Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Monthly Archives: December 2017

Benefits Of Collaborative Divorce

Q: Why should I consider a collaborative divorce?

A: Collaborative divorce, also known as no-court divorce, is a non-adversarial process for handling divorce.

It tends to be cheaper, faster, less stressful, and more private than conventional divorce.

Spouses can avoid court fees and share the costs of experts, such as financial advisers or mental health professionals. Studies show that people who choose collaborative law, on average, save $5,000-$10,000 over people who choose litigation.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide you with strong, cost-effective representation. We aim to preserve your finances by avoiding prolonged conflict to arrive at solutions that are in the best interests of you and your family.

To learn more about collaborative divorce, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

DUI and Expungement

Q: Can I have a DUI expunged from my record?

A: In Pennsylvania, criminal proceedings involving misdemeanor or felony charges can be expunged if (1) you were not convicted, (2) the charges were dismissed or withdrawn, or (3) you successfully completed an ARD program on a first and only charge. Thus, it may be possible to have a DUI arrest expunged from your record.

Spivak Law Firm handles expungements and strongly defends people arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, illegal drugs, or controlled substances. To speak with an experienced criminal-defense attorney, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody and Emotional Abuse

Ending a physically or emotionally abusive relationship doesn’t always end the abuse, especially when children are involved. You still have to see your ex-spouse to arrange for custody exchanges, holidays, etc.

If your ex-spouse continues to engage in controlling or manipulative behavior, consider limiting your communications to text or email. This can both reduce the level of conflict between the two of you, and allow you to document evidence of your ex’s inability to work together.

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

Erase Your Criminal Record

If you want to clean your criminal record for an upcoming employment, education, or housing opportunity, you should begin the process as soon as possible.

Spivak Law Firm routinely helps people erase their criminal records through a formal expungement process. What surprises many clients is how long the expungement process takes: about a year from start to finish.

At Spivak Law Firm, we move your case forward as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary delay, and we update you at each step along the way.

Spivak Law Firm expunges criminal records for a low, one-time fee. For more information, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

No Guns for Domestic Abusers

If you have been charged with a domestic violence related crime, your gun ownership rights may be at stake.

Under federal law, if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving domestic abuse, you are banned from purchasing or owning firearms or ammunition. The law aims to protect victims of domestic abuse by keeping guns out of the hands of convicted abusers.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the applicability of this law in Voisine v. United States. The Court ruled that the law applies not only to individuals who intentionally committed domestic abuse, but also to individuals who did so recklessly.

If you have been charged with assault, harassment, terroristic threats, or any other domestic violence related crime, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Follow Your Custody Order

If you have a custody order, follow it. Pennsylvania courts determine custody by looking to the best interests of the children, which is based upon 16 factors. One of the factors asks which parent is more likely to permit and continue frequent contact between the children and the other parent.

If you do not abide by the terms of the existing order, you may be adversely affecting your case. You may also subject yourself to contempt proceedings, which can involve fines and even jail time. Unless you have safety concerns for your children, you should abide by the terms of your custody order.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFAs. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

5 Child Custody Don’ts

If your child exhibits temper tantrums, you may believe that they are not capable of feeling complex emotions. But children are more perceptive than you may realize. They are able to pick up on your emotions and the things that you say, so it is imperative to filter what is said to them and in front of them.

To avoid upsetting your children, here are five things you should not do during a divorce or custody dispute:

  • Do not directly or indirectly encourage your children to choose between you and your ex-spouse;
  • Do not speak ill of your ex-spouse in front of the children;
  • Do not prevent your children from spending time with your ex-spouse;
  • Do not ask your children to pass messages to your ex-spouse;
  • Do not disclose details of your legal matters to the children.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFAs. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Keep Your Cool in Criminal Court

Tensions run high in criminal court. You are likely worried about how the pending charges will affect your job, reputation, and most importantly, your freedom. But you must stay calm in court.

Trust that your attorney is working to obtain the best deal possible to resolve your case. Having a bad attitude or making snide remarks to the court staff or judge could result in your deal being withdrawn or unaccepted.

Don’t risk the chance to resolve your case. Be on your best behavior in court.

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

Theft Crimes in Pennsylvania

Penalties for theft crimes in Pennsylvania can be severe. The penalty is based on the value of the stolen property. A first offense for stolen property valued at less than $150 is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, though many first-time offenders serve probation only. Theft of property valued between $150 and $2,000 is punishable by up to five years in prison.

With an experienced attorney, you may be able to participate in an accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) program that allows you to avoid incarceration so long as you pay a fine and complete your probation, which often includes a provision restricting you from entering the business where the theft occurred.

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

Don’t Let A PFA Ruin Your Life

A PFA is a court order that aims to protect victims of domestic violence. A PFA can:

  • Restrict you from contacting the accuser;
  • Evict you from your home;
  • Award the accuser temporary custody of your children;
  • Require you to pay child support; and
  • Send you to jail if you are even accused of violating it.

Don’t make the mistake of blindly accepting a PFA. The consequences of a PFA are harsh and long-lasting, as a PFA can remain in effect for up to three years.

Spivak Law Firm provides aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in domestic violence cases, including Protection From Abuse (PFA), Children Youth and Families (CYF), and criminal domestic violence. To schedule a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.