Military Restraining Orders—Your Rights When an Abuser is Active Duty


Can the Process Be Handled in the Civil Courts? Is There Such a Thing as a Military Protective Order?

Typically, in situations where there’s credible evidence of domestic violence or abuse, the victim can ask a court of law for a restraining order, limiting the offending party’s access to the rest of the family. What if the abuser is serving in the armed forces? Can the victim expect that a restraining order issued by a civilian court will be enforceable against someone on active duty in the military?

Protective Orders When the Abuser is Active-Duty Military

Family violence is a common problem in Texas and across the United States, with some estimates that anywhere from a quarter to half of all women filing for divorce have been victims of domestic abuse. In such situations, the person subjected to abuse may petition the court for a protective or restraining order. When one of the parties is an active-duty servicemember, the victim will typically have the option of seeking a military protective order (MPO) or an order for protection:

  • A military protective order is a short-term order typically issued by a commanding officer that sets limits on the actions of an active-duty service member in his or her unit or under his or her command. As a general rule, there is no hearing. The MPO is typically enforceable only on the military base or duty station where the request was made. If the abuser is transferred to a new duty station, the MPO is no longer in force. A military protection order can usually be put in place within a short period of time.
  • An order of protection is typically issued by a civilian judge or court. It will commonly be broader in scope and will remain in place until withdrawn by the court. A civilian order of protection can take some time to obtain.

Let Graham Family Law Help You with a Military Restraining Order

At Graham Family Law, we bring more than 20 years of experience to men and women in San Antonio and the surrounding communities who need proven divorce and family law counsel. We are skilled trial attorneys who can protect your rights before a judge and jury. We are also respected within the legal community for our ability to negotiate effective settlements for our clients. Call us at 210-308-6448 or contact us by email to schedule a consultation today to discuss your case.

Handling Divorce and Family Law Matters throughout San Antonio and the surrounding communities, including Bexar, Kendall, Floresville, Wilson, Atascosa, Hays, Comar and Guadalupe counties, as well as the municipalities of Christine, Jourdanton, Kyle, Buda, Dripping Springs, Wimberley, Driftwood, Hays, Woodcreek, Canyon Lake, Bulverde and Garden Ridge

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