For those in an abusive relationship, a protection from abuse (PFA) order can literally be the difference between life and death. These pieces of legal paperwork can also be turned into more nefarious purposes. In all too many cases, protection from abuse orders (PFA) are used not to shield people from abusive behavior, but as a form of punishment. Are You the Target of a Protection from Abuse Order? If so read more about what that means and what you can do to protect yourself. To learn more about protection from abuse orders in Utah visit this link after you’ve finished this article.

Couples in the midst of a divorce may file a protection from abuse orders against one another, not to protect themselves from actual abuse but to give them a leg up on their partner in a custody dispute. Romantic partners fighting over property may turn to these orders to punish the other person, essentially using the legal system to reinforce their own emotions and the grudges they are still harboring.

Hopefully, you will never find yourself on the wrong end of an unjustly filed protection from abuse (PFA) order, but if you do find yourself in such a situation you need to act fast. Knowing what to do when you are hit with a protection from abuse order could mean the difference between seeing your kids on a regular basis or not.

How To React

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that this is not a DIY or self-help proposition. Under no circumstances should you respond directly to the person who requested the protection from abuse order, even if you are certain you have done nothing wrong and have no history of abuse with that individual.

Attempting to respond directly to the issuer of the PFA could land you in legal hot water, or even in jail, so get control of your emotions, take a big step back, and contact an attorney as soon as possible. Once you contact an attorney, the office will request any relevant documentation you may possess, including police reports from past domestic abuse allegations, witness statements from friends and family and anything else you feel will bolster your case.

If your plan is to contest the PFA, you will likely need to appear in court, and it is important to listen to what your attorney tells you as you prepare for this important day. Your lawyer can give you pointers on how best to present your case, as well what to wear, where to go, when to arrive, and what you should do, and not do, once you arrive.

Being the subject of unwarranted protection from abuse orders can be a scary and disconcerting experience.  Reacting emotionally or acting rashly will do nothing to help your situation, and it will likely make an even bad situation even worse. So take a deep breath, pick up the phone and call an experienced attorney to help you defend yourself and your good name.