Do You Need A PFA? Protection From Abuse
Who Can Seek Protection?
PFAs apply only to family members or to someone with whom you had an intimate relationship, including the parent of your child even if you were never married. Family members include domestic partners and same sex couples, siblings, spouses, ex-spouses and even in-laws under Pennsylvania law. Age is not a factor – the abuser or person being abused can be a minor. Some counties include less serious dating relationships. Pennsylvania law does not include platonic roommates, although some counties might recognize this relationship.
What Counts As Abuse?
Pennsylvania law also specifies the types of conduct that count as abuse for purposes of getting a PFA order. Physical abuse or even the threat of physical abuse is covered, but not mental or emotional abuse. Stalking, sexual abuse and false imprisonment are included.
Did You Know…PFAs Expire?
Under Pennsylvania law, final PFA orders expire after three years, although the time might be less than this at the discretion of the court. You might receive an order that’s only good for two years if the judge thinks this is more appropriate.
If you’ve gotten this far in the process and you have a PFA order, read it over to find out when it will end. If it’s just a matter of weeks, it might not be worth the time and trouble of filing a petition to modify it and going back to court.
If you feel that you want help in negotiating all these legal rules, contact the Crosson Richetti & Daigle LLC legal team today.
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