Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Attorney Spivak Featured On Crime Law

Attorney Todd Spivak, founding partner at Spivak Law Firm, was featured in a recent article about whether the rights of crime victims should be added to the Pennsylvania constitution.

The American Civil Liberties Union and League of Women Voters oppose the referendum on grounds that it would adversely affect the constitutional rights of criminal defendants.

Pennsylvania first adopted the Crime Victims Rights Act in 1998, allowing victims to present impact statements to the court prior to criminal sentencing and to be notified of significant actions pertaining to their case.

On Tuesday, voters determined whether to support Marsy’s Law, named for the victim of a domestic-violence homicide. Several states have passed their own versions of the law to strengthen the rights of crime victims.

Spivak Law Firm handles all criminal defense matters with a special focus on domestic violence. We help defendants facing charges of: assault, harassment, terroristic threats, stalking, strangulation, child endangerment, and reckless endangerment.

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

PFA Destroys Reputations

A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order can ruin a person’s reputation.

A PFA is a restraining order that alleges abusive behavior, such as: physical violence, sexual violence, harassment, threats of violence, or stalking.

In Pennsylvania, most defendants first learn about the PFA when a police officer serves them with the Order.

This can be humiliating when done at work where colleagues and employers are immediately made aware of the issue.

It’s no less embarrassing when served at home in front of neighbors and family.

The PFA petition, which details the alleged abuse, is an easily accessible public document.

The petition may contain lies or exaggerations, though it appears official because it is part of a formal Order of Court signed by a judge.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong defense at PFA hearings. We also help people erase PFA petitions and orders from the public record when possible.

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 Do’s and Don’ts

One of the most difficult issues for parents who share custody of their children is visitation. Some parents use visitation to achieve destructive goals. However, this can deeply hurt the children caught in the middle.

If you are struggling with visitation, take a look at these Do’s and Don’ts:

Do Make Visitations A Normal Part of Life: Find activities that give you and your children opportunities to build your relationship.

Don’t Argue With Your Ex In Front Of Your Child: Deal with important issues in a separate meeting or telephone call.

Do Show Flexibility Regarding Visitation Schedules: Give the other parent as much advance notice of changes in visitation as possible and respect their need for flexibility.

Don’t Try To Disrupt Your Child’s Relationship With Your Ex: Children need to know that it is okay to love both parents.

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.

Spivak Law Firm Featured In PFA News

Attorney Todd Spivak, owner of Spivak Law firm, was featured in a recent article discussing unintended consequences of a new provision in Pennsylvania’s Protection From Abuse (PFA) law, which makes it easier for domestic-violence victims to receive a police escort to retrieve personal belongings.

In most cases, PFA defendants are the ones who need to pick up belongings because the PFA order evicted them from the home. In such cases, Attorney Spivak advises PFA defendants to pay a constable to coordinate the exchange and keep the peace. Moreover, having a law-enforcement official present protects defendants from allegations that they violated the PFA.

Attorney Spivak described the new police-escort law as good common sense, though he predicted a potential drain on police resources in some areas given the sheer number of PFA orders that are processed. About 40,000 PFA orders are processed annually across the state.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings. Based in Pittsburgh, we routinely handle cases in the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland.

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

Child Custody: Co-Parenting

A key to effective co-parenting is encouraging your children to enjoy time with your ex.

Avoid telling your children that they are visiting with the other parent.

You don’t want to diminish your ex’s role as a parent or make your child feel like a guest in a home where they also reside.

Try to ensure your children feel at ease when transitioning from home to home.

It won’t always be easy, but try to encourage strong ties between the children and their other parent.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and Protection From Abuse (PFA). We routinely help people with child custody issues, including: negotiating custody agreements, custody relocation, and custody trials.

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

Collaborative Divorce In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania recently passed a law providing guidelines for collaborative divorce, in which couples may agree on any type of financial plans that work for them, even if it might be outside the authority of the courts.

In a collaborative divorce, each spouse is represented by an attorney and enters a participation agreement with the goal of preparing a legally binding agreement resolving all issues.

The parties agree at the outset that, should they fail to negotiate a resolution, they will each be required to retain new counsel and new law firms for any subsequent litigation.

The process allows divorcing couples to take more control of the outcome and to have privacy in resolving their differences without involving the court.

It typically involves numerous meetings with both parties, a collaborative coach and the attorneys.

The meetings address all elements of the divorce, including custody, support, and division of the marital assets.

The spouses may also be assisted by specialized experts such as tax accountants, financial planners, parenting coaches and counselors who are jointly retained by the parties.

Trained in collaborative divorce, Attorney Todd Spivak is an active member of the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania (CLASP). To learn more, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA and Financial Help

In Pennsylvania, courts can award financial assistance at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings.

More than 70 percent of women surveyed at domestic-violence shelters reported that they stayed with an abuser longer because they could not afford to leave, according to a Mary Kay Foundation report.

Perpetrators of domestic abuse frequently use financial manipulation to torment and control their victims.

While some states offer unemployment-insurance benefits to domestic violence and stalking victims who have to quit their jobs and relocate, many states don’t have any form of financial assistance.

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

DUI: Stiffer Penalties In Pennsylvania

The legal consequences for repeatedly driving under the influence in Pennsylvania have become much more severe under a recent new law, which establishes the state’s first felony for DUI.

It applies when someone has been charged with a third offense in a decade with at least twice the legal limit for alcohol, or to any fourth-time offender.

The new law mandates longer jail time for those who unintentionally cause someone’s death because of a repeat DUI violation.

The stiffer penalties include increased fines and penalties for driving under the influence on a license suspended due to a DUI conviction.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of criminal defense, including DUI, domestic-violence defense, PFA violations, and criminal-record expungements. We routinely handle preliminary hearings and summary trials.

Charged with a crime? Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Grandparents Have Child-Custody Rights

Under Pennsylvania law, grandparents for years have held a special status that allows them to seek custody of a grandchild even against the parents’ wishes.

A new law that went into effect last summer intended to clarify the specific situations under which grandparents may pursue partial physical or supervised custody of a grandchild.

For instance, a grandparent may seek custody so long as the relationship with the child began either with the consent of a parent of the child or under a court order and the parents of the child have been separated for at least six months.

Alternatively, the new law invests custody rights in grandparents even the parents oppose it in cases when the parents are going through a divorce.

Spivak Law Firm handles all child custody and support matters, including: custody trials, custody conciliations, drafting custody orders, custody relocation, father’s rights, mother’s rights, and grandparents’ rights.

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

PFA And Divorce: Date Of Separation

The filing of a Protection From Abuse (PFA) petition against a married partner may be the first step toward divorce.

If so, the PFA will usually as a clear date of separation when the couple stopped living together.

This may prove important, as divorce laws in Pennsylvania permit a spouse to delay the divorce process by a year.

The filing of a PFA often starts the clock on the one-year waiting period.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFAs.

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.