Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

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Monthly Archives: February 2018

Child Custody: Grandparents’ Rights

Grandparents increasingly raise children whose parents struggle with substance-abuse problems. But such grandparents often face major hurdles in obtaining legal custody of the children.

In Pennsylvania, grandparents must first establish legal standing in court to assert a custody action.

In such cases, courts must balance children’s safety and welfare against parents’ rights to raise their kids without interference

At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to minimize the emotional and financial costs of child-custody litigation. To discuss the custody arrangement that best fits your family’s needs, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Divorce in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, marital property is not simply divided equally at the time of divorce. Instead, a court aims to divide the marital property based on what it thinks is fair.

The formal court process for dividing marital assets and marital debts based on principles of fairness is known as equitable distribution. Marital assets include houses, cars, and other investments. Marital debts include financial obligations accrued during the marriage.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and Protection From Abuse (PFA). We help people file for divorce, negotiate Marriage Settlement Agreements, and litigation equitable-distribution trials. To schedule a consultation, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Stalking and Social Media

Connecticut recently passed a bill that strengthens the state’s domestic-violence laws to protect victims from emotional abuse and online stalking.

The bill includes language to protect victims who suffer “emotional distress” as well as physical abuse.

Under previous law, victims had to prove they fear for their physical safety in order to be protected under anti-stalking statutes.

Importantly, this legislation is the first to include protection for victims against stalking through electronic or social media.

Connecticut joins 29 other states that have eliminated fear of physical safety as the sole requirement to meet the definition of stalking.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a focus on domestic violence and Protection From Abuse (PFA). Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Tips For Creating Parenting Plans

Creating child custody agreements can be difficult, but it is important to cover all of your bases to avoid conflict later. Below are some important considerations:

  • Will the children reside primarily with one parent or move between both homes?
  • Which parent will be responsible for transportation of the children?
  • How will educational, medical, and religious decisions be made?
  • How will the children communicate with the other parent (i.e., phone, Skype)?
  • When will holiday and vacation periods start and end?
  • How will you and your ex divide the costs of the children’s extracurricular activities?

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

Reporting Abuse

In Pennsylvania, medical practitioners are not required to report all disclosures of abuse or assault. But they must report child abuse and elder abuse.

The same can’t be said for some universities and colleges such as the University of Pittsburgh, which require faculty to report all incidences of assault.

This is due in part because students are protected under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Federally funded educational facilities must take action to prevent further incidents of sex discrimination against students (including sexual assault and harassment).

For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm to speak with our experienced PFA attorney at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Expungements for College Students

Student loan debt is at an all-time high, which makes landing a job after graduation even more important. Unfortunately, employers running criminal background checks can further complicate the job-hunting process, making it imperative to maintain a clean criminal record.

If a night of partying leads to criminal charges being placed against you, it is important to begin the expungement process as soon as possible.

You may be eligible for an expungement if:

  • The criminal charges against you were withdrawn or dismissed;
  • You have been free of arrest or conviction for five years following a summary offense conviction; or
  • You completed an accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) program on a first-time criminal charge.

Spivak Law Firm routinely helps people of all ages clean their criminal records for employment reasons. Call us for a free consultation at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Kids and Online Abuse

Across the country, school districts are trying to train parents and community members to fight back against child abuse. Many districts host workshops including topics like safeguarding kids online, recognizing the signs of child abuse, and dealing with troublesome behavior in kids.

Here are 3 tips for protecting your child from abuse:

Monitor your children’s friend lists and online communications, making sure they are talking only with people you know and trust.

  • Inform your children that once something is online, it may stay there forever.
  • Talk with your children about their online activities.

provides aggressive representation in child abuse cases. If you have been accused of abuse, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Final PFA Hearings

Q: Should I go to the final PFA hearing?

A: Yes. If you do not appear at the final hearing, the court may enter a PFA against you lasting the maximum duration of three years.

As part of the PFA order, the court may evict you from your home, prohibit you from possessing firearms, and deny you custody and visitation rights of your minor children.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Washington, and Westmoreland.

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

Pennsylvania: License Suspension

In Pennsylvania, your license may be suspended for six months to a year depending on the offense.

Six-month license suspensions are commonly given for the following driving convictions:

  • Racing on highways;
  • Careless or reckless driving; and
  • Driving without lights to avoid arrest.

 

One-year license suspensions are given for these convictions:

  • DUI;
  • Accidents involving death or injury;
  • Aggravated assault by vehicle; and
  • Felonies involving a vehicle.

If you’ve been charged with any of the offenses above, you should consult an attorney to determine the best strategy for protecting your driving privileges. For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.