Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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PFA Orders

Domestic Violence and the “Boyfriend Loophole”

Existing federal law forbids people convicted of domestic violence against a current or former spouse to buy or own a firearm.

But what if the abuse was perpetrated by an intimate partner who is not your spouse?

Lawmakers may close the so-called “boyfriend loophole” to expand protections for abuse victims.

Efforts to renew the Violence Against Women Act include a provision to prohibit firearm ownership by those convicted of abusing, assaulting or stalking a dating partner, or to those under a restraining order.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation. We handle all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on domestic violence, child custody, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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

Children Who Witness Domestic Abuse

Children who witness domestic abuse may have the following range of symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep disturbance
  • School problems – refuses to attend, truancy, poor performance
  • Anxiety, fear of abandonment
  • Increased violent behavior
  • Verbal abusiveness, lying
  • Regression – wanting bottle, baby talk, thumb sucking
  • Perfectionism
  • Shyness
  • Tantrums

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

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

PFA Orders May Affect Divorce

Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders can significantly affect a divorce.

A PFA can evict a person from their own home for an extended period of time. If you are going through a divorce, a PFA can evict a spouse from the marital residence and provide the other spouse leverage for maintaining the residence as part of the divorce settlement.

A PFA can also restrict a parent from his or her children. This could have a detrimental effect on your custody rights as you proceed through divorce.

If your custody rights are restricted due to a PFA, you may also be required to pay child support as a result since the other parent is primarily raising the child.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, PFA defense, PFA for victims, division of assets and debts, spousal support, and alimony.

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

Couples Break Up In PFA Court

Under Pennsylvania law, Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders require a family or intimate relationship between the alleged victim and abuser.

While some rare cases pit parent against child or brother against brother, the vast majority of cases occur between spouses or ex-lovers.

PFA court can be highly emotional, as people are torn from their children, evicted from their homes, and fear losing their jobs.

An abuser often wants to reconcile with the person who obtained the PFA against them. In these situations, it is hard for them to accept that their relationship has been ended without an ability to speak or get closure.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings. To speak with an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

If You Witness Domestic Abuse

While domestic violence typically happens behind closed doors, in some cases it occurs in a public space or around friends or family members, meaning that other people may witness or be aware of the abuse.

Here are 3 tips for what you might do to intervene:

  • Take into account your own safety as well as the survivor’s. Gather a group of people to stand nearby and either verbally or physically intervene.
  • Contact the authorities if necessary.
  • Approach the victim afterwards in a private space and provide them with the contact information of support services.

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.

PFA Law: 24 Hours to Relinquish Guns

Under Pennsylvania law, a person subjected to a Final Protection From Abuse (PFA) order was given 60 days to turn over his or her firearms.

A new law speeds up the time that people have to relinquish their guns to 24 hours after they have been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic-violence crime or had a Final PFA order approved against them by a judge.

The 24-hour provision intends to close a loophole that exposed domestic-abuse victims to continued risk of violence even after obtaining a PFA order.

The new law applies even in cases of alleged stalking, harassment, and assault where guns were not involved.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong representation at PFA hearings. For more information, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Orders Affect Hunters and Gun Owners

Under Pennsylvania law, an active Protection From Abuse (PFA) order restricts defendants from possessing firearms.

If you’ve been served with a PFA, you may have to relinquish all your guns.

This is the case even when there are no specific allegations of threatening behavior involving a firearm.

For people who enjoy hunting, the removal of their firearms can be devastating.

In rural counties, judges sometimes try to persuade defendants to accept settlement terms in order to avoid the risk of a final PFA order that could keep them from hunting for as long as three years.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland.

Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Protecting Abuse Victims

Victims of domestic violence may obtain Protection from Abuse (PFA) Orders to curb the abuse and prohibit contact with the perpetrator.

But even obtaining a PFA may not provide adequate protection.

The Pennsylvania Legislature recently approved a resolution to examine PFA law and practice for potential insufficiencies.

The commission will work closely with professionals experienced with PFAs to identify and remedy flaws to more adequately protect victims of domestic abuse.

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

Dealing With The Stress Of A PFA

If you’ve been served with a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, you are likely under serious stress.

The PFA was hand-delivered to you by a police officer at your home or place of employment. You may be temporarily evicted from your house and restricted from having any contact with your children.

At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to be accessible to people who are accused of domestic abuse. People are often surprised when we pick up our phones late at night or on weekends to speak with them.

We aim to get the PFA dismissed and protect your rights and reputation.

Spivak Law Firm routinely handles PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland.

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

Accused of Child Abuse?

In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, Pennsylvania expanded the mandatory child abuse reporting laws. As a result, the number of child abuse reports has soared.

Spivak Law Firm understands that reports of child abuse can be motivated by true safety concerns, though they are sometimes made to retaliate or harass.

Spivak Law Firm has extensive experience representing people accused of child abuse at Protection from Abuse (PFA) hearings, Children Youth and Families (CYF) hearings, and criminal domestic-violence hearings.

Based in Pittsburgh, we provide strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation.

If you face child abuse accusations, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or tolls free at (800) 545-9390.