Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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PFA Orders

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.

Spivak Law Firm Featured In PFA News

Attorney Todd Spivak, owner of Spivak Law firm, was featured in a recent article discussing unintended consequences of a new provision in Pennsylvania’s Protection From Abuse (PFA) law, which makes it easier for domestic-violence victims to receive a police escort to retrieve personal belongings.

In most cases, PFA defendants are the ones who need to pick up belongings because the PFA order evicted them from the home. In such cases, Attorney Spivak advises PFA defendants to pay a constable to coordinate the exchange and keep the peace. Moreover, having a law-enforcement official present protects defendants from allegations that they violated the PFA.

Attorney Spivak described the new police-escort law as good common sense, though he predicted a potential drain on police resources in some areas given the sheer number of PFA orders that are processed. About 40,000 PFA orders are processed annually across the state.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings. Based in Pittsburgh, we routinely handle cases in the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland.

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

PFA and Financial Help

In Pennsylvania, courts can award financial assistance at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings.

More than 70 percent of women surveyed at domestic-violence shelters reported that they stayed with an abuser longer because they could not afford to leave, according to a Mary Kay Foundation report.

Perpetrators of domestic abuse frequently use financial manipulation to torment and control their victims.

While some states offer unemployment-insurance benefits to domestic violence and stalking victims who have to quit their jobs and relocate, many states don’t have any form of financial assistance.

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

PFA And Divorce: Date Of Separation

The filing of a Protection From Abuse (PFA) petition against a married partner may be the first step toward divorce.

If so, the PFA will usually as a clear date of separation when the couple stopped living together.

This may prove important, as divorce laws in Pennsylvania permit a spouse to delay the divorce process by a year.

The filing of a PFA often starts the clock on the one-year waiting period.

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

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

PFA Destroys Careers

If you’ve been served with a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, your career may be at risk.

The PFA petition alleging abusive behavior is a public record that may be viewed by your employer.

You may be especially at risk if your employment requires background checks such as nurses, teachers, coaches, and daycare providers.

Others at risk include police officers, security guards and others whose jobs require them to possess a firearm.

Under newly restrictive laws in Pennsylvania, gun possession is expressly prohibited so long as the PFA remains active.

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

We have helped to save the careers and restore the reputations of police officers, homeland-security officers, state troopers, registered nurses, teachers, coaches, and government employees.

Served with a PFA? Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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.