Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Civil Rights and Domestic Violence for Texas

Q: What do I do if my ex is constantly texting me vulgar messages after asking her to stop

Police won’t do anything, do I need to take her to court, will she have to pay for legal fees if I do? We have 2 kids together so we need to talk ANOUT THE KIDS but she is constantly tearing me down. SHe hates my girlfriend and talks bad about us to the kids.

1 Lawyer Answer
Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Respond that you are only willing to talk to her about the kids. Do not respond to anything else she sends. If she continues to send those messages after you have been 100% clear AND you have stopped responding, then she is committing the crime of Harassment. The cops probably won't do anything about that either. However, if she continues to commit Harassment, then it eventually becomes the felony crime of Stalking*. There is a decent chance that the cops will ignore this also, but it gives you grounds to apply for a civil protective order pursuant to chapter 7B of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. If your application is granted, the judge may order her to only communicate about the kids, and violation of that order is a separate crime, and it's a crime where law enforcement has a duty to act.

It is possible that the office of the District Attorney in the county where you live may be willing to provide an attorney to help with an application for Stalking Protective Order at no cost to you. You could also hire a private attorney to do the work, but you'll have to pay that attorney for their time. The cost could be significant, especially if your ex gets their own attorney and fights the order. You could end up having to testify in open court and show your complete texting history to the judge. If you win the hearing and your application is granted then the judge might order your ex to pay some or all of your attorney's fees, but you are still on the hook for them if she can't (or won't.)

* The legal definitions of Harassment and Stalking can be found in chapter 42 of the Texas Penal Code.

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