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Child CustodyFamily Law

Protection From Abuse Orders and Custody

By January 31, 2024No Comments

When families face the turmoil of domestic abuse, the legal system in Pennsylvania provides mechanisms to protect victims, including children. One such mechanism is the Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, a critical tool in safeguarding individuals from harm. In custody situations, PFAs have a profound impact, and understanding their implications is crucial for parents navigating these challenging waters.

What is a Protection From Abuse Order?

A Protection From Abuse order is a legal decree issued by a court to prevent further abuse of a victim by an abuser. In Pennsylvania, PFAs can be obtained against family members, intimate partners, or household members who have committed acts of abuse. Abuse is not limited to physical violence; it can also include threats, stalking, and harassment.

The Intersection of PFA and Child Custody

In custody disputes, a PFA order can significantly influence court decisions. The safety and well-being of the child are paramount in any custody determination, and the presence of a PFA order is a critical factor in these decisions.

1. Immediate Impact on Custody Arrangements

  • When a PFA is issued, it can include provisions related to child custody. This may temporarily alter existing custody arrangements, especially if the abuser is one of the child’s parents. In some cases, the court may grant temporary sole custody to the non-abusive parent or a suitable guardian to protect the child.

2. Long-term Custody Decisions

  • While a PFA can immediately affect custody, it can also influence long-term custody decisions. Pennsylvania courts consider evidence of abuse when determining the best interests of the child. A parent with a history of abuse, evidenced by a PFA, may face restrictions on custody and visitation, including supervised visitation or, in severe cases, complete loss of custody rights.

3. Consideration of the Child’s Best Interests

  • In every custody case, the child’s best interests are the court’s primary concern. The court will consider various factors, including the child’s safety, emotional well-being, and the need for a stable and loving environment. A PFA order is a significant indicator that these factors are at risk.



4. False Allegations in Custody Battles

  • It’s important to address the issue of false allegations of abuse, which can occur in contentious custody disputes. While courts take allegations of abuse seriously, they also scrutinize the evidence. False accusations can backfire, potentially impacting the accuser’s credibility and custody rights.

Legal Guidance and Representation

Navigating custody issues in the shadow of a PFA order requires skilled legal guidance. As family law attorneys specializing in custody disputes and PFA orders in Pennsylvania, we offer comprehensive legal support to:

  • Victims of Abuse: We provide compassionate and assertive representation to help you secure a PFA order and advocate for your child’s best interests in custody proceedings.
  • Individuals Facing False Accusations: If you’ve been wrongfully accused, we’re committed to defending your rights and working towards a fair and just outcome in your custody case.


The intersection of PFA orders and custody cases in Pennsylvania is complex, but understanding the legal landscape is the first step towards safeguarding your rights and your child’s well-being. Whether you’re seeking protection or facing allegations, our experienced legal team is here to navigate these challenging legal waters with you. Contact us for a consultation, and let us be your advocate in securing a safe and stable future for your family.

I represent my clients aggressively and affordably.


Author wengerlaw2

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