If you are currently suffering domestic abuse at the hands of your spouse in Media, the only thought more terrifying than the violence that you endure may be what could happen to you, your child and/or your family members or friends if you choose to seek a divorce. Fortunately, you are afforded legal protection from your abusive spouse if you seek a Protection From Abuse Order.
According to the Delaware County website, a PFA is a restraining order that prohibits your spouse from trying to confront or contact you. Through such an order, the court can also choose to remove your spouse from your residence so that you are not forced to leave to escape his or her abuse. To obtain and file a PFA, you must take the following steps:
- Obtain a petition for a temporary PFA (one can be downloaded from the website for the Office of Judicial Support).
- File the petition with the Office of the Court Administrator.
- Once the order has been granted, take copies of it to your local police station or sheriff’s office.
If the Court of Common Pleas is closed at the time you file your petition, a district judge can issue an emergency order that is valid up until the time the court opens the next morning. A temporary order will be issued once a judge has reviewed your petition. It remains in effect up to the date that your hearing is held. At that hearing, both you and your spouse will be able to argue for and against the need to make the order permanent. The judge hearing your case with then issue his or her opinion accordingly.
A violation of either an emergency, temporary or permanent PFA can cause your spouse to be arrested for indirect criminal contempt.