Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

High Conflict Child Custody

High Conflict Child Custody Law Firm

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on high conflict child custody cases. High conflict child custody cases often involve parents with serious communication problems and significant levels of anger and distrust.

We encourage our clients to shield their children from any hostile communication to protect their mental and emotional health. We also have extensive experience helping families with issues of domestic abuse, parental alienation, and substance abuse.

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.

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

High Conflict Child Custody Tools

If you are engaged in a high conflict child custody battle, below are some tools to help:

  • Our Family Wizard: OFW is a communication tool to ensure your ex does not bombard you with texts, emails and phone calls. It also provides easy access for the Court to monitor your communications to ensure that they are civil.
  • Co-Parenting Counseling: Working with a skilled co-parenting counselor may help you communicate and cooperate better with your ex for the best interests of your children.
  • Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders: If your ex engages in harassing or threatening behaviors, you may consider trying to obtain a PFA Order. Also known as a restraining order, a PFA order is a powerful tool for victims of domestic abuse.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: child custody, PFA, child support, and divorce. Call us today 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.

Shielding Kids In High-Conflict Divorce

102719637Parents who do not engage in physical violence but do engage in hostile communications must understand the negative impact of such conduct on their child. Every effort should be made to shield the child from the hostilities. Proposing that all communications be by email or text is one way to do so; however, it is often necessary to put boundaries around such communications.

When it is financially viable, parents in high-conflict situations should use the expertise of skilled practitioners in co-parent counseling and meet regularly to address ongoing issues.

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

7 Tips For Avoiding High-Conflict Divorce

111787230Even the most civil divorce can be devastating emotionally and financially. But high-conflict divorce – in which parties litigate over all aspects of the divorce, including custody, child support, alimony, and property division – can be especially damaging. Protect yourself by following these tips for avoiding high-conflict divorce:

1.     Develop an emergency plan.

Your partner could assault or evict you at any time. Figure out a safe place to go, and get some ready cash, and think about who can help you on short notice. Copy important records and keep them in a safe place.

2.     Keep a journal.

As soon as possible after they occur, write down accurate details of problems and events between you and your partner that could become issues in court. Keep a journal or other written record of anything pertinent. Save email and text-message correspondence in a safe place, especially copies of hostile and harassing exchanges.

3.     Think before hitting “send.”

Communicate very carefully and respectfully with your partner, because anything may be introduced into evidence. Make any emails, whether initiated by you or in response to your partner, brief, informative, friendly, and firm. This is especially true if your partner’s emails are hostile.

4.     Seek counseling.

Obtain a therapist to help you understand your partner’s behavior, anticipate problems, deal with your emotions around the divorce or separation, and learn about yourself.

5.     Retain a family law attorney.

Hire an attorney with good communication skills, and consult with this professional to prepare for predictable crises and accusations.

6.     Avoid social media.

Delete your Facebook, Twitter, or any other publicly accessible online social networking account. You may wish to erase your browsing history from your computer. Make sure your passwords are secure. Make sure that what you want to keep private, such as letters or lists, is kept private.

7.     Reach out to loved ones.

Tell your family and friends what to expect, how to respond, how they can help, and how to avoid splitting either of you into being viewed as all good or all bad.

This list was adapted from Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

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

Dave N.

Attorney Todd Spivak is knowledgeable, honest, and experienced. I brought him into a difficult situation and he proved my first impression was correct, which was he was the right attorney for the job. I have used and will continue to use him for my high conflict cases. Todd has saved my family and continues to fight for us to this day.

Family

Pittsburgh Family Law Attorneys

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation for all family law matters. Based in Pittsburgh, we have helped thousands of families through the most challenging and difficult times of their lives involving:

  • Child Custody and Child Support
  • Divorce and Dividing Marital Property
  • PFA and Domestic Abuse

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

Child Custody and Child Support Lawyers

There is nothing more important to parents than their children.

Spending quality time with their children. Nurturing their children’s growth. Guiding their children’s development. Ensuring their children’s safety.

We take child custody matters very seriously, working closely with parents to develop strategies for achieving their goals. We have significant experience in high conflict custody cases with allegations of parental alienation, substance abuse, mental health issues, and domestic abuse.

We routinely handle child support cases, including: filings, modifications, hearings, enforcement, and appeals.

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

Divorce and Equitable Distribution Law Firm

Divorce can be relatively simple and straightforward if both spouses agree to the divorce and there aren’t many marital assets to divide. But there often tend to be complications.

Common issues may include:

  • Who gets the house?
  • How do I calculate equity in the house?
  • Can I move out before the divorce is finalized?
  • How do we divide the retirement accounts?
  • What if my spouse is hiding income?
  • How does adultery affect the divorce?
  • Who is responsible for the credit card debt?
  • How do I value my spouse’s business?
  • Who gets the family pets?
  • Can I get spousal support or alimony?
  • How long does the divorce process take?

