Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Author Archives: Todd Spivak and Rebecca Canterbury

Do You Have a Last Will and Testament?

Do you and your loved ones have an updated Last Will and Testament? Public-health experts are projecting that millions of Americans may be killed by the Coronavirus in the coming months.

Spivak Law Firm is committed to helping families achieve their estate planning goals even during this crisis. We are handling all requests by telephone and email only in order to exercise social distancing and ensure our clients’ safety. In most cases, we are able to provide the Last Will and Testament to our clients by email on the same day that they retain us to draft the document.

A Last Will and Testament describes your wishes. It lists your beneficiaries, including specific family members and any charities. It names the executor of your will who can be trusted to carry out your wishes.

It also includes your directions for who will care for your children and your property, as well as directions for whether your body will be buried, cremated, or donated for purposes of medical research.

Having a will gives you peace of mind. It puts you in control over how your assets will be distributed. Without a will, such decisions are left to the courts.

We also recommend working with an attorney to draft a Power of Attorney to carry out your wishes regarding your health and finances if you become too sick and incapacitated due to the coronavirus.

At Spivak Law Firm, we understand that discussing death or a major medical emergency can be emotional and difficult. But we also understand the importance of preparing for the future.

Friendly and welcoming, we treat our clients with compassion, dignity, and respect. For a free phone consultation to discuss your Last Will and Testament, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Do You Have a Power of Attorney?

Do you and your loved ones have an updated Power of Attorney? Public-health experts are projecting that millions of Americans will become sick and incapacitated by the Coronavirus in the coming months.

Spivak Law Firm is committed to helping families achieve their estate planning goals even during this crisis. We are handling all requests by telephone and email only in order to exercise social distancing and ensure our clients’ safety. In most cases, we are able to provide the Power of Attorney to our clients by email on the same day that they retain us to draft the document.

There are two types of Power of Attorney you may need.

A Healthcare Power of Attorney, also known as a Living Will, details your wishes regarding medical and surgical procedures if you become too sick or incapacitated. It also allows you to choose a person you trust to make decisions on your behalf regarding your medical care.

A Financial Power of Attorney allows you to choose a person you trust to make decisions regarding your finances, including paying your bills and taxes, if you become too sick or incapacitated to handle them yourself. You can always later revoke a Financial Power of Attorney if you recover from your illness and want to handle your own finances or appoint a different person for any reason.

We also recommend working with an attorney to draft a Last Will and Testament to carry out your wishes regarding how to dispose of your remains and your assets if you or your family members contract the coronavirus.

At Spivak Law Firm, we understand that discussing death or a major medical emergency can be emotional and difficult. But we also understand the importance of preparing for the future.

Friendly and welcoming, we treat our clients with compassion, dignity, and respect. For a free phone consultation to discuss a Power of Attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Dividing Retirement Accounts In Divorce

In many divorce cases, the spouses’ retirement accounts represent the largest assets in the marital estate. Retirement accounts such as a spouse’s 401(k), IRA, or pension may be valued at tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Retirement accounts opened during the marriage are considered marital property subject to division at divorce.

If a retirement account was opened prior to the marriage, then any increase in value from the date of separation until the divorce is finalized may be subject to equitable distribution. It may be necessary to calculate the marital portion of your retirement accounts, which can be divided by court order in a divorce settlement without tax consequences.

Spivak Law Firm provides smart, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all divorce matters. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Applying For Child Support In Pennsylvania

When applying for child support, a complaint for child support must be filed with the court.

In most Pennsylvania counties, there is no fee for filing a complaint for child support.

The Domestic Relations Section will schedule a support conference and send notices with the date and time to the parents.

Child support owed to the family usually begins on the date the complaint is filed.

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

To schedule a free consultation, 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.

PFA Affects Coaches And Volunteers

If you coach youth sports, a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order could threaten your ability to volunteer your time with children and damage your reputation in the community.

Judges routinely grant requests for Temporary PFA Orders by people alleging abuse. In many Pennsylvania counties, judges grant more than 90 percent of PFA requests.

A PFA can restrict you from your home and your kids, as well as threaten your employment and even your liberty if you are accused of violating the Order.

Additionally, a PFA can appear on a mandatory background check that may bar you from coaching children – even if the accusations contained in the PFA have nothing to do with children.

Spivak Law Firm aims to help people in Pittsburgh and nearby counties to get the PFA dismissed. We have effectively represented many people who require a clean background check, including: coaches, teachers, police officers, nurses and childcare workers.

If you’ve been served with a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Expungement Reduces Recidivism

New laws allowing people to erase or at least hide their criminal records from public view are hugely beneficial.

People who gets their criminal records expunged, on average, see their wages increased by more than 20 percent within a year, according to the first major empirical study of expungement laws.

Additionally, people with expunged records break the law again at very low rates.

Expungement is a powerful tool for improving outcomes for people with criminal records, without risk to public safety.

Spivak Law Firm helps people expunge their criminal records so they can move on with their lives. For more information, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

CYF and Removing Kids

When safety issues cannot be addressed while a child remains in the home, Children Youth and Families (CYF) may remove the child from the home.

The child may be placed with a relative, in a foster home, or in a group home facility.

Out-of-home placement is a devastating event for the child and the entire family.

The trauma of separation can affect a child’s learning, emotional, and behavioral well-being for a long time.

Placement is also traumatic for parents and can affect their ability to function normally. It is critical that children be returned to their family as soon as safely possible.

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

Domestic Violence and Immigration

Under expanded federal immigration enforcement policies, immigrant women who have experienced domestic violence live in fear of deportation.

Forty-five states have statutes that encourage medical professionals to report certain injuries to law enforcement, and some states specifically require them to report domestic violence.

As a result, many of these women are afraid to get medical attention or seek help from law enforcement for danger of being deported.

Immigrant women and girls are statistically twice as likely as non-immigrant females to experience domestic violence, according to the Tahirih Justice Center.

Spivak Law Firm helps victims of domestic violence get the legal protections they need at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings and by working with prosecutors on criminal domestic-violence cases.

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

Divorce Process In Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, most divorce cases proceed with litigation in which each spouse retains an attorney to represent his or her interest.

There are many opportunities to negotiate a settlement agreement resolving all economic claims.

If there are significant assets and debts in the marital estate, the attorneys will often engage in discovery – a formal process for obtaining all the relevant information.

Each side will file an inventory of their marital estate with the Court, then assign values to each asset and debt based on financial documentation.

If necessary, a family-court judge will attempt to mediate a settlement between the spouses. If no agreement is reached, there will be a hearing to determine a fair division of the marital estate.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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