Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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PFA Orders

PFA and Child Custody Tips

If you’ve been served with a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, you may be restricted from seeing your children. In some cases, the PFA will allow no contact. In other cases, the PFA will allow limited contact.

If your PFA allows for limited contact with your children, please be very careful to avoid any conflict or mention of the PFA at custody exchanges. If you engage in argument or attempt to discuss the PFA at the custody exchange, you are placing yourself at serious risk of arrest for violating the PFA. Even if you are permitted custody of the children while the PFA remains active, it may be safer to decline in order to avoid false accusations that you violated the order.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and PFA hearings. For more information, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Bogus PFAs Turn Lives Upside Down

In many Pennsylvania counties, judges grant more than 90 percent of requests for a Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) order.

Judges tend to err on the side of caution, figuring that a person seeking protection must need it. After all, it would be tragic if the person seeking protection wound up injured or worse after a judge denied the PFA.

But judges should also consider how their decision to grant the PFA will affect the accused. Every day, PFA orders evict people from their homes, restrict parents from their children, and threaten people’s jobs and reputations.

At Spivak Law Firm, we are dismayed by some of the PFAs granted by judges based on weak allegations.

For instance, in one recent case, the person seeking protection admitted in her petition that she had not seen or communicated with the accused for a year.

In another recent case, the person awarded protection told the judge that the defendant only communicated with her subliminally.

We were successful in getting both cases dismissed. But the PFAs never should have been granted because the plaintiffs were not in reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury.

They caused unnecessary emotional and financial stress in people who did nothing to warrant a PFA.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong representation at PFA hearings. If you’ve been falsely accused of abuse, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA and Domestic Abuse Amid Coronavirus

“Mass shootings garner attention and frighten the public much more than episodes of domestic violence,” according to a recent article in The New York Times. “But domestic violence has a much higher death toll in the United States.”

Each year, some 900 women in the United States are murdered by their current or former intimate partners.

That single-year tally is more than nine times the number of people killed in jihadist attacks on American soil in the past decade.

At their most basic level, both mass terrorism and intimate terrorism of domestic violence are attempts to provoke fear and assert control. Many experts have expressed concern about the rise of domestic violence incidents during stay-at-home orders related to the coronavirus pandemic.

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

PFA Courts Remain Open During COVID-19

Although courts across Pennsylvania have largely closed due to the coronavirus crisis, Protection From Abuse cases are still occurring due to the emergency nature of a PFA.

Spivak Law Firm is continuing to accept PFA clients and provide strong representation at PFA hearings.

A PFA is a restraining order that prevents all contact when there are allegations of:

  • Physical violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Threats of violence
  • Harassment
  • Stalking

A PFA is a powerful tool that can instantly evict you from your home, restrict you from your children, result in termination from your employment and even land you in jail.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in all PFA matters. For a free phone consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Kids Who Witness Violence

Children who witness abuse suffer emotionally behaviorally, and cognitively.

There are no typical reactions to violence experienced by children.

Factors that may affect their behaviors include:

-Age

-Gender

-Amount of violence witnessed

-Type of abuse witnessed

-Whether the child is a victim as well as an observer of the abuse

Parents should try to be aware of behaviors that are unusual for a particular child and continue for a week or more.

If necessary, they should seek the help of a mental-health professional.

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

PFA Affects Coaches And Volunteers

If you coach youth sports, a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order could threaten your ability to volunteer your time with children and damage your reputation in the community.

Judges routinely grant requests for Temporary PFA Orders by people alleging abuse. In many Pennsylvania counties, judges grant more than 90 percent of PFA requests.

A PFA can restrict you from your home and your kids, as well as threaten your employment and even your liberty if you are accused of violating the Order.

Additionally, a PFA can appear on a mandatory background check that may bar you from coaching children – even if the accusations contained in the PFA have nothing to do with children.

Spivak Law Firm aims to help people in Pittsburgh and nearby counties to get the PFA dismissed. We have effectively represented many people who require a clean background check, including: coaches, teachers, police officers, nurses and childcare workers.

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

Domestic Violence and Immigration

Under expanded federal immigration enforcement policies, immigrant women who have experienced domestic violence live in fear of deportation.

Forty-five states have statutes that encourage medical professionals to report certain injuries to law enforcement, and some states specifically require them to report domestic violence.

As a result, many of these women are afraid to get medical attention or seek help from law enforcement for danger of being deported.

Immigrant women and girls are statistically twice as likely as non-immigrant females to experience domestic violence, according to the Tahirih Justice Center.

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.

PFA And Guns: Law Requires Police Involvement

Pennsylvania has adopted tougher rules for guns in domestic-abuse cases.

A new law requires that people subjected to a Final Protection From Abuse (PFA) order must turn over their guns to police.

PFA defendants will not longer be able to merely let a family member or friend take possession of the firearms.

For years, Pennsylvania’s “third-party safekeeping” provision allowed PFA defendants to choose a person to hold onto their guns. Police would run a criminal-background check to ensure the person was permitted to possess firearms.

During legislative hearings, the Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association expressed concerns about the cost of storing guns.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings and all criminal domestic-violence hearings. We routinely handle PFAs and PFA violations, as well as criminal cases alleging simple assault, harassment, stalking, reckless endangerment, and terroristic threats.

To schedule a free 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.