Spivak Law Firm has extensive experience handling all matters related to divorce and equitable distribution, the formal process for dividing marital property. In most cases, we negotiate a fair settlement that spares our clients the financial and emotional cost of litigation.

We are also skilled courtroom lawyers experienced in complex divorce cases. If necessary, we work with experts in forensic accounting and business and pension valuations to advance our clients’ interests.

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

Pittsburgh PFA and Domestic Abuse Lawyers

If you’ve been accused of abuse, a PFA Order can turn your life upside down by instantly evicting you from your home, restricting you from your children, and threatening your employment.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, a PFA Order is a powerful tool for restricting your abuser from having any contact with you under threat of arrest.

At Spivak Law Firm, we have extensive experience representing both defendants and victims at PFA hearings. We appreciate the need for a PFA Order in true cases of domestic abuse, and we understand how the PFA system itself is sometimes abused by people seeking leverage in child custody or divorce matters.

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

Parental Alienation FAQ

Parental Alienation:
Frequently Asked Questions

Can you represent me in my parental alienation case?
Yes. Spivak Law Firm represents people in child custody matters throughout Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania. We use our strong negotiation and trial skills to establish a custody arrangement that aims to preserve clients’ finances and protect their children’s emotional health. We work closely with clients to achieve their goals. To schedule an appointment with a child custody attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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How do you prove parental alienation?
Mental-health professionals recognize the tragic impact parental alienation has on children, as the children may go on to have psychiatric disorders, failed relationships, and dysfunctional lives. In cases of severe parental alienation, we recommend the use of licensed professionals to aid in demonstrating the existence of the other parent utilizing alienation tactics. Said professionals can relay their observations and recommendations to the Court. At Spivak Law Firm, we routinely handle high-conflict custody cases involving parental alienation. Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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How do you remedy the effects of parental alienation?
The psychological harm that results from parental alienation can be remedied or at least minimized by the intervention of professional counselors. In cases where parental alienation persists, Courts are often inclined to take custody away from the alienating parent to avoid further harm to the child. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What is co-parenting counseling?
Co-parenting counseling is often ordered in high-conflict custody cases. It offers parents the opportunity to meet together with a licensed counselor in a confidential therapeutic setting to address the co-parenting relationship and issues of the child following separation. Parents have the chance to discuss day-to-day parenting issues, custody schedules, school, and behavioral concerns with the help of a counselor. Co-parenting counselors can also offer practical solutions to minimize conflict, improve communication, and focus on the needs of the child. For some parents, co-parenting counseling can help them move past the hurt feelings, frustration, and anger related to the separation itself in order to focus on the child. To learn more, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What is family counseling?
Family counseling provides an opportunity for family members to meet with a licensed counselor who can help improve communication, resolve existing issues, learn coping skills, and heal wounds within their family. Sessions may include all family members or it may be limited to only certain family members. At Spivak Law Firm, we assist families with enrollment in family counseling. To schedule an appointment with a child custody attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Parental Alienation

Pittsburgh Parental Alienation Lawyers

At its core, parental alienation is a form of child abuse. A parent engages in parental alienation any time he or she speaks negatively about the other parent in the presence of the child.

Parental alienation can also be more severe, as one parent attempts to destroy the child’s relationship with the other parent through psychological manipulation. Parental alienation often involves: coaching the child to hate the other parent; disparaging the other parent to the child; and telling the child the other parent does not love them. 

Spivak Law Firm offers strong, compassionate representation in child custody matters involving parental alienation. To schedule an appointment with an Allegheny County child custody attorney, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Signs of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation can have damaging psychological effects that may cause your child to withdraw from you or act defiantly with you. Some common symptoms of parental alienation include:

  • Your child refuses to have contact with you;
  • Your child is hostile toward you without logical reason (no history of abuse);
  • Your child is hostile toward your extended family and even family pets;
  • Your child refuses to visit with you; and
  • Your child expresses negative feelings toward only you, but never at the other parent.

If you believe that the other parent is engaged in parental alienation, you need an experienced family law attorney to expose the behavior and get help for you and your child. Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody and Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation Syndrome may occur in divorce and child custody disputes involving high levels of conflict between the parents.

The term conveys how a child’s relationship with one parent can be poisoned by the other parent.

Parental Alienation Syndrome describes a cluster of symptoms present in children who reject one parent as a direct result of strong, negative claims introduced by the other parent.

At Spivak Law Firm, we focus our practice on high-conflict child custody disputes involving allegations of domestic abuse, substance abuse, and parental alienation.

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

Pittsburgh Media Features Attorney Todd Spivak

Attorney Todd Spivak, owner of Spivak Law Firm, recently published an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the importance of vigorously defending people accused of committing heinous crimes.

Attorney Spivak, a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, practices family law and criminal defense with a special focus on child custody and domestic-violence defense. His article discusses the challenges of handling high-conflict emotional cases involving people with mental illness, substance abuse, and histories of violent behavior.

Spivak Law Firm has represented hundreds of people in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland. Call us today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.