Temporary PFA Orders.
The temporary order was entered without you present, most likley. But you need to make sure that the temporary PFA never becomes "permanent," when possible, as discussed below. Be reluctant to consent to a longer or permanent PFA and/or any type of order (through a PFA) that addresses your other family law rights, such as custody, support, or property distribution.

Permanent PFA Orders.
Once your temporary PFA becomes "permanent" by a hearing or by consent, the order appears on the civil docket, but it resembles a criminal conviction because it shows a finding of "abuse," which generally cannot be expunged once you have a hearing on the merits of your case. Thus, the key hearing happens when the court seeks to determine whether the temporary PFA will become permanent. You need to be prepared. A qualified attorney can provide crucial assistance at this time. You can check the PA Code.

Prepration For Court.
Your lawyer will tell you how to prepare for the hearing in Court. The statements you make on the record in your hearing can be used against you for dozens of years into the future. That is to say, at the hearing, you will give testimony in matters involving your personal behavior. This can be used against you in the future in any capacity: a custody dispute, divorce, criminal matter, or even a civil case where you are suing for money in a totally unrelated matter.

Get Help, Now.
We have seen too many people go into a PFA hearing without counsel of their own present, only to call us about filing an appeal to the superior court, but the damage is already done. The superior court will give deference to the lower court's decision in most instances. An adverse ruling in a PFA case can haunt you for manyl years. First of all, the PFA can last as long as three years. Plus, you will have a criminal record, of sorts. This is not the time to be your own lawyer, especially if the other side is using this as a custody grab on an excuse to kick you out of the primary residence.

We Give You Options.
In each case, our attorneys try to negotiate with the litigant or lawyer on the other side of the case to bring about the most reasonable resolution of every case. If that does not work, we will prepare your case for a hearing and make sure that you are prepared to give testimony that will have the best change of your succeeding on the PFA and also do the least harm to you and your interests long afer the PFA hearing takes place.

Our Experience.
Attorney Todd W. Elliott obtained experience with PFA orders right out of law school. He worked for the courts and made the threshold determination whether the court should grant a temporary PFA (Protection from Abuse Act) order pending a hearing. Since then, Attorney Elliott has practiced law for over ten years, handling dozens of PFA cases in Beaver and Allegheny County (Pittsburgh). He has had great success getting PFA issues resolve through no contact orders or other agreemetns that spare a hearing and preserve the client's ability to fight custody and other issues in the future.
What Can You Lose?

The PFA Act gives the court broad discretion to prevent abuse and to correct financial hardships on the allegedly "abused" party as "domestic violence" is defined.

The Act also allows the court's to enter custody orders, child support orders, take away weapons, and host of other servere penalties that make it advisable that you meet with an attorney and evaluate your strategy in trying to "beat" a PFA.

If you go to court and lose, you risk the court ordering all the above penalties available against you under the Act, plus your risk creating a transcript of testimony about your tendency to "abuse" that can be used against you in other matters.

Be reluctant to consent to any type of PFA order unless your attorney helps draft the terms of the consent order and advises you that consent is the most realistic option.
Our family law practice handles divorce (fault and no fault). Each attorney at our firm handles claims for child custody (grandparent, parent, father, mother, step parent, interstate), dependency hearings, PFA (protection from abuse), support (spousal support, alimony pendente lite, child support), prenuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, and adoption. Our Pittsburgh family law attorneys always work with opposing counsel to bring your divorce, support, or custody matter to an efficient and reasonable resolution. We'll look at the relative income of each party involved in your case get a fair sense of the support obligation. Emotions often run high during a family law dispute, so why prolong the situation or make it more difficult (or expensive) than it needs to be? Why spend more on legal fees for divorce, alimony, spousal support, or child custody than necessary? We suggest that you rely on an experienced family law attorney who will seek an agreement and early resolution of all support (APL and spousal), child custody and divorce matters when possible.

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Our experienced Pittsburgh lawyers handle family law, divorce, support, custody, PFA, and visitation claims in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Washington Counties for reasonable fees.
(no-fault, contested, and uncontested)

Child support, Spousal Support, APL

Child custody, delinquency

Protection from abuse, spousal assault and other crimes

General Practice Areas
Western Pennsylvania
425 First Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Serving Allegheny, Beaver, and Washington Counties.
Protection From Abuse - PFA
Useful links:

Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse Act - the Code
Pittsburgh Family Law Court System - Link

The definition of domestic violence