for up to 2 years (and are renewable). However, obtaining a PO requires evidence and a finding of family violence, and the process can take several weeks.

Standing Orders

In counties like Travis, Williamson, and Hays, Standing Orders add an automatic layer of protection in divorce cases. These orders go into effect immediately upon filing and typically prohibit parties from:

  • Disrupting the children's daily routine
  • Making disparaging remarks about the other parent in front of the children
  • Destroying or altering electronic data
  • Canceling insurance policies

Standing Orders streamline the TRO process by putting standard prohibitions in place county-wide. However, they do not replace the need for a TRO or PO in cases involving unique circumstances or family violence.

When Protection is Needed

So, when might you need a TRO, PO, or both? Here are some scenarios to consider:


  • You fear your spouse might drain joint assets or cancel insurance during the divorce
  • You're worried your spouse might flee with the children or disrupt their school enrollment


  • You or your children are experiencing physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
  • The abuse involves threats, stalking, harassment, or coercive control tactics


  • Your spouse is draining assets and engaging in harassing behavior
  • You need the expanded protections of a PO and the financial safeguards of a TRO

Seeking Legal Guidance

If you're facing a divorce or family law issue in Central Texas, it's crucial to have an experienced attorney by your side. At Trusler Legal PLLC, we understand the nuances of TROs, POs, and Standing Orders and can help you navigate these complex legal waters with confidence.

Whether you need protection from an abusive spouse, guidance on maintaining stability for your children, or advocacy in preserving your financial interests, our team is here to help. We'll work closely with you to assess your unique needs and craft a legal strategy that prioritizes your safety and well-being.

Don't wait to seek the protection and support you deserve. Contact Trusler Legal PLLC today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward a brighter, more secure future.

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