Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

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Monthly Archives: May 2020

Bogus PFAs Turn Lives Upside Down

In many Pennsylvania counties, judges grant more than 90 percent of requests for a Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) order.

Judges tend to err on the side of caution, figuring that a person seeking protection must need it. After all, it would be tragic if the person seeking protection wound up injured or worse after a judge denied the PFA.

But judges should also consider how their decision to grant the PFA will affect the accused. Every day, PFA orders evict people from their homes, restrict parents from their children, and threaten people’s jobs and reputations.

At Spivak Law Firm, we are dismayed by some of the PFAs granted by judges based on weak allegations.

For instance, in one recent case, the person seeking protection admitted in her petition that she had not seen or communicated with the accused for a year.

In another recent case, the person awarded protection told the judge that the defendant only communicated with her subliminally.

We were successful in getting both cases dismissed. But the PFAs never should have been granted because the plaintiffs were not in reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury.

They caused unnecessary emotional and financial stress in people who did nothing to warrant a PFA.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong representation at PFA hearings. If you’ve been falsely accused of abuse, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Divorce: Dividing Marital Debts

When dividing a marital estate, it is important to value all of the assets accumulated during the marriage.

It is equally important to value all of the debts, which may include mortgages, car loans and school loans.

Credit cards comprise the most common debt in most divorce cases.

For many people, separating the credit-card debt is key to reaching a resolution on economic claims. If possible, they may attempt to pay off all credit-card debt as part of the divorce settlement in order to get a fresh start in their new lives.

Spivak Law Firm provides smart, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family-law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, alimony and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA and Domestic Abuse Amid Coronavirus

“Mass shootings garner attention and frighten the public much more than episodes of domestic violence,” according to a recent article in The New York Times. “But domestic violence has a much higher death toll in the United States.”

Each year, some 900 women in the United States are murdered by their current or former intimate partners.

That single-year tally is more than nine times the number of people killed in jihadist attacks on American soil in the past decade.

At their most basic level, both mass terrorism and intimate terrorism of domestic violence are attempts to provoke fear and assert control. Many experts have expressed concern about the rise of domestic violence incidents during stay-at-home orders related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a focus on domestic abuse and child custody. For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody and Travel Amid Coronavirus

Q: I do not want my children to travel during the Coronavirus outbreak, what can I do?

A: Your Court Order likely provides vacation time for you and your ex, but it probably does not include what to do in cases of a public health emergency.

If your ex seeks to take your child to a Coronavirus epicenter or out of the country, this may constitute an emergency matter necessitating Court intervention.

An attorney can draft and present an emergency petition to the Court to restrict the other parent’s ability to travel with your child.

In Allegheny County, Courts are generally directing parents to follow child custody orders and continue with custody exchanges despite government directives to stay at home.

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

Paying Child Support During Coronavirus

With forced business closures and company-wide layoffs, the Coronavirus crisis has wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy. Many Americans have lost their incomes altogether, which may have negatively impacted their ability to pay child support.

If there is an Order of Court to pay child support and/or spousal support, it must be followed. If individuals fail to pay support, the court may enter a judgment for the total amount of unpaid support, requiring immediate payment in full. Failure to comply with a support order of court could result in sanctions such as attorney’s fees, license suspension, and even incarceration.

It is important to understand that child support is not a fee that one parent pays to get access to the child. Parents who refuse visitation when their ex owes child support may be held in contempt of court for violating the terms of the child custody agreement.

If you have had a substantial change in financial circumstances, you may be entitled to seek a modification to your Support Order.

Spivak Law Firm offers strong, compassionate representation in all family law matters, including child and spousal support. We help families determine the amount of support owed and represent clients in support hearings and enforcement actions.

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