Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Child Custody and Child Support

When an ex falls behind on child support, some parents use it as an opportunity to refuse visitation. But, parents who refuse visitation when their ex owes child support may be held in contempt of court for violating the terms of the custody agreement.

It is important to understand that child support is not a fee that one parent pays to get access to the child. Rather, it is intended to prevent the child from being deprived of one parent’s income if that parent isn’t living with the child.

If you want to change the child-custody schedule, we recommend consulting an experienced family-law attorney.

At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to minimize the emotional and financial costs of child-custody litigation. To discuss the custody arrangement that best fits your family’s needs, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Drug Crimes in PA

If you’ve been criminally charged with drug possession, punishment can be greater if it is a Schedule I or II drug. Schedule I drugs include marijuana, heroin, and LSD. Schedule II drugs include methamphetamine, cocaine, Oxycontin, and Percocet.

If this is your first Schedule I or II drug offense, you face a mandatory six-month driver’s license suspension. You also face as much as a $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

The penalties associated with drug possession could harm your educational opportunities, employment opportunities, and even your child custody rights.

If you face criminal drug possession charges, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA May Carry Financial Penalties

A Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order is a powerful tool for restricting the rights of the accused. In addition to prohibiting contact with the victim, the Court may order the abuser to pay for reasonable losses suffered by the victim, including: medical, dental, relocation, and counseling expenses. The court may also order the defendant to pay for ongoing financial needs such as health insurance and mortgage payments.

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

New Pennsylvania Record-Sealing Law

Pennsylvania recently passed a law that seals minor criminal records. Supporters of the legislation hope it will reduce recidivism and open doors for those who have turned their lives around.

Under the legislation, people with sealed records would not have to disclose their criminal histories. Removing this barrier allows more Pennsylvanians to live without the stigma of a criminal record.

The new law, which applies in limited cases, for the first time allows Pennsylvanians to seal convictions for misdemeanor-level offenses.

At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to clear the arrests from your criminal record so you can move on with your life. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Shared Custody In Pennsylvania

In the past, divorce decrees offered children visits with their father every other weekend. But these visits were hardly enough to foster a father-child relationship.

Children who spend at least 35 percent of their time with each parent, rather than live with one and visit the other, have better relationships with their parents and do better academically, socially, and psychologically, according to more than 50 studies of joint physical custody.

Under Pennsylvania law, mothers and fathers may pursue shared custody schedules that allow for equal time with their children.

Spivak Law Firm helps parents assert their child-custody rights in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

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

5 Tips For PFA Defendants

If you have been served a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order, you must adhere to each of the stipulations. Violating a PFA can result in serious criminal penalties.

Here are 5 tips for PFA defendants to avoid violations:

  • Do not contact the plaintiff in any way.
  • Avoid all places where you know the plaintiff goes.
  • Do not drive past the plaintiff’s residence.
  • Do not attempt to contact the plaintiff through their friends or family.
  • Retain an experienced PFA defense attorney.

Spivak Law Firm provides aggressive representation 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.

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

How to Calculate Alimony in Pennsylvania

Unlike child support and even spousal support during the marriage, Pennsylvania law does not provide any formula for determining an alimony award.

After a divorce decree has been entered, the lower-earning spouse may be entitled to continued financial support in the form of alimony.

Courts generally award alimony only if the division of the marital estate is not sufficient to help the dependent spouse.

Alimony is based on the financial need of the dependent spouse and the length of the parties’ marriage.

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

Helping Kids With Stress

The standard response for problem children is to punish them. However, new studies show that making sure everyone in the school community understands the effects of trauma on children can help reduce their damaging effects.

Children who lack adequate protection from adults can experience potentially damaging effects. Researchers have learned that highly stressful childhood experiences have far-reaching implications for schools.

With this knowledge, schools can offer children special services that cater to their individual needs.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a focus on high-conflict child custody and allegations of domestic abuse. We handle: child custody, child support, divorce, spousal support, Protection From Abuse (PFA), and Children Youth and Families (CYF).

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.

Protecting Kids In Divorce

The divorce process can be enormously difficult when children are involved.

A study by researchers at the University of York found that children of divorced parents are more damaged by the fighting during the marriage than the split itself. This inter-parental conflict may be harmful to a child’s development, making them more likely to have difficulty with peers, drop out of school and experience emotional problems.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, Protection From Abuse (PFA), and Children Youth and Families (CYF). 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.

Child Support: Earning Capacity

Q: Do I still have to pay child support if I’m unemployed?

A: Maybe. If a parent has no income, but is capable of working, the court can order child support based on that parent’s earning capacity. In this situation, the court may estimate what the unemployed parent could earn given his or her education, skills and prior employment history.

Other factors involve the child-custody arrangement and each parent’s expenses relative to their income levels.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, Protection From Abuse (PFA), and Children Youth and Families (CYF). 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.