Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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PFA Orders

PFA: Economic Abuse

Economic abuse is a common tactic used by abusers to gain control and power in a relationship.

Economic abuse is present in 98 percent of abusive relationships, according to the National Network To End Domestic Violence.

Economic abuse includes methods of financial control such as withholding money, forbidding the victim from working, and controlling how all of the money is spent.

The effects of economic abuse can be devastating. In fact, 60 percent of domestic violence survivors reported losing their jobs as a direct consequence of the abuse.

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 Restricts All Contact

A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order restricts you from having any contact with the person who filed against you.

No contact includes:

  • No face-to-face contact
  • No phone contact
  • No texting
  • No contact through social media
  • No passing messages through a third party

In fact, if you see the accuser in a public place, you are advised to immediately leave the area or risk getting arrested.

Spivak Law Firm routinely handles all matters involving PFAs, including: PFA hearings, PFA expungements, and PFA violations. To learn more, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Why Judges Grant Temporary PFA Orders

In Pittsburgh and surrounding counties, judges grant the vast majority of requests for Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders.

Judges issue Temporary PFA orders without ever hearing from the alleged perpetrator of abuse. There’s usually no evidence of abuse except for the alleged victim’s sworn testimony.

Judges issue the orders with full knowledge that they may completely turn the alleged perpetrator’s life upside-down by evicting them from their homes, restricting them from their children, and placing them at great risk for arrest if they’re even accused of violating the order by having non-threatening contact.

So why do judges grant more than 90 percent of Temporary PFA petitions?

It’s likely because judges opt to err on the side of caution. Domestic abuse is real, and no judge wants to deny a request for help that leads to physical violence. Unfortunately, innocent people often go through hell while awaiting their PFA hearings.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Hearings: What Is Evidence?

At Final PFA hearings, both the accuser and the alleged perpetrator of abuse have the right to introduce evidence to prove their cases.

Evidence at Final PFA hearings commonly includes:

-Photographs of injuries and damaged property

-Medical records of injuries

-Mental health records reflecting treatment

-Texts and emails of threatening or harassing behavior

-Social-media postings on Facebook and Instagram of threatening or harassing behavior

-Eyewitness accounts

-Character witnesses seeking to bolster credibility

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland.

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

Domestic Violence and Brain Injuries

When it comes to long-term brain trauma, sports-induced injuries monopolize the conversation, while injuries suffered by victims of domestic abuse fall to the wayside. But Dr. Robert Cantu, an expert on football-related injuries, has revealed that many survivors of domestic violence could suffer from the same traumatic brain injuries as professional sports players.

“Experts believe many cases go undetected and untreated in abused women, making them vulnerable to problems with thinking, mood and behavior,” according to The Associated Press.

The article notes that “repeated blows [to the head] have been linked with a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy … linked with memory loss, confusion, mood changes, and eventually dementia.” Dr. Robert Cantu added: “There are many women who have been abused enough that some of them probably have CTE.”

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

PFA Hearings: No Right To Jury Trial

If you’ve been served with a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, we urge you to take it seriously. A PFA can take away your home, your job, your children, and even your liberty. A PFA can destroy your reputation and stigmatize you as an abusive person for the rest of your life.

A PFA is a civil matter determined by judges in family court. There is no right to a jury trial at a PFA hearing because it’s not a criminal matter, though a PFA can quickly and easily result in criminal charges if you’re merely accused of violating the order.

Under Pennsylvania law, there is no right to a jury trial except in criminal cases whereby conviction could lead to a jail sentence exceeding six months. The maximum penalty for violating a PFA is six months and a $1,000 fine.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong representation at PFA hearings. Based in Pittsburgh, we represent clients in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Mercer County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

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

Spotting Signs of Abuse

Being able to tell the difference between a healthy relationship and an abusive relationship can be difficult.

You may be in an abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Exhibits an explosive temper
  • Inflicts physical pain in any way
  • Belittles you or puts you down
  • Checks your cell phones, emails or social networks without permission
  • Demonstrates extreme jealousy or insecurity

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: Financial Abuse

In many domestic violence cases, financial abuse is what keeps a woman trapped in the abusive relationship. Even if these women are able to leave the relationship, their finances may remain in jeopardy.

A new startup company, FreeFrom, pilots entrepreneurship programs for domestic violence survivors. Many of the women enrolled in the program come in with small-business ideas and the organization helps identify what these women are good at and how they can turn it into an opportunity.

By helping survivors start businesses, they can earn their own incomes and achieve financial stability independent of a partner. Program participants can meet with FreeFrom’s team once a week for up to 90 minutes and the free service runs for a six-month period.

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.

In The News: Spivak Law Firm

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has once again featured Spivak Law Firm on issues involving family law and criminal defense.

The P-G recently published Attorneys Need More Protection, written by attorney Todd Spivak, a two-time nominee of The Pulitzer Prize who focuses his practice on child custody and domestic abuse.

The Post-Gazette routinely features Spivak Law Firm, publishing several articles regarding child custody, Protection From Abuse (PFA), and criminal-record expungement laws in Pennsylvania.

In Attorneys Need More Protection, Attorney Spivak discusses the Constitutional basis for vigorously defending people accused of committing heinous crimes.

In Clean The Slate In Pennsylvania, Attorney Spivak and Attorney Rebecca Canterbury critique a new Pennsylvania law that for the first time seals criminal information from public view for people convicted of second- and third-degree misdemeanors.

In Impoverished Parents Deserve Their Day In Court, Attorney Canterbury reveals how exorbitant filing fees in Allegheny County prevent low-income parents from asserting their child-custody rights.

In Crack Down on Domestic Violence in Allegheny County, Attorney Spivak recommends that only specialized judges with extensive domestic-violence training oversee PFA hearings.

In Improve Pennsylvania’s Domestic-Abuse Law, Attorney Spivak exposes the issue of bogus PFA orders and recommends ways to curb abuses in the system.

In Child Custody for Rapists, Attorney Spivak explains how sexual predators use family court to harass and intimidate their victims.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family law and criminal defense matters. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Pittsburgh Media Features Attorney Todd Spivak

Attorney Todd Spivak, owner of Spivak Law Firm, recently published an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the importance of vigorously defending people accused of committing heinous crimes.

Attorney Spivak, a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, practices family law and criminal defense with a special focus on child custody and domestic-violence defense. His article discusses the challenges of handling high-conflict emotional cases involving people with mental illness, substance abuse, and histories of violent behavior.

Spivak Law Firm has represented hundreds of people in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland. Call us today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.