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Family Law Blog

When Will the Court Issue a PFA Order?

Published: Dec 16, 2019 in Protection From Abuse (PFA)
Shadow of person being abused

Written by Anthony Piccirilli

If you have been the victim of domestic violence or are a defendant in a domestic violence case in Pennsylvania, a protection from abuse (PFA) order might be issued in your case. This type of order has serious implications for your future. Because of this, it’s crucial that you are fully represented in court.

The lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC understand the serious nature of a PFA order. We are ready to get all the details of your case and represent your best interests in court. Call us now at (412) 471-5100 or filling out our online contact form for an appointment so that your rights can be protected.

Who Can Obtain a PFA?

A PFA order in Pennsylvania can be ordered by the court when a plaintiff has experienced abuse or threats of abuse by a defendant. A PFA order can be issued to protect a person in any of these relationships with the defendant:

  • Spouses or former spouses of the defendant;
  • People living with or who have lived with the defendant;
  • Family members of the defendant such as parents, siblings, or children;
  • Sexual or intimate partners of the defendant; or
  • People who are biological parents of a child or children with the defendant

Behavior that Can Be the Basis of a PFA

A PFA can be ordered when any of the following acts are proven to have happened by the defendant against the plaintiff:

  • Causing or attempting to cause bodily injury or creating a fear of injury;
  • Assault or attempted assault;
  • Sexual assault, rape, or attempts at those acts;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Physical or sexual abuse against minor children; or
  • Stalking

Consequences of a PFA

Once a petition has been filed, the court may issue a temporary PFA order. A hearing is held within ten days of the date the petition is filed. If the court determines at the hearing that a PFA order is needed, the order can include any of the following:

  • A direction that the defendant may not abuse the plaintiff or their children;
  • A prohibition against stalking or harassing the plaintiff or other people specifically named in the PFA;
  • A no contact order between the defendant and plaintiff and his/her minor children including at home, place of business, school;
  • An order not to harass the plaintiff, plaintiff’s children, or plaintiff’s relatives;
  • A provision giving possession of the residence to the plaintiff and evicting the defendant or requiring the defendant to provide housing for the plaintiff if the defendant solely owns or leases the home;
  • An award of temporary custody of minor children, provisions for temporary visitation or supervised visitation for minor children, or a denial of any custodial rights for the defendant;
  • An order of financial support such as spousal support, child support, medical support, health insurance coverage, and household expenses paid by the defendant to the plaintiff;
  • A prohibition against the defendant buying or owning a firearm during the term of the order and requiring that any firearms in their possession be relinquished; and
  • Payment by the defendant to the plaintiff for losses suffered as a result of the abuse, including medical, dental, relocation, moving, and counseling expenses, loss of earnings, property damage and attorney’s fees

Whether you are someone seeking a PFA order or one is being sought against you, the case has serious implications for your future. You need a qualified, experienced Pennsylvania lawyer who can guide you through the court process and ensure that all of your rights are completely protected. The accomplished lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC are ready to work with you so that you get the justice you deserve. Make an appointment today by calling our office now at (412) 471-5100or filling out our online contact form.