Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Family Law

What Is Child Support?

Child support is money a parent pays to help provide food, clothing and other things for his or her child.

Child support may include:

  • Medical support
  • Payment of uncovered medical bills
  • Contributions to child-care costs
  • Contributions to extra-curricular activity expenses

The amount of child support you owe or are entitled to receive depends on a variety of factors, such as the number of children, the child custody arrangement, and how much income each parents earns.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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

Divorce: Cheating Spouses

Divorce often occurs when there are allegations of cheating.

But proving such allegations rarely affects the divorce process.

Under Pennsylvania law, there is no need to prove fault to obtain a divorce.

You might still have to pay alimony to your ex, even after proving that he or she engaged in an extra-marital affair that led to the divorce.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, alimony, counsel fees, and dividing assets and debts.

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

PFA Orders Restrict Child Custody Rights

Q: I was served with a PFA. Can I see my kids?

A: Please review the PFA order closely. There is a section in the PFA that addresses your child custody rights while the order remains active.

In many cases, the order states that the defendant shall have no contact with their minor children until the PFA is resolved. This may occur even if the allegations of abuse do not involve the children.

In other cases, the PFA order will allow contact with the children on a limited basis, including by phone or in person if arranged by a third party.

You must follow the PFA order. If you are accused of violating the PFA even by having non-threatening contact, you may face arrest and criminal charges.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on domestic violence and child custody. To schedule a consultation, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Prohibits Even Friendly Contact

A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order is granted based on allegations of abusive contact. This includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, threats of abuse, harassment, and stalking.

Once a PFA Order becomes effective, it prohibits all contact with the alleged victim.

Even non-abusive contact is strictly forbidden.

People are commonly arrested for violating PFAs by simply texting them a message that is well-intended and non-threatening.

But even a non-threatening, technical violation of a PFA may result in your arrest.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Crawford, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland.

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

Protecting Kids In Divorce

Divorce can be one of the most difficult challenges in a person’s life. You are learning to cope with a divided family, and you may harbor ill feelings toward your ex-spouse.

As tempting as it may be, it is important to never vent about your ex-spouse to your children. Consider reserving those feelings for friends or counselors.

Remind yourself that the issues between you and your ex-spouse are between the two of you.

Avoid putting your children in the middle of conflict and making them feel as though they have to choose sides.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family law matters. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA: Economic Abuse

Physical injury and mental trauma often go hand in hand with domestic violence, but economic abuse is also “present in 98 percent of abusive relationships,” according to National Network to End Domestic Violence.

“Money is our society’s most concrete form of power,” wrote Sady Doyle in The Nation. “Women are kept captive to male violence because they can’t afford to live without the men who hurt them.”

Rather than viewing domestic violence as a women’s issue, Doyle recommends viewing domestic violence as an economic issue: “When we include gender in our economic understanding, our policy stops being a sort of generalized ‘uplift’ and starts providing specific and targeted aid.”

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.

Child Custody Trial Tips

Courts make custody decisions in the best interests of the children, which typically means judges are looking at which parent is best fit to meet the children’s day-to-day needs.

It’s not enough to tell the court that your ex never does anything for the children and is a bad parent.

Rather than spending time listing out all of the things your ex never does for the children, devote the majority of your time to presenting yourself as the parent best equipped to meet the day-to-day needs of the children.

If you take the children to school every morning, help them with their homework every night, and get them ready for bed most nights, let the court know.

Sometimes it pays to be positive at child custody trials.

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

Divorce: Hidden Assets

Discovery, the formal legal process for obtaining information in a divorce, is essential if your ex refuses to provide important financial information.

Discovery is also an important tool if you believe your ex is hiding financial assets.

People do not usually engage in formal discovery for divorce because it can be expensive and time-consuming.

But you have may have no choice if your ex withholds or conceals information that is necessary for determining the value of the marital estate.

The most common forms of discovery include:

Requests for Production: requests for documents that must be provided

Interrogatories: written questions that must be answered

Depositions: sworn testimony given in the presence of a court reporter

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of divorce and family law. To schedule a consultation, call us 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.