Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Author Archives: Todd Spivak and Rebecca Canterbury

PFA Orders Affect Hunters and Gun Owners

Under Pennsylvania law, an active Protection From Abuse (PFA) order restricts defendants from possessing firearms.

If you’ve been served with a PFA, you may have to relinquish all your guns.

This is the case even when there are no specific allegations of threatening behavior involving a firearm.

For people who enjoy hunting, the removal of their firearms can be devastating.

In rural counties, judges sometimes try to persuade defendants to accept settlement terms in order to avoid the risk of a final PFA order that could keep them from hunting for as long as three years.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland.

Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody During COVID-19

COVID-19 has presented new challenges for people sharing custody of their children, as disagreements occur over how much the kids should be allowed to leave home or socialize.

Co-parents may disagree about school reopening, play dates, and extra-curricular activities.

In some Pennsylvania counties, including Allegheny County, courts have generally directed parents to follow their court-ordered schedules throughout the pandemic.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all child custody and family law matters.

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

How to Receive Child Support

In Pennsylvania, there are two ways to receive child support payments.

Most people who receive child support choose to have the money directly deposited into their bank account.

Some elect to use an EPPICard, which is a type of debit card. You cannot make your own deposits onto an EPPICard account, which can be used at most retail stores, grocery stores and ATMs.

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

Our child support lawyers are experienced at running support calculations, filing support actions, negotiating and drafting support agreements, and representing our clients at support hearings to achieve the best possible outcomes.

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

Don’t Let A Criminal Record Hold You Back

If a criminal record is holding you back, you now have several options for relief under Pennsylvania law.

First, if the charges were withdrawn or dismissed, or if you were convicted on a low-level offense and five years have passed, you can have your record expunged, which effectively erases the information from the public dockets.

Second, Pennsylvania recently adopted a new law allowing for limited access orders, which restricts employment agencies and internet websites from accessing any information relating to a conviction or arrest for people convicted of second- and third-degree misdemeanors.

Third, if you are currently serving a sentence for a crime, you can seek total forgiveness through by formally requesting a pardon from the governor. Obtaining a pardon tends to be more expensive and challenging the administrative processes for obtaining an expungement or limited access order.

To learn more about options for dealing with your criminal record, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Protecting Abuse Victims

Victims of domestic violence may obtain Protection from Abuse (PFA) Orders to curb the abuse and prohibit contact with the perpetrator.

But even obtaining a PFA may not provide adequate protection.

The Pennsylvania Legislature recently approved a resolution to examine PFA law and practice for potential insufficiencies.

The commission will work closely with professionals experienced with PFAs to identify and remedy flaws to more adequately protect victims of domestic abuse.

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

Child Custody and Contempt Hearings

Under Pennsylvania law, parents must follow their child custody orders or risk being held in civil contempt.

The most common way a parent will violate a custody order is by withholding the children from the other parent. In such cases, the court may award make-up time and sanctions in the form of attorney’s fees.

If you want to seek a contempt action against the other parent, you must first file a motion with the Court requesting a contempt hearing. In your motion, you explain your basis for contempt.

If the Court grants your motion, a contempt hearing will be scheduled, providing an opportunity to prove through testimony and documentary evidence that the custody order was violated.

Spivak Law Firm handles all child custody matters, including: custody filings, custody orders, custody trials, and contempt hearings. Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Dealing With The Stress Of A PFA

If you’ve been served with a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, you are likely under serious stress.

The PFA was hand-delivered to you by a police officer at your home or place of employment. You may be temporarily evicted from your house and restricted from having any contact with your children.

At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to be accessible to people who are accused of domestic abuse. People are often surprised when we pick up our phones late at night or on weekends to speak with them.

We aim to get the PFA dismissed and protect your rights and reputation.

Spivak Law Firm routinely handles PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland.

For a free consultation, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

What To Bring To A Child Support Hearing?

Whether you are the parent seeking to receive child support, or if you are the parent being asked to pay child support, the court requires you to bring important documentation to your child support hearing.

You are required to bring your last six months of pay stubs and most recent W-2s and tax returns.

You should also bring your child’s medical-insurance cards and any recent invoices related to his or her medical care.

If your child is enrolled in daycare or childcare, you should bring invoices that reflect the costs of said care.

If your child is enrolled in extra-curricular activities, you should bring invoices that reflect the costs of said activities.

Having an experienced at your child-support hearing can make a real difference in your case. At Spivak Law Firm, we handle all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and PFA hearings.

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

Victim Impact Statements in Criminal Trials

Under Pennsylvania law, a crime victim may provide an impact statement to the Court at the time of sentencing.

Impact statements offer victims an opportunity to persuade the judge regarding appropriate sentencing, as well as the ability to confront their perpetrator and describe how their actions adversely affected their lives.

Victim impact statements may be provided after a trial. They may also be given after a defendant has accepted a plea agreement even when the terms of sentencing have been agreed upon by the prosecutor.

It is unclear whether these statements have much influence over judges.

It should be noted that a criminal-court judge may not rubber-stamp the agreed-upon sentencing terms offered in a plea deal.

Spivak Law Firm handles all criminal-defense matters with a special focus on domestic-violence defense. Typical charges include: assault, harassment, terroristic threats, stalking, reckless endangerment, and PFA violations.

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

Accused of Child Abuse?

In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, Pennsylvania expanded the mandatory child abuse reporting laws. As a result, the number of child abuse reports has soared.

Spivak Law Firm understands that reports of child abuse can be motivated by true safety concerns, though they are sometimes made to retaliate or harass.

Spivak Law Firm has extensive experience representing people accused of child abuse at Protection from Abuse (PFA) hearings, Children Youth and Families (CYF) hearings, and criminal domestic-violence hearings.

Based in Pittsburgh, we provide strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation.

If you face child abuse accusations, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or tolls free at (800) 545-9390.