Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Conceal Your Criminal Record

Limited access orders are Pennsylvania’s newest form of relief for people seeking to conceal their criminal records from future employers.

The order prevents any non-criminal justice agency from accessing your criminal record.

Under Pennsylvania law, a limited access order will shield from potential employers criminal history record information for people convicted of a second- or third-degree misdemeanor, or an ungraded misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of no more than two years, so long as you have been free of arrest or prosecution for a period of 10 years.

At Spivak Law Firm, we help people seal or even erase their criminal records so they can move on with their lives.

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

Marriage and Divorce Rates

As the national divorce rate falls to its lowest point in decades, 73% of U.S. adults say divorce is “morally acceptable,” a recent Gallup poll finds. Divorce rates have fallen below the heightened levels of the 1980s and 1990s.

Researchers found that marriage rates have also fallen with more young adults delaying marriage. It may be that both marriage and divorce are no longer viewed in moral terms but rather seen as legal processes.

Based in Pittsburgh, Spivak Law Firm routinely handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, spousal support, child custody, child 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.

Child Custody: 3 Tips for Parents

Children thrive on routine. A shift in the family dynamic can be difficult for children.

You and your ex may follow a consistent child custody schedule, but shuttling back and forth between two homes can be confusing for the children.

To help your children adjust between exchanges, consider the following three tips:

  • Give the children a chart of the custody schedule;
  • Remind the children ahead of time when an exchange will take place; and
  • Remind the children when they will see you next.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family law matters with a special focus on child custody and child support. To speak with an experienced child custody attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Factors for Creating a Child Custody Schedule

You and your ex are best positioned to create a child custody schedule, particularly because you know what will be in your child’s best interests. The following factors are important to consider when creating a custody schedule:

  • The age of the child;
  • Medical, educational, and social needs of the child;
  • Sibling relationships;
  • The child’s school schedule;
  • The child’s extracurricular activity schedule;
  • Your work schedule;
  • Your ex-spouse’s work schedule;
  • The distance for exchanges;
  • Your ability to communicate effectively with your ex-spouse.

Even though you may agree on a schedule with your ex, it is critical that you fully understand your rights before entering into a custody agreement. It’s possible that you are agreeing to a schedule that will substantially restrict your rights as a parent.

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

Alimony and Tax Benefits in Pennsylvania

Alimony represents the payments a higher-earning spouse makes to a lower-earning spouse after their divorce has been finalized.

Historically, the spouse making the payments could deduct alimony on his or her taxes. The spouse receiving the payments had to include the income for tax purposes. Thus, the paying spouse received a tax benefit.

Under the new law, which takes effect on January 1, 2019, alimony payments will no longer be deductible for the payor nor taxable for the receipient. Thus the spouse receiving the alimony payments will also get the tax benefit.

If you are considering a divorce, it may benefit you to wait for the new tax law to take effect or to finalize your divorce in advance.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, alimony, division of assets and debts, and Protection From Abuse (PFA). To schedule an appointment, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Underage Drinking and Driver’s License Suspension

Underage drinking is a criminal offense in Pennsylvania punishable by up to three months in jail.

The legal age for buying, drinking, possessing or transporting alcohol in Pennsylvania is 21-years-old.

The mere attempt to purchase alcohol may result in a summary offense if you’re underage.

Additionally, the Department of Transportation may suspend the defendant’s driver’s license even if there was no car involved.

A first conviction will result in a 30-day suspension of driving privileges; a second conviction will result in a 1-year suspension; and any additional convictions will result in a 2-year suspension.

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

Divorce: Tips For Protecting Your Kids

Divorce can be emotionally painful and traumatizing, especially for children.

Here are tips for protecting your kids as you go through divorce:

  • When you break the news to your children, be prepared to comfort and reassure them.
  • Encourage your children to be honest with their thoughts and feelings.
  • Provide consistency and routine for your children to avoid major disruptions in their school and social life.
  • Try to avoid major changes and transitions so your children have time to adjust.

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

PFA Hearings: Credibility Is Key

If you’ve been served with a Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, there may be a formal hearing. A Court of Common Pleas judge will hear all the evidence and determine whether to grant a Final PFA order, which can remain in effect for up to three years.

Many cases are “he-said, she said.” In other words, there is no clear, definitive evidence to show whether the alleged abuse occurred. The judge must closely observe the accuser and the alleged perpetrator of abuse to determine who appears more credible.

At Spivak Law Firm, we carefully prepare our clients so they have the best opportunity for success at their PFA hearing. We have helped hundreds of plaintiffs and defendants in PFA matters.

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

Pennsylvania Expands Child Custody Laws

Pennsylvania has enacted a new law that expands the right of third parties to seek custody of a child.

Current law restricts custody actions to parents and grandparents. Under the new law, which will take effect in July 2018, any individual may seek custody of a child so long as it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that:

  • The individual assumed or is willing to assume responsibility for the child;
  • The individual has a sustained, substantial and sincere interest in the welfare of the child;
  • Neither parent has any form of care or control of the child.

The change in the law is expected to open the door to many new custody complaints by people who may not be physically related to the child but played a significant role in their upbringing and development.

Spivak Law Firm handles all area of family law with a special focus on child custody. To schedule a consultation with an experienced child-custody lawyer, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

3 Types of PFA Orders In Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania law, there are three kinds of Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders that may be issued:

Emergency PFA: A magistrate may order an Emergency PFA at times when a Court of Common Pleas judge is not available, such as at night, on weekends, and during holidays. An Emergency PFA expires automatically at the close of the next business day. Therefore, if you get an Emergency PFA on Friday night, it will remain in effect until Monday at 5:00 p.m. so long as Monday is not a holiday.

Temporary PFA: A Court of Common Pleas judge may order a Temporary PFA based on an accuser’s sworn testimony of abuse. Pennsylvania law requires that a Final PFA hearing be scheduled within 10 days after the Temporary PFA is granted.

Final PFA: A Court of Common Pleas judge may order a Final PFA after a hearing. In some cases, defendants will consent to a Final PFA without need for a hearing. A Final PFA may last up to three years.

Spivak Law Firm has successfully represented hundreds of plaintiffs and defendants in PFA matters. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.