Like other states, Alabama has a process in which a Mobile resident who is a victim of domestic abuse can go and get assistance from a local court.
Specifically, a victim can get a protection from abuse order, or PFA. As a court order, the alleged perpetrator must follow its terms or risk being held in contempt. Likewise, law enforcement officers and prosecutors have the power to use the criminal justice system to enforce such orders.
The good news is that a victim can obtain a PFA even when no criminal charges have been filed or even contemplated. Additionally, a victim of abuse may ask the judge to enter a PFA ex parte, that is, without first giving the alleged perpetrator advance notice or the opportunity to respond. People should be aware, however, that those on the receiving end of a PFA will have a day in court, usually in short order.
As the name implies, the whole point of a PFA is to protect a victim from further abuse. As such, the court will in all likelihood order the alleged perpetrator to stay away from the victim and not have communication with him or her. In some situations, the judge may even require that the perpetrator stay 100 yards away from the victim’s home, workplace, and the like.
Additionally, as needed, a judge can make temporary orders for child custody, support, and parenting time. If the victim and the perpetrator share a residence, the order also can require that the perpetrator move.
Getting a PFA can be a huge step in the life of a victim of abuse, and it can serve to get him or her off to a better life. However, getting a PFA can be complicated and contentious. For this reason, it may be helpful to have an experienced Alabama family law attorney assist.