Asked in Family Law and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania

Q: I’m appearing in a court hearing on a temporary PFA. If it’s quashed, can one spouse flee with the kid instead ?

My spouse brought a PFA case on me . We are under a temporary separation order. In the hearing we are all expecting the judge to quash the temp and allow us to live together in marital home.

After that, can one spouse refuse to live there and while leaving take the kid along with?

If that happens, can the other spouse file an abduction complaint?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
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  • Domestic Violence Lawyer
  • Schenectady, NY
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: There is not enough factual information here. What was the misconduct alleged to have brought about the PFA and what if any proceedings are currently taking place? Assuming the worst allegations, no PFA will be denied and the parent with the child can make an attempt to abscond with the child. Most ill-informed parents will make use of government resources to isolate a child from the other parent, and if the other parent does not act quickly in response, he may actually lose that child.

One example of under what circumstances can a PFA be denied could be that the PFA is a tactically deployed assault by the otherwise losing parent against a winning parent during the pendency of a court case. This means the PFA is a first-strike weapon, and without further details, we cannot properly answer this question.

There is no such thing as an abduction complaint; there is a petition for custody and a petition for special relief in Pennsylvania when a child is removed.

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