In Pennsylvania, if there has been actual or threatened physical abuse including the placing of another in reasonable fear of bodily injury by stalking or otherwise, a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order may be entered by the court. However, PFA Petitions may only be filed against family or household members including parents and current or former sexual or intimate partners including spouses. In cases where both parents have committed child abuse or neglect, a juvenile court action under the juvenile dependency laws could also be initiated.
A PFA order can remove the abusing person from a jointly occupied residence and provide that no contact may occur for up to three years. In addition to ordering the perpetrator of abuse to vacate a jointly occupied residence, a PFA order would direct that the abuser refrain from any contact with the victim. Furthermore, as part of a PFA order, a judge could enter an order granting the victim custody of any minor children and payment of Pennsylvania spousal support and Pennsylvania child support on a temporary basis pending a support hearing.
Our law firm’s family law attorneys are available to assist you with initiating a Protection from Abuse action or representing you in a final hearing on your petition. Furthermore, since it is strongly recommended that any individual accused of domestic violence or spousal abuse also have private counsel, our law firm is also available to defend the rights of a person accused of domestic violence. If you are a defendant and committed abuse against an individual, you may deserve the entry of a protective order against you, but not the problems with child custody and support that oftentimes accompany such an order.
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