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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Getting A Continuance In A PFA Case

77005984In most cases, Judges will allow at least one continuance in a Protection From Abuse (PFA) matter.

PFA hearings are generally scheduled within 10 days. The defendant in a PFA case should have no problem getting a continuance if he or she has not been timely served or needs additional time to retain an attorney.

Parties may be surprised when a Court won’t grant a continuance of a PFA hearing. Continuances are generally only granted for good cause. The plaintiff may not be entitled to a continued hearing date if the defendant is present and wants to go forward.

To speak with an experienced Pittsburgh PFA lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

How To Appeal A Summary Trial Decision 

139378055Trials often determine important rights of the individuals involved. Even two reasonable people may disagree with the results of a trial. The judicial system in Pennsylvania has a built-in process where you can appeal a District Judge’s decision and be heard before a different judge. This is called a trial de novo. Allegheny County residents have 30 days from the date of a summary trial decision to file an appeal at the Department of Court Records, Room 115, Allegheny County Courthouse, in downtown Pittsburgh.

To speak with a Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Phone Rules for Parents Who Share Custody

78287715There are no specific rules on how to maintain contact with your children when they are with the other parent. It depends on the age of the child, the relationship the child has with the parent, the individual characteristics of the child, and the relationship the parents have with each other. Some children want a phone call and enjoy speaking to the other parent. Other children are not verbally expressive, which makes phone conversations frustrating and difficult. Family therapists recommend abiding by the following phone rules:

  • There should be an effort by both parents to allow contact between the child and the other parent, especially if that’s what the child genuinely wants
  • The younger the child, the more contact is preferred
  • When a parent calls to speak to his or her children, have the children take responsibility for answering the phone or returning the call
  • Do not use the phone to intrude on the child’s time with the other parent or to maintain influence over the child when the child is in the other home
  • Do not use the phone to have the children spy on the other parent and report all the “bad things” that are going on
  • Use the phone in a way that serves the child’s needs, not the parent’s need to continue to influence the child and to interfere with the child’s relaxation and enjoyment of time in the other parent’s house

To speak with an experienced Allegheny County family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Family Law Help in Allegheny County

111787230Not everyone struggling with issues of divorce, child custody and support can afford an attorney. Some simply wish to handle matters themselves.

In Allegheny County, the newly formed Family Division Self-Help Center guides such people through the court system. The center, which opened in January 2014, has already assisted more than 1,500 clients, according to Lawyers Journal, a publication of the Allegheny County Bar Association.

Located on the first floor of the Family Law Center at 440 Ross Street in downtown Pittsburgh, the center is open each weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To speak with a Pittsburgh family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Family Law Protections for Rape Victims

Beautiful baby of three months old in his mothers hands.Earlier this summer, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill restricting men who father children through rape from asserting child custody and visitation rights.

Additionally, the bill allows rape survivors to seek child support from their assailants, according to RH Reality Check, a daily publication focusing on reproductive health and justice, citing a 2012 article by Spivak Law Firm published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Nationwide, about 25,000 women become pregnant through rape each year.

To speak with a Pittsburgh family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.