Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA


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4 Tips for Sharing Custody


Custody Pic5Your child’s refusal to follow a custody order places you in a difficult position. Violation of a court order can subject you to contempt proceedings, which can carry harsh penalties such as fines, license suspensions, and even jail time.

Since it may be difficult to force your child to visit with the other parent, try following these four tips to avoid being held in contempt:

  • Ensure your child is dressed, packed and ready to go;
  • Encourage your child to go with the other parent;
  • Record your attempts to follow the custody order;
  • Consider enrolling your child in counseling to discuss underlying issues.

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

What’s A Preliminary Hearing?


Criminal Pic3A preliminary hearing is the first step in any criminal case involving a misdemeanor or felony. Whether you’re charged with terroristic threats or retail theft, your case begins with a preliminary hearing.

The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine whether there is a preponderance of evidence – a 51 percent chance – that a crime was committed and that the defendant was the person who committed that crime.

The preliminary hearing is not a trial. The defendant generally does not testify at the preliminary hearing. Only the arresting officer and the alleged victim testify at a preliminary hearing. Your criminal defense attorney then may cross-examine witnesses in an attempt to undermine their allegations and create a record for trial

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

Talking Divorce To Kids


Custody Pic1Although there is a great deal of literature discussing the impact of divorce on children, there really is no clear cut way to break the news to them. Each family unit is unique, but the following five tips may make it less traumatic for both you and your children:

  • Discuss what you plan to tell the children;
  • Agree on what you do not plan to tell the children;
  • Tell your children together with your ex-spouse;
  • Reinforce to the children that the divorce is not their fault;
  • Ensure that the children know the divorce is not reversible.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFA hearings. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Served with a PFA?


PFA Pic1If you’ve been served with a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order, you should begin preparing your defense immediately, as your PFA hearing will likely occur within just 10 days.

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, Indiana County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County. We work hard to protect your reputation, your job, and your child custody rights.

If you’re served with a PFA, we recommend taking the following actions:

  • Call Spivak Law Firm for a free consultation.
  • Avoid all contact with the plaintiff.
  • Collect documentary evidence such as texts, emails, and photographs for your defense.

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

Child Custody and Relocation


Beautiful baby of three months old in his mothers hands.Under Pennsylvania child custody laws, relocation is defined as any change in residence that substantially affects the custody rights of the other parent. Even if there is no custody order, you must abide by the relocation statute. Indeed, relocating just 20 minutes away could be a violation of the law and result in a contempt action against you.

Proper custody relocation involves either gaining consent from the other parent or obtaining court approval through a formal process.

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

DUI and Driver’s License Suspension


200274121-001If you’re pulled over for drunk driving, you may decline to take the roadside sobriety tests. That’s right, you don’t have to stand on one foot or touch your finger to your nose.

But you should take a Breathalyzer or blood test, and here’s why:

Under Pennsylvania laws, refusal to submit to chemical testing will result in suspension of your driver’s license.

So even if you weren’t drinking and you beat the rap on the DUI, you still could lose your driving privileges for a year for refusing to take the chemical test.

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

Penalties for Not Paying Child Support


Little girl wearing sundress holding flowersIf you are entitled to receive child support, the system in Pennsylvania is set up to garnish wages from the paying spouse and deposit the money directly into your account.

If a parent fails to pay child support, the court may enter a judgment for the total amount of unpaid support, requiring immediate payment in full.

Failure to obey a support order of court could result in sanctions such as attorney’s fees and even imprisonment.

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

PFA Orders Help Abuse Victims

702075.TIFAre you or your children victims of domestic abuse?

In Pennsylvania, a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order offers many safeguards, including to:

  • Evict the abuser from your household
  • Restrict the abuser from you and the children
  • Order the abuser to pay financial support
  • Prohibit the abuser from contacting you
  • Ban the abuser from possessing guns

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for Plaintiffs and Defendants at PFA hearings in the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Washington, and Westmoreland.

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

Domestic Violence Penalties

DV Pic5Domestic violence experts say that strangulation is a strong indicator for future homicide.

In 2015, six people were strangled to death in Pennsylvania. Studies show that the odds of becoming a homicide victim increase dramatically for women who reported strangulation by a partner in the past.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are now considering a bill to establish a felony strangulation law. The bill would rank strangulation as a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony if the defendant is named in an active Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order, uses an instrument of crime, or has been previously convicted of strangulation.

Spivak Law Firm handles all matters 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.

Helping Juvenile Offenders


Family Pic9In Pennsylvania, people under 18 who commit crimes go to family court, where the approach is more rehabilitative and less punitive. Some policy experts advocate raising the family court’s age to young adults up to 25-years-old.

“Young adults are more similar to adolescents than fully mature adults in important ways,” wrote Vincent Schiraldi and Bruce Western of the Harvard Kennedy School in a recent column published in The Washington Post. “They are more susceptible to peer pressure, less future-oriented, and more volatile in emotionally charged settings.”

Additionally, they point to “disastrous” public safety outcomes resulting from drawing a line at age 18: “For example, 78 percent of 18- to 24-year-old released from prison are rearrested and about half return to prison within three years, the highest rescidivism rate of any age cohort.”

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law and criminal defense matters. We are routinely appointed to represent juveniles in Allegheny County. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.