This is NOT legal advice. This is general information.
“The danger of violence, including the risk of death, escalates when a domestic violence survivor attempts to leave a batterer. Seeking legal assistance is a step towards independence, which threatens a batterer’s sense of power and control and may lead to increased violence. If you represent a client who is planning to leave or to take any legal or financial steps to separate from a batterer, alert her to the increased likelihood of violence.”
– American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence
Separation Violence is real! It is important to know that the most dangerous time for a victim, any children, and those assisting her/him (e.g., law enforcement officers, attorneys), is when she/he leaves. Safety planning is essential. Speak with an advocate trained in domestic violence to develop your own personalized safety plan.
A PFA, or Protection From Abuse order, is a civil court order that prohibits abusive behavior. To file for a PFA Order in Montgomery County you must file in person at the Courthouse.
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides several resources on PFAs that might be helpful to review before applying for an order:Information for Completing the Petition The Pennsylvania PFA Act: A Guide for Victims of Domestic Violence
You may be eligible for free legal representation through the Legal Aid of Southeastern PA.
In Montgomery County, through its Legal Advocacy Project, non-lawyer advocates from the Women’s Center of Montgomery County provide assistance to individuals seeking Protection from Abuse Orders and provide court accompaniment to victims.
PALawHelp.org provides legal information, referrals to legal service providers and information about local courts on numerous topics, including child custody, and child support.
Local information on Montgomery County’s website has a page dedicated to information on child and spousal support.
The PA Department of Public Welfare website has a PA Children Support Program page.
On this page you will find the PA Child Support Handbook, which contains information about the following topics: