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Family Law

PFA: Dating Partners

If signed into law, House Bill 223 would provide dating partners in Louisiana the same protections in domestic-abuse cases as spouses are afforded.

Under current law, dating partners involved in domestic abuse cases may only be charged with simple battery, not domestic abuse battery, which carries more severe penalties.

It’s vital for dating partners to receive the same protections from battery as other abuse victims. Abusive behavior left unchecked tends to escalate, and domestic-violence laws include enhanced penalties to deter such behavior.

The danger is just as real in a dating relationship as in marriage. In fact, roughly 60% of the people killed in domestic homicides in Louisiana in 2016 were not married to their alleged killers.

Spivak Law Firm provides aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in domestic violence cases, including Protection From Abuse (PFA), Children Youth and Families (CYF), and criminal domestic violence. To schedule a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody: Relocation

When parents of minor children separate or divorce, their ability to relocate to a new residence may be restricted.

Parents must either get the other parent’s approval or obtain permission from the court in order to relocate.

The judge considers many factors when making the decision on whether to grant the relocation request, including the child’s preference, the age of the child, and the reason for moving. Ultimately, the parent who wants to move must convince the judge that moving will be in the child’s best interest.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in child custody cases. We handle all child-custody matters, including trials, drafting agreements, and relocation hearings. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Shared Custody for Working Parents


Custody Pic3In many families, the Dad is the breadwinner and the Mom stays home with the children. But if they separate or divorce, each parent still may be entitled to equal time with the children.

The distance between parents’ residences is a key consideration for deciding whether a shared custody schedule is appropriate. Living in the same school district will increase your chance of winning shared custody.

Spivak Law Firm handles all child custody matters. We negotiate and draft custody agreements, litigate custody relocation hearings and trials, and work closely with clients to develop legal strategies to achieve their goals. We provide strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation.

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

Funding For Abuse Victims


702075.TIFIn domestic-violence cases, research demonstrates that legal-aid services for women reduce the likelihood they will experience domestic violence in the future.

Unfortunately, President Trump’s proposed budget severely cuts departments that fund programs supporting domestic-violence victims. Additionally, the budget proposes to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal aid to domestic-abuse victims who are married to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

Spivak Law Firm helps victims of domestic violence get the legal protections they need at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings and by working with prosecutors on criminal domestic-violence cases. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody and Step-Parents


Custody Pic5Moving forward as a family after divorce or separation can be more difficult when step-parents are involved. To avoid conflict between your ex-spouse and the step-parent of your children, consider the following three tips:

  • Talk to the children together as a family, assuring them that their step-parent is not a replacement, but another person to care for them.
  • Set boundaries ahead of time, and discuss the role step-parents will play in the lives of the children.
  • Work together as a cohesive family unit; do not argue over the role of the step-parent in front of the children.

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

PFA and Guns


PFA Pic1A Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) temporarily restricts you from possessing guns, even if the incident that gave rise to the PFA did not involve a gun.

A PFA issued after a final hearing will restrict your use of a gun for up to three years. If you are an avid hunter or a law enforcement official who depends on the use of guns for your livelihood, firearm restrictions may wreak havoc on your life.

Spivak Law Firm has assisted many law enforcement officers whose livelihoods depend on their ability to carry weapons.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense at PFA hearings. For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Harassment In Family Court


ConflictLeaving an abusive relationship should put an end to the abuse, but that is frequently not the case when there are children involved. The abusive parent may utilize the child custody courts to harass the victim, even when the abused party has a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order.

The courts often favor shared custody schedules, which are unfortunately ideal for abusers, as this affords them the opportunity to continue controlling the abused spouse through the children.

Because the courts often favor shared custody, it is crucial to speak to an experienced child custody attorney who may develop a workable agreement that keeps parental conflict to a minimum.

Spivak Law Firm’s attorney has extensive experience with child custody cases involving domestic violence. To schedule a consultation call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Tips for Co-Parenting


Custody Pic1For divorced or separated couples, coordinating schedules for the children’s school schedule can be challenging.

But factoring in extracurricular activities, doctor’s appointments, and play dates can be especially tough.

To keep everyone on the same page, consider setting a family meeting once a month to discuss your children and their schedules.

You may find it easier for you and your ex-spouse to hash out schedules sitting down all at once rather than with scattered phone calls and emails.

At the end of the meeting, consider giving your children a copy of the schedule so they are aware of what to expect.

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

Stalking: Penalties in Pennsylvania


PFA Pic2Under Pennsylvania law, the crime of stalking occurs when a person places another in reasonable fear of bodily injury or substantial emotional distress by either:

  • Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority; or
  • Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly communicating to another person with intent to place them in fear or emotional distress.

A first offense is graded as a first-degree misdemeanor, but if it is a subsequent offense against the same person, you could face third-degree felony charges.

A conviction can result in jail time and costly fines, and also has the potential to affect your child custody rights, employment, and right to own a firearm.

Served with a PFA? Charged with assault? Terroristic threats? Harassment? Stalking? Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Domestic Violence: Control and Fear


BU010665Domestic violence often follows a pattern in which an abuser seeks to control every aspect of a victim’s life. Experts often refer to domestic violence as “intimate terrorism.”

“The perpetrator is engaging in a general pattern of control over the victim – her finances, her social contacts, the clothes she wears,” Deborah Epstein, who runs Georgetown University Law Center’s domestic violence clinic, recently told The New York Times.

Violence is the abuser’s means of enforcing that control – and of punishing any attempts to break it.

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