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Monthly Archives: September 2015

In A PFA, What Is Third-Party Contact?

 

PFA Pic2Victims of domestic violence, harassment, and stalking are often instructed to obtain a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order that restricts contact between the parties. A PFA is also known as a restraining order or no-contact order.

In Allegheny County, a PFA Order typically states that the alleged abuser shall not contact the victim, including through third persons. What does that mean exactly?

Third-party contact refers to having a friend or family member contact the victim about the PFA. For instance, if you are a defendant in a PFA matter, you cannot have a mutual friend pressure the victim into withdrawing the PFA.

Indeed, you cannot communicate any message to the plaintiff whatsoever. Even a non-threatening message such as “I miss you” could get you arrested for violating the no-contact order.

Spivak Law Firm provides aggressive representation for defendants and victims at PFA hearings. To schedule a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Why You Should File A Summary Appeal

 

Expunge Pic2In Allegheny County, if you are convicted of a summary offense such as harassment, disorderly conduct, retail theft, defiant trespassing, or underage drinking, then you should seriously consider filing a summary appeal.

If you file a summary appeal within 30 days of the conviction, you will be given a new trial – known by attorneys as a trial de novo – in the Court of Common Pleas.

There often is no transcript of the original summary trial conducted before your local magistrate. Thus, a summary appeal provides a second opportunity to have the charges against you dismissed.

At Spivak Law Firm, we handle summary trials, summary appeals, and expungements of criminal records. To schedule a free consultation, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Why You Need A Child Custody Order

 

The father and the son

Q: My ex and I get along well. Do we need a child custody order?

A: Yes.

A child custody order is critical even for parents who communicate well and cooperate with one another. Without a court order, each parents risks enduring bad behavior by the other parent.

For instance, without a custody order, your ex may suddenly relocate to a new state or school district without seeking your consent. During holidays, especially, a custody order is critical if one parent unilaterally decides to withhold the child from the other parent.

A custody order is fully enforceable by a judge. Violating the order can result in make-up time with the children and sanctions such as attorney fees.

Even under the best-case scenarios where parents remain friendly, an enforceable child custody order is highly advisable. To speak with an experienced child custody attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

 

What’s In A Child Custody Order?

Beautiful baby of three months old in his mothers hands.A child custody order can be short – as little as half a page – or very long – running many dozens of pages. Child custody orders typically direct how parents:

–Share responsibility for making major decisions that affect the children

–Share time with the children during the school year

–Share time with the children during the summer months

–Share time with the children during holidays and birthdays

–Communicate about the children

–Communicate their vacation plans

–Transport the children for custody exchanges

–Notify one another if they plan to relocate

Parents need not follow the order so long as they both agree to changes. But in the event parents disagree, the order provides a framework that enables them to co-parent effectively while minimizing conflict.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong, compassionate representation in all child custody matters. Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

High Conflict Child Custody Cases

Custody Pic9In Allegheny County, parents are strongly encouraged to determine their own child custody schedules. In most cases, with the help of family law attorneys and court-appointed mediators, parents are able to reach agreement on how to divide time with their children.

But high-conflict custody cases often cannot be resolved through negotiation. Parents with serious communication problems and high levels of anger and distrust may take their cases to trial.

At Spivak Law Firm, we are effective negotiators who help parents craft their own child custody orders. We are also trained trial lawyers experienced at aggressively litigating cases to reach our client’s goals.

For a free consultation with an experienced child custody lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.