Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA


Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

No Guns for PFA Defendants


pfa-pic9Under federal law, people convicted of domestic-violence misdemeanors such as simple assault are banned from owning firearms.

The gun ban also extends to people who are subject to Protection From Abuse (PFA) restraining orders.

Guns are the most common method for killing intimate partners.

Laws restricting firearm access for people subject to restraining orders are associated with a 19 percent reduction in rates of intimate homicide, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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

Child Custody and Child Support


Beautiful baby of three months old in his mothers hands.Contrary to popular belief, parents retain custody rights to their children even if they fail to pay court-ordered child support. Child custody and child support are two separate legal issues.

Just because you do not receive child support does not mean that you can refuse custodial access to the children. If you have a custody order, and you refuse to abide by its terms, you may be held in contempt for violating a court order, which carries the following potential consequences:

  • Up to six months in jail;
  • A fine up to $500;
  • Probation for up to six months;
  • Suspension of your driver’s license; and
  • Payment of the other parent’s attorney’s fees.

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

Charged With A Crime?

SO000183If you have been criminally charged, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

You may believe that you are able to effectively represent yourself in court, but the reality is that lawyers often obtain better deals than clients who represent themselves.

Police officers and prosecutors are aware of the fact that most lawyers have a firm grasp on the bargaining process and therefore extend offers of compromise that may not be made to a self-represented defendant who is unfamiliar with court procedure.

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

Domestic Violence Warning Signs


dv-pic5Domestic violence experts increasingly aim to identify “red flags” that often precede homicides and murder-suicides where abuse is present.

Warning signs include: strangulation, stalking behavior, sexual violence, gun possession, unemployment, substance abuse, and prior attempts by the victim to end the relationship.

Previous abuse by the suspect is the strongest of these “red flags,” according to experts.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a special focus on domestic violence and Protection From Abuse (PFA). Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA and Criminal Records


PFA Pic8Q: Will a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order appear on my criminal record?

A: No.

A PFA is a civil matter that appears on the family court docket along with documents relating to divorce and child custody. It will not appear on the criminal docket, though employers increasingly review both dockets when making hiring decisions.

A PFA is not a criminal matter, though it can become one if you are merely accused of violating the Order. A PFA violation can lead to the charge of Indirect Criminal Contempt (ICC), which carries a six-month jail sentence and $1,000.00 fine.

Spivak Law Firm handles all PFA, criminal, and expungement matters. Call us today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Dating After Divorce


Expunge Pic1Dating after divorce may be difficult, especially when children are involved. You must adjust to the idea of no longer being married, and your children must do the same. Ensure that your children have had adequate time to recover from the divorce before introducing them to a new partner.

When sufficient time has passed, it may be best to introduce the children to your new partner while doing an activity the kids enjoy.

But be sensitive to your children’s feelings. If you believe your children are struggling more than is reasonable, it may be beneficial to seek help from a counselor.

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

Child Custody: Kids With Two Homes


Custody Pic3Separation and divorce often means two different homes for children, which also often means two competing sets of rules for children to follow.

As a parent, you have the right to set the rules for your children, even if those are different than your ex-spouse. But having opposite rules for children in each household can be confusing for them at a time when they’re learning to cope in a new family environment.

Consider the following three tips to avoid confusing the children:

  • Follow a similar schedule for the children (dinner time, bed time, etc.).
  • Create consistent rules to follow in each household.
  • Implement similar forms of discipline, and work together to enforce the rules.

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

PFA and Law Enforcement


BU010665If you’re a law-enforcement official, a Final Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order against you could mean the end of your career.

Under Pennsylvania law, a PFA prohibits the defendant from possessing a firearm. For law enforcement officials, the inability to possess a firearm may lead to their termination.

At Spivak Law Firm, we understand the serious consequences of a Final PFA. We have represented law enforcement officials at every level of government: federal Department of Homeland Security, state troopers, county sheriffs, and local police officers.

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

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

Child Custody and Back-to-School


The transition from summer vacation to back-to-school is a difficult one to make for both parents and children. To avoid conflict between you and your ex-spouse, consider planning ahead with these four tips:Custody Pic5

  • Coordinate back-to-school shopping for the children.
  • Determine which parent will complete schoolwork (or certain assignments) with the children.
  • Discuss after-school activities for the children.
  • Coordinate schedules for parent-teacher conferences.

To further prevent conflict, avoid discussing these issues in front of your children.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: child custody, child support, divorce, equitable distribution, 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.

How to Calculate Spousal Support


Family Pic8Q: How do courts calculate spousal support in Pennsylvania?

A: The formula for determining spousal support is as follows:

First, add together the lower-earning spouse’s net monthly income and monthly child support. Then subtract that number from the higher-earning spouse’s net monthly income. Finally, multiply the net difference by 30 percent (or 40 percent if there are no children) to calculate the basic support obligation.

For instance, let’s say you earn $1,200 net monthly income and collect $1,000 per month in child support; and let’s say your spouse earns $5,000 net monthly income. According to the formula, you would receive $800 per month in spousal support.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, custody, support, and PFA. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.