Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

PFA for Victims:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you help me get a PFA?
Yes. Spivak Law Firm helps victims of domestic violence and child abuse get the legal protection they need to recover a sense of security in their lives. We provide strong, compassionate representation and connect you with valuable resources to help get your life back. If you or your child needs the protection of a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What is a PFA?
A PFA is a court order that aims to protect victims of domestic violence and child abuse. PFA means “Protection from Abuse.” It is commonly known as a protection order or restraining order. If you need the protection of a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What does a PFA do?
A PFA is a powerful tool that can (1) restrict an abuser from contacting his or her victim, (2) evict an abuser from a jointly occupied household, (3) award a victim temporary custody of minor children, (4) limit an abuser’s child visitation rights, (5) require an abuser to pay spousal support and child support, and (6) order an abuser to turn over all registered firearms to police.

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What happens if a PFA is violated?
Violating a PFA order can result in criminal charges and a possible jail sentence.

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Why should I get a PFA?
You should get a PFA if you are the victim of real or threatened physical abuse. According to Pennsylvania law, you are entitled to a PFA if the abuser (1) caused you to suffer bodily injury, (2) caused you to reasonably fear imminent serious bodily injury, (3) falsely imprisoned you or (4) engaged in stalking or harassment that caused you to fear imminent bodily injury. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Must I suffer physical or sexual harm to get a PFA?
No. You can get a PFA even if you have not suffered actual physical or sexual harm. It is enough to show that the abuser caused you to reasonably fear serious imminent bodily injury. Thus, threats of violence may be enough. To discuss your case with an experienced PFA lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Against whom can I get a PFA?
You can get a PFA against any member of your family or household. According to Pennsylvania law, you can get a PFA against (1) a spouse, (2) a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, (3) the parent of your child, (4) your child, (5) a former sexual or intimate partner, (6) your parent, or (7) any family member related to you by blood or marriage.

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Can I protect my child with a PFA?
Yes. If the abused person is a minor, then a parent, adult household member, or guardian ad litem can file for a PFA on behalf of the child. If you need to protect a child with a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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How do I get a PFA?
Filing procedures for a PFA are different in every county. In Allegheny County, you can file a PFA petition on any weekday morning from 9-11 a.m. at the Family and Juvenile Court facility, 440 Ross Street, Room 3030. An emergency PFA can be obtained on nights, weekends, and holidays through Night Court, 660 First Avenue. There is no court fee for filing a PFA petition. For more information on how to get a PFA in your county, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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I filed a PFA petition – what happens next?
A judge will review the case and likely issue a temporary PFA order restricting contact between the parties. You must then serve notice of the temporary PFA order, usually through your county sheriff’s department. A final PFA hearing is held within 10 days of the initial filing. For more information on the PFA process, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What happens at the final PFA hearing?
The parties may agree on a final PFA order or allow a court to draft a final PFA order. The alleged victim and the alleged abuser may provide evidence of abuse and testify under oath before a judge. The judge either grants a permanent PFA or denies it largely based on the credibility of each party. To have us represent you at your PFA hearing, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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How long can a PFA last?
A PFA can remain in effect for up to three years.

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How much will a PFA attorney cost?
Spivak Law Firm offers strong, compassionate representation at reasonable rates. We offer flat fees for many PFA cases so you know upfront exactly how much it will cost. To learn more about our rates, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Are there domestic violence hotlines or shelters?
In Allegheny County, the following agencies offer help to domestic violence victims 24 hours a day: Women’s Center & Shelter at (412) 687-8005; Alle-Kiski Area Hope Center at (888) 299-4673; Crisis Center North at (412) 364-5556; and Womansplace at (412) 687-4616. For more information on domestic violence hotlines and shelters in your area, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Do I need a PFA attorney?
It is highly recommended that victims of domestic violence have legal representation by an experienced PFA attorney. Spivak Law Firm has helped many victims of abuse obtain PFA orders. To learn more about how we can help with your PFA matter, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Contact Our Pittsburgh Law Firm Today

To schedule an appointment, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390. Our Pittsburgh office is open during normal business hours, as well as evenings and weekends by appointment.

Spivak Law Firm routinely accepts cases in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.