Allegheny County PFA Lawyers
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.
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.
“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.
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
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.
Physical injury and mental trauma often go hand in hand with domestic violence, but economic abuse is also “present in 98 percent of abusive relationships,” according to National Network to End Domestic Violence.
“Money is our society’s most concrete form of power,” wrote Sady Doyle in The Nation. “Women are kept captive to male violence because they can’t afford to live without the men who hurt them.”
Rather than viewing domestic violence as a women’s issue, Doyle recommends viewing domestic violence as an economic issue: “When we include gender in our economic understanding, our policy stops being a sort of generalized ‘uplift’ and starts providing specific and targeted aid.”
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.
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.
In domestic-violence cases, research demonstrates that legal-aid services for women reduce the likelihood they will experience domestic violence in the future.
Unfortunately, President Trump’s proposed budget severely cuts departments that fund programs supporting domestic-violence victims. Additionally, the budget proposes to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal aid to domestic-abuse victims who are married to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
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.
A Pittsburgh native, Attorney Canterbury earned a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law. During law school, she represented clients at Protection From Abuse (PFA) and child custody hearings while working for Neighborhood Legal Services Association and the Duquesne University School of Law Family Law Clinic.
Attorney Canterbury served as a law clerk for the Honorable Kevin G. Sasinoski of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas – Criminal Division, as well as for several private law firms in Pittsburgh focusing on criminal defense and family law. She began as a law clerk at Spivak Law Firm before joining the firm as an attorney.
While serving as president of the Family Law Society at Duquesne University School of Law, Attorney Canterbury organized and moderated a symposium to address whether Pennsylvania’s Protection From Abuse (PFA) laws strike the right balance for protecting domestic-violence victims while also limiting false claims of abuse.
Earlier this year, Attorney Canterbury wrote an article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette entitled Impoverished Parents Deserve Their Day In Court on how filing fees in Allegheny County prevent low-income parents from asserting their child-custody rights. The article was reproduced in the fall 2016 edition of At Issue, published by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
This month, Attorney Canterbury co-wrote an article with Attorney Spivak published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette entitled Clean The Slate In Pennsylvania on the importance of making it easier to expunge criminal records and give people a fresh start in life.
Attorney Canterbury focuses her practice on PFAs, child custody, domestic-violence defense, and criminal record expungements.
Spivak Law Firm offers a free consultation on family law and criminal defense matters. To schedule an appointment, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.