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Understanding protective order resources in Pennsylvania

The Protection from Abuse Act protects those in Pennsylvania who are suffering from domestic abuse.

In general terms, a temporary order for protection from abuse (PFA) is a document from the court which places requirement on a party that they must follow or face legal consequences. Family violence or domestic abuse situations can occasion the need for a PFA which an individual suffering from family violence or domestic abuse can seek.

Protection from abuse orders can provide a number of protections and help to those suffering domestic abuse. PFAs can direct an individual not to abuse, threaten, harass or stalk the person suffering from the abuse; require the abuser to leave the residence; prohibit the abuser from contacting the party suffering the abuse; grant the individual suffering abuse temporary custody of minor children; grant the individual suffering the abuse temporary child support or spousal support; prohibit the party accused of perpetrating the abuse from owning a gun; as well as other protections and relief for the party suffering the abuse.

The family law court will review a request for a temporary protective order once the request is submitted. The final protective order may be granted following a hearing or if the parties agree to it. The temporary protective order is granted on an ex parte basis which means the court only hears from the party suffering the abuse and a final protective order can be granted following a more thorough hearing.

There are important details concerning who can seek a PFA and how long both a temporary protective order and final protective order will be in place. Because of the importance of protective orders for those suffering abuse and for those accused of perpetrating abuse, it is important to understand how they come about, what they protect against and the legal resources available in domestic violence situations.

Source: Statelaws.findlaw.com, "Pennsylvania Temporary Restraining Order Laws," Accessed July 24, 2017

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Haller & Imbarlina, P.C.
20120 Route 19, Suite 208
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Cranberry Township, PA 16066

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