Protection from abuse/stalking orders can carry very similar results as a dissolution of marriage. The reason is because the Judge can make orders regarding the same types of issues (child support, child custody, possession of the marital home, general restraining orders for you and your children, etc.). They can be extremely helpful to a person who is a victim of abuse or staking and is in need of emergency orders of protection for themselves and for their children. Alternatively, these orders can be quite dangerous to a person who has been wrongfully accused of abuse or stalking, as the resulting orders of protection from a Court may have lasting effects. These problems may include a written court record of the allegations of abuse which is open for public review, unfavorable custody and support orders, and even prohibitions against possessing a firearm. If you are a person in need of orders of protection or are a person in need of a defense against false allegations of abuse, Leiker Law Office, P.A. can help.
A protection from abuse action can be filed against a spouse, someone you are living with, someone you have formerly lived with, someone you are dating or have dated, or someone you have a common child with. An abuser is defined as a person causing or trying to cause injury to another, someone threatening bodily injury, or someone engaging in sexual acts with a minor under 16 years of age who is not the spouse of that person. Temporary orders of restraint will usually issue immediately upon the filing of the action along with any other orders the Judge feels are necessary to ensure the safety of you or your children. Upon a final hearing, if the order is granted it will be good for one year. A Court can order an abuser into counseling, order him/her out of the marital residence, order an abuser to provide suitable alternative housing for a spouse and children, make custody and parenting time orders, and make orders of financial support.
Protection from abuse/stalking orders are sometimes abused by the filing party. If you have been served with a PFA / PFS petition that is falsified or factually incorrect, you should immediately contact an attorney. In addition to the orders listed above, a final order will have consequences that you may not have realized, such as the prohibition to possess a firearm.
Protection from Abuse / Stalking orders will normally take precedence over other domestic-related orders (divorce, legal separation, etc.).