Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Spivak Law Firm Seeks PFA Reforms

PFA Pic1Attorney Todd Spivak recently participated on a panel at Duquesne University School of Law to advocate reforming Pennsylvania’s Protection From Abuse (PFA) laws.

A PFA, also commonly known as a restraining order, is a powerful tool that can evict you from your home, restrict you from your children, and prohibit you from possessing firearms.

Attorney Spivak has long advocated for reforming the PFA law to curb false claims of abuse. Proposals for reform include as follows:

  • Courts should make it easier to allow defendants to recover attorney fees when a PFA is withdrawn or dismissed.
  • District attorneys should criminally prosecute serial filers of bogus PFAs.
  • Temporary PFAs should be removed from the public database when a PFA is later withdrawn or dismissed.

Other panelists included Allegheny Court of Common Pleas Judge Kim D. Eaton and Attorney Tom Putinsky, winner of the Edgar G. O’Connor Fellows Award for outstanding public service.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong representation at PFA hearings for plaintiffs and defendants. To speak with an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Spivak Law Firm Frees Inmate

Expunge Pic8Thanks to Spivak Law Firm, Doug (not his real name) is a free man again.

Doug violated his probation and ended up back in Allegheny County Jail for a domestic dispute. We negotiated an agreement to dismiss the charges upon completion of anger-management counseling.

But that would take six months.

And Doug’s probation violation hearing would not even be scheduled until he completed the counseling. That means he would likely sit in jail for at least eight months until a judge would even consider his release.

Spivak Law Firm petitioned the judge to lift Doug’s detainer. At the hearing, we persuaded the judge to lift the detainer so Doug could go back to work and help raise his infant child.

Instead of waiting eight months, Doug was back at his job and seeing his baby after just three weeks.

“Thank you for helping me get a second chance,” Doug told us after his release.

Spivak Law Firm handles all criminal matters including: felony, misdemeanor and summary charges, probation violations, and criminal-record expungements. Call us today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Key Time Periods for Divorce in Pennsylvania

Empty Pittsburgh BridgeUnder Pennsylvania divorce law, there are three main time periods that parties should consider:

  • Six Months: Before you can file for divorce in Pennsylvania, you or your spouse must have resided in the state for at least six months.
  • 90 Days: If you and your spouse consent to a divorce, you still must wait 90 days before the court will grant a final decree.
  • Two Years: If one spouse does not consent to a divorce, then the spouse seeking the divorce must wait two years before requesting a final decree. Currently Pennsylvania is considering legislation to reduce the waiting period to one year.

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

4 Reasons to Modify Child Support

child blowing away dandelion seeds in the blue sky

Either parent may seek to modify a child support order at any time. The moving party will need to show a substantial change of circumstances occurred since the final order was entered by the court.

What constitutes a substantial change of circumstances?

Common examples include:

  • One parent gets more custody time
  • One parent gets a significant pay increase
  • One parent gets laid off from work
  • A child seeks to participate in a new extra-curricular activity

Do not voluntarily quit a job to avoid paying child support, as a court can assign an earning capacity based on past income levels.

To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

5 Reasons To Fight A Summary Offense

If you’re charged with a summary offense, fight it. Here’s why:

First, if the police officer doesn’t show up to the hearing, the judge will dismiss it.

Second, if you did not commit the crime, you should never plead guilty just for the sake of expediency.

Third, even if you committed the crime alleged, your attorney may be able to strike a deal. For instance, the charges may be dismissed on condition that you complete community service.

Fourth, even if you’re found guilty at the summary trial, you have the right to appeal within 30 days and get a new trial before a different judge.

Fifth, a conviction will remain on your criminal record for five years before you can even begin the process of expungement.

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