Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Allegheny County Family Law

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.

CYF and Removing Kids

When safety issues cannot be addressed while a child remains in the home, Children Youth and Families (CYF) may remove the child from the home.

The child may be placed with a relative, in a foster home, or in a group home facility.

Out-of-home placement is a devastating event for the child and the entire family.

The trauma of separation can affect a child’s learning, emotional, and behavioral well-being for a long time.

Placement is also traumatic for parents and can affect their ability to function normally. It is critical that children be returned to their family as soon as safely possible.

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

Child Custody Do’s and Don’ts

One of the most difficult issues for parents who share custody of their children is visitation. Some parents use visitation to achieve destructive goals. However, this can deeply hurt the children caught in the middle.

If you are struggling with visitation, take a look at these Do’s and Don’ts:

Do Make Visitations A Normal Part of Life: Find activities that give you and your children opportunities to build your relationship.

Don’t Argue With Your Ex In Front Of Your Child: Deal with important issues in a separate meeting or telephone call.

Do Show Flexibility Regarding Visitation Schedules: Give the other parent as much advance notice of changes in visitation as possible and respect their need for flexibility.

Don’t Try To Disrupt Your Child’s Relationship With Your Ex: Children need to know that it is okay to love both parents.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and PFA hearings. To speak with an experienced family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Collaborative Divorce: A New Trend

A new Pennsylvania law aims to legitimize collaborative divorce and create a uniform standard of practice.

Collaborative divorce is a relatively new, alternative way for couples to obtain a divorce without need for court intervention.

Collaborative divorce involves a problem-solving approach with interest-based negotiations rather than positional bargaining.

It involves several meetings with two clients, two collaborative lawyers, a facilitative coach who is a mental health professional, a neutral financial professional and a neutral child specialist if needed.

The meetings address all elements of the divorce, including child custody, child and spousal support, and division of the marital assets and debts.

Spivak Law Firm has received specialized training in collaborative divorce with membership in the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Effective Parenting

The most effective parents are authoritative, according to the recently published book “Love, Money and Parenting.”

Authoritative parents use reasoning to persuade kids to do things that are good for them.

Instead of strict obedience, they emphasize adaptability, problem-solving and independence.

The book distinguishes authoritative parents from authoritarian parents – defined, by contrast, as issuing directives, expecting obedience from their children, and using corporal punishment to instill fear and inflict punishment.

Kids raised by authoritative parents report better health, higher self-esteem, and are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, according to the authors.

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

Domestic Violence: Victim Blaming

Criminal domestic violence court can be a site of victim blaming, but not just by alleged abusers. Spivak Law Firm advocates educating judges overseeing cases of domestic violence to avoid using victim-blaming language.

Victim advocates recommend instructing judges to use language that more appropriately describes the effects of domestic violence and holds abusers responsible.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants at Protection from Abuse (PFA) and criminal domestic violence hearings. We routinely volunteer with Neighborhood Legal Services Association to help victims of domestic violence obtain protection orders from their abusers.

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

Child Custody and Divorce: Holiday Tips

 

Custody Pic6The holidays are stressful, particularly for divided families, but they can still be enjoyable if you plan ahead.

In order to avoid needless stress or confusion, let your children know in advance where they will be during the holidays, and assure them they will have a good time.

Although you may be feeling lonely or sad without them, try encouraging them to be happy and have fun.

Spivak Law Firm wishes you a safe, happy Memorial Day weekend.

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

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

Post-Gazette Features Spivak Law Firm

 

sq2The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has once again featured Spivak Law Firm on issues involving family law and criminal defense.

The P-G recently published the article, Clean The Slate In Pennsylvania: The Commonwealth Should Make It Easier To Expunge Criminal Records And Give People A Fresh Start In Life, written by attorneys Todd Spivak and Rebecca Canterbury.

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

In Clean The Slate, Attorney Spivak and Attorney 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.

Dating After Divorce

Expunge Pic1Dating after divorce may be difficult, especially when children are involved. You must adjust to the idea of no longer being married, and your children must do the same. Ensure that your children have had adequate time to recover from the divorce before introducing them to a new partner.

When sufficient time has passed, it may be best to introduce the children to your new partner while doing an activity the kids enjoy.

But be sensitive to your children’s feelings. If you believe your children are struggling more than is reasonable, it may be beneficial to seek help from a counselor.

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

Child Custody and Summer Vacation

dandelion wishing blowing seedsChildren eagerly await the end of the school year and the start of summer vacation. But summer vacation can be a stressful time for you and your ex, as this means accommodating one another’s vacation schedules. These five tips can help alleviate some of the tensions that arise when planning vacations:

  • Tell your ex your plans ahead of time;
  • Do not violate the terms of an existing custody order;
  • Give your ex the details of your trip (location, lodging, transportation, phone numbers, etc.);
  • Arrange for communication between the children and your ex;
  • Confirm the agreement in writing.

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