Protecting Your Children from Your Ex’s Partner

Protecting Your Children from Your Ex’s Partner

The Lesson of the Adrian Peterson Case—Football Star’s Son Killed by Ex’s Boyfriend

In October, 2013, the two-year-old son of NFL MVP Adrian Peterson died from injuries sustained when he was beaten by his mother’s boyfriend. Reports showed that the alleged perpetrator, Joseph Robert Patterson, had a prior record of assault and domestic violence. Authorities have since charged Patterson with second degree murder.

In light of the incident, the question has come up repeatedly—what can you do if you fear that your minor child is in physical danger from your ex’s new partner or boyfriend?

The good news is that most states have a process whereby you can obtain a no-contact or restraining order, a document signed by a judge that requires that the named person keep a minimal distance from your child. You can also specify that the person posing the threat not have any telephone, e-mail or other type of contact with your child.

In Pennsylvania, as in most states, there is a process for obtaining an emergency order of protection from abuse. If you have an attorney, your first step should be to contact them and request an emergency order. In most instances, you can get an ex parte hearing with the judge almost immediately. The ex parte hearing does not require that the abuser be present.

At the ex parte hearing, the judge will determine the extent of the threat, based on evidence you provide, and will usually give you an ex parte temporary protection from abuse order. This order will be in effect until a scheduled hearing, usually within 10 business days. The alleged abuser has the right to attend the scheduled hearing and present evidence in his or her defense. Based on the findings at the scheduled hearing, the judge may issue a PFA order that can be in place for up to three years.

However, if the concern arises on a weekend or in the evening, the first step is to call law enforcement officers, who will tell you which judge is on duty, and will provide you with a phone number to call and initiate the process.

Contact the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr.

At the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr, we have more than 30 years of practice experience. We handle the defense of all types of criminal charges. Contact us online or call us at (610) 565-0240 to arrange an appointment. There is no charge for your initial consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings or weekends upon request. We take Visa, MasterCard and Discover, as well as debit cards.

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