Pennsylvania residents can file a Protection From Abuse order when alleging domestic violence. Getting notice of a PFA from your spouse can make a difficult divorce even more challenging. However, it is important to respond thoughtfully and strategically.
Understanding the steps to take in this situation allows you to protect your rights.
You may feel a range of emotions when you hear about the PFA, especially if you do not think your behavior justifies such an order. Common responses include anger, confusion and frustration.
Even when you do not feel composed, try to keep a calm demeanor. Avoid confronting your spouse or escalating the conflict. Otherwise, you could receive legal repercussions.
Adhere to the order
Maintain strict compliance with the PFA. The order may require you to avoid contact with your spouse, refrain from going to certain locations and meet other restrictions. Failure to comply can result in legal consequences.
You must have documentation to support your case if you plan to contest the PFA in court. Gather text messages, emails and other communication records that illustrate the context of your interactions with your spouse.
Attend the hearing
After the judge issues a PFA, the court will schedule a hearing to review the allegation. Attend this session prepared to present your side of the story. Clearly and concisely articulate your perspective. Address any inaccuracies or misunderstandings that may have led to the PFA filing.
Depending on the circumstances, exploring mediation as an option to resolve disputes amicably may be worthwhile. Mediation can provide a platform for open communication and negotiation, potentially leading to a resolution that benefits both parties without the need for protracted legal battles.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, intimate partner violence affects one in three women and one in four men. If you face these allegations, it is paramount to attend court hearings, comply with court instructions and participate in required programs.