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 Co-Parenting

 

Custody Pic1For divorced or separated couples, coordinating schedules for the children’s school schedule can be challenging.

But factoring in extracurricular activities, doctor’s appointments, and play dates can be especially tough.

To keep everyone on the same page, consider setting a family meeting once a month to discuss your children and their schedules.

You may find it easier for you and your ex-spouse to hash out schedules sitting down all at once rather than with scattered phone calls and emails.

At the end of the meeting, consider giving your children a copy of the schedule so they are aware of what to expect.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and Protection From Abuse (PFA). To speak with an experienced family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Stalking: Penalties in Pennsylvania

 

PFA Pic2Under Pennsylvania law, the crime of stalking occurs when a person places another in reasonable fear of bodily injury or substantial emotional distress by either:

  • Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority; or
  • Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly communicating to another person with intent to place them in fear or emotional distress.

A first offense is graded as a first-degree misdemeanor, but if it is a subsequent offense against the same person, you could face third-degree felony charges.

A conviction can result in jail time and costly fines, and also has the potential to affect your child custody rights, employment, and right to own a firearm.

Served with a PFA? Charged with assault? Terroristic threats? Harassment? Stalking? Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Domestic Violence: Control and Fear

 

BU010665Domestic violence often follows a pattern in which an abuser seeks to control every aspect of a victim’s life. Experts often refer to domestic violence as “intimate terrorism.”

“The perpetrator is engaging in a general pattern of control over the victim – her finances, her social contacts, the clothes she wears,” Deborah Epstein, who runs Georgetown University Law Center’s domestic violence clinic, recently told The New York Times.

Violence is the abuser’s means of enforcing that control – and of punishing any attempts to break it.

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

DUI: Voluntary Consent

 

DUI Pic5Law enforcement cannot conduct a blood draw during a DUI arrest without a warrant or voluntary consent, according to a recent opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court.

DUI offenders previously charged with the highest level of impairment for contesting a blood draw may now potentially be charged and sentenced at the lowest level of impairment.

This is a major development, particularly because of mandatory sentencing laws. For instance, in Pennsylvania if you were charged with a second DUI at the highest level of impairment, you faced 90 days incarceration at the minimum. But charged at the lowest level of impairment, you face a minimum of five days incarceration.

To speak with a Pittsburgh DUI and criminal defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody and Divorce: Holiday Tips

 

Custody Pic6The holidays are stressful, particularly for divided families, but they can still be enjoyable if you plan ahead.

In order to avoid needless stress or confusion, let your children know in advance where they will be during the holidays, and assure them they will have a good time.

Although you may be feeling lonely or sad without them, try encouraging them to be happy and have fun.

Spivak Law Firm wishes you a safe, happy Memorial Day weekend.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, 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.

Don’t Spank Your Kids

 

Family Pic2Under Pennsylvania law, parents are permitted to use corporal punishment if it is for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of their child.

But the force used on the child cannot create a substantial risk of death, serious bodily injury, disfigurement, extreme pain, or mental distress.

A spanking that leaves a mark or bruise could result in a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA), a Child, Youth and Families (CYF) investigation, or even criminal charges for child abuse.

Parents engaged in child-custody disputes should consider avoiding all forms of corporal punishment to avoid allegations of abuse.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in all family-law and criminal-defense matters. To schedule a consultation, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Shut Out of the Workforce?

 

Expunge Pic2People are often shut out of the work force because of their criminal records. It’s tough enough to obtain employment in today’s job market, don’t let a bad decision you made years ago keep you from living your life.

If your criminal record has adversely affected your ability to obtain employment, you may have the option of removing citations, arrests, and convictions from your record by petitioning the court for an expungement. 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.

At Spivak Law Firm, we expunge criminal records for a low, one-time fee. For more information, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Sharing Custody of Infants

 

Beautiful baby of three months old in his mothers hands.Studies show that infants are best able to create healthy relationships with both parents when they spend regular time with each.

This means that both parents should go no longer than a few days without seeing the child.

There should be daily communication regarding the child’s eating and sleeping patterns, medical developments, as well as any noteworthy milestones.

If there is a high level of conflict between you and the other parent, consider keeping track of these updates in a notebook, which you may pass back and forth during exchanges.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: child custody, child support, divorce, spousal support, Protection From Abuse (PFA), and Children Youth and Families (CYF). If your ex is denying you regular and frequent contact with your child, call Spivak Law Firm today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Prepare for Your PFA Hearing

 

PFA Pic1If a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) has been filed against you, it is important to begin preparing your defense as soon as possible. The person who filed against you will be prepared to testify and present evidence, so it is important that you present testimony and evidence to rebut the accusations against you.

Preserve text messages, emails, voicemails, and audio recordings that tend to support your version of events. If you have witnesses who were present at the time of the incident, it is important that they appear at the hearing to support your position.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all nearby counties, including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Washington, and Westmoreland.

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

Child Custody and the Holidays

 

Custody Pic3Accommodating child custody schedules during the holidays can seem impossible due to all the traveling, cooking, shopping, and parties. Preparation and planning are the keys for reducing stress related to child custody during the holidays. Here are three common solutions for sharing holiday time with your children.

  • Share the holiday so the children may spend half of the day with you and half of the day with your ex-spouse.
  • Exercise holiday time on an alternating schedule.
  • Celebrate the holiday on different days.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a focus on high-conflict child custody and allegations of domestic abuse. We handle: child custody, child support, divorce, spousal support, Protection From Abuse (PFA), and Children Youth and Families (CYF).

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