Many individuals in Southeastern PA know Protection from Abuse (PFA) Orders as a court order that gives an abused party protection from members of their household, a person they’ve been intimate with, or with whom they have a child. However, if a person is in an abusive relationship or has a loved one who is involved in an abusive relationship, they may have many more questions about PFA orders. Jack A. Rounick has been helping his clients understand and get or defend PFA orders for many years, helping them to feel safer and more at ease to make sure justice is done. Below, Mr. Rounick answers many of the common questions about PFA orders.
What, exactly, is a PFA order?
A Protection from Abuse order is a judge-signed paper that prevents the abuser from having contact with the abused. It provides legal protection from domestic abuse to victims, regardless of their gender.
Are there different types of PFA orders?
Yes. There are several types of PFA orders. An Emergency PFA is issued when a judge believes that an individual is in immediate danger. It is only effective until the day in which courts have a hearing. This is an ex parte PFA. The ex parte PFA is a temporary order issued by a judge who has only heard the victim’s information. It is effective until a full hearing can be held. After the hearing, in which both parties have the chance to testify, provide evidence, and offer witnesses, a final PFA order may be granted. This final PFA can last up to three years.
What, exactly, does a PFA order protect me from?
A PFA order ultimately tells the abuser that s/he cannot abuse, harass, or stalk you or your minor children. It can require the abuser to leave your home, provide you with temporary custody of minor children and order the payment of financial support. It can also require the abuser to turn over any gums or weapons to law enforcement and prevent him/her from getting additional firearms. It can also require the abuser not to have any contact with you and/or minor children.
Do I need an attorney to get a PFA?
You do not need an attorney to file for a PFA order; however, it is typically in your best interest to retain one. An attorney can provide you with a wealth of information and help you navigate the process to ensure that you, and your family, are protected.
For more information about protection from abuse orders, call the Law Offices of Jack A. Rounick today.