Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

PFA Restricts All Contact

A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order restricts you from having any contact with the person who filed against you.

No contact includes:

  • No face-to-face contact
  • No phone contact
  • No texting
  • No contact through social media
  • No passing messages through a third party

In fact, if you see the accuser in a public place, you are advised to immediately leave the area or risk getting arrested.

Spivak Law Firm routinely handles all matters involving PFAs, including: PFA hearings, PFA expungements, and PFA violations. To learn more, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody: Relocation and School

School placement for children during and after a divorce can be a very contentious topic between spouses.

If you are contemplating changing schools or districts for your child during a custody case, it is imperative that you either agree that the child will change schools or bring the issue in front of the court as early as possible.

Under Pennsylvania law, relocation is any change in residence of the child which significantly impairs the ability of the non-relocating parent to exercise custodial rights. It is up to a judge to determine whether a move qualifies as “significantly impairing.”

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and child custody, including: drafting custody orders and litigating custody trials and relocation hearings.

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

Common Divorce Myths

When it comes to divorce, many common beliefs are accepted as truths. However, the process of divorce is complex and every case is unique.

Here are some of the most common divorce myths and why they aren’t always true:

  1. Mom always gets custody: In Pennsylvania, the law does not favor either parent for custody. The judge is required to look at what is in the child’s best interest.
  2. Only women get alimony: Historically, women have been awarded spousal support or alimony more often than men. As more women enter the workplace and change gender roles, it is becoming more common for men to receive some form of alimony. Alimony is generally awarded to the lower earning spouse when there is a significant disparity in incomes.
  3. I don’t need a divorce lawyer: Even if you are on good enough terms with your spouse going into the divorce, you need to make sure you have someone in your corner who is going to ensure your rights are protected.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, 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.

Why Judges Grant Temporary PFA Orders

In Pittsburgh and surrounding counties, judges grant the vast majority of requests for Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders.

Judges issue Temporary PFA orders without ever hearing from the alleged perpetrator of abuse. There’s usually no evidence of abuse except for the alleged victim’s sworn testimony.

Judges issue the orders with full knowledge that they may completely turn the alleged perpetrator’s life upside-down by evicting them from their homes, restricting them from their children, and placing them at great risk for arrest if they’re even accused of violating the order by having non-threatening contact.

So why do judges grant more than 90 percent of Temporary PFA petitions?

It’s likely because judges opt to err on the side of caution. Domestic abuse is real, and no judge wants to deny a request for help that leads to physical violence. Unfortunately, innocent people often go through hell while awaiting their PFA hearings.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

3 Tips for Co-Parenting

As an intact family, you and your partner work together to raise your children.

But when parents separate, the family dynamic may change dramatically as parents now lead separate lives while still having to work together.

Here are three tips for keeping conflict to a minimum:

  • Try to forgive your ex-spouse
  • Address areas of potential conflict as they arise
  • Follow your custody order

Keeping your emotions in check will allow you to keep a level head. Remaining upset may cause you to make rash decisions. The last thing you want to do is annoy your judge by repeatedly filing motions in court over frivolous matters.

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.

In Family Court, Be Respectful

You may think that the conversation you are carrying on in the halls of Family Court will not get back to your judge. But there are eyes and ears everywhere in the courthouse, and news travels fast.

A flippant comment made out of frustration may be relayed back to the judge, which could hurt your case. Even worse, if your behavior rises to the level that security is called to calm you down or escort you from the courthouse, it could taint the way the judge views you and your case.

You never know who is listening in on your conversation, so be respectful at all times.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law and criminal defense matters. For a free consultation call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Hearings: What Is Evidence?

At Final PFA hearings, both the accuser and the alleged perpetrator of abuse have the right to introduce evidence to prove their cases.

Evidence at Final PFA hearings commonly includes:

-Photographs of injuries and damaged property

-Medical records of injuries

-Mental health records reflecting treatment

-Texts and emails of threatening or harassing behavior

-Social-media postings on Facebook and Instagram of threatening or harassing behavior

-Eyewitness accounts

-Character witnesses seeking to bolster credibility

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

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

Domestic Violence and Brain Injuries

When it comes to long-term brain trauma, sports-induced injuries monopolize the conversation, while injuries suffered by victims of domestic abuse fall to the wayside. But Dr. Robert Cantu, an expert on football-related injuries, has revealed that many survivors of domestic violence could suffer from the same traumatic brain injuries as professional sports players.

“Experts believe many cases go undetected and untreated in abused women, making them vulnerable to problems with thinking, mood and behavior,” according to The Associated Press.

The article notes that “repeated blows [to the head] have been linked with a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy … linked with memory loss, confusion, mood changes, and eventually dementia.” Dr. Robert Cantu added: “There are many women who have been abused enough that some of them probably have CTE.”

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law and criminal defense matters with a focus on domestic violence. For a free consultation call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Enforcing Divorce Agreements

You may avoid mediation, court hearings, and costly attorney fees by simply negotiating a Marriage Settlement Agreement with your ex.

At the time you finalize the divorce, you may ask the court to merge the Agreement into the final divorce decree. The Agreement becomes a contract between you and your ex. If your ex violates its terms, you may remedy the violation by seeking damages.

Keep in mind that it is easier to address violations of the Agreement if it has been incorporated into the final decree. When incorporated, it becomes an official court order that may be enforced through contempt powers of the court.

Spivak Law Firm routinely handles divorce, equitable distribution, and drafting Marriage Settlement Agreements. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Expungements: What Gets Erased?

A criminal record expungement erases all proof of arrest, charges, convictions, and hearings from the public record. But will an expungement necessarily lead to the destruction of all information related to your criminal history? Unfortunately, no.

Under Pennsylvania law, the following types of information continue to be maintained by criminal justice agencies even after an expungement order is granted:

-Intelligence information

-Investigative information

-Missing persons information

-Wanted persons information

-Stolen property information

-Medical treatment information

-Psychiatric treatment information

To learn more about the criminal expungement process, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.