Protection from Abuse & Defending Parents Against Abuse & Neglect Claims Print This Page

Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey have laws to protect spouses and members of a household from abuse and neglect, including protection from abuse, which provides temporary relief in emergency situations. The legal definition of abuse is the occurrence of one or more of the following actions between family or household members, sexual or intimate partners, or persons who share biological parenthood:

  • attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, rape, spousal sexual assault or involuntary deviate sexual intercourse;
  • placing another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
  • false imprisonment;
  • physically or sexually abusing minor children; or
  • stalking, defined as knowingly engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person including following a person, without proper authority, under circumstances which place that person in reasonable fear of bodily injury.

Parents have a fundamental, constitutionally protected interest in their children, however, child protection agencies may step in to protect children if their mental or physical well-being is being harmed or threatened. These agencies may bring two types of legal actions against parents during these circumstances. These are child abuse/neglect-protective services and guardianship/termination of parental rights actions.

Whether you are seeking to protect yourself or believe that a Protection from Abuse Order was wrongly filed against you, Obermayer attorneys are experienced in representing both victims of abuse and defendants of Protection from Abuse Orders.