Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Author Archives: Todd Spivak and Rebecca Canterbury

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  • The criminal charges against you were withdrawn or dismissed;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.

 

PFA and Child Custody

In Pennsylvania, courts often give a PFA plaintiff sole custody over the parties’ children until the PFA hearing. This can be devastating to a PFA defendant, who may go weeks having limited or no contact with his or her kids.

The parties’ attorneys may negotiate a child custody arrangement as part of a court order. Thus, it is important that your PFA lawyer have experience handling child custody matters to get you the most possible time with your kids.

At Spivak Law Firm, we work hard to ensure that our PFA clients get substantial time with their children as soon as possible. We handle all family law matters, including: child custody, child support, spousal support, divorce, and PFA. For a free consultation, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Drug Crimes in Allegheny County

Penalties for drug crimes can be severe.

A mandatory prison sentence is given for people convicted of selling, delivering, or distributing a controlled substance such as heroin, cocaine, or meth.

Even simple possession of marijuana may result in a jail term and driver’s license suspension.

At Spivak Law Firm, we strongly defend people accused of drug crimes and aim to get the charges against you dismissed or reduced.

If you have been arrested for a drug crime or are the target of an investigation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-3900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody In Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania law, courts make decisions on child-custody matters based on the child’s best interests. The court looks at key factors that affect the child’s physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual well-being.

In determining whether to award temporary custody, the court considers 16 factors, including elements such as the child’s sibling relationships, the availability of extended family, and the present and past abuse of the child.

Another important factor for determining custody is promoting consistency for the children. Courts are generally reluctant to disturb an existing arrangement or split siblings between parents.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in child custody cases. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Falsely Accused of Abuse?

Q: I have been falsely accused of abuse – can you help me?

A: Yes. The PFA system itself is sometimes abused. People may seek a PFA just to gain leverage in a divorce or child custody matter. As a result, innocent people suffer.

If you have been served with a PFA, your hearing may be less than 10 days away.

Spivak Law Firm provides aggressive representation at PFA hearings. We strongly defends people against accusations of domestic violence or child abuse. If you have been accused of abuse, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.