Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Bethel Park Child Custody Lawyer

Shared Custody of Infants

 

Beautiful baby of three months old in his mothers hands.Studies show that infants are best able to create healthy relationships with both parents when they spend regular time with each. This means that both parents should go no longer than a few days without seeing the child.

There should be daily communication regarding the child’s eating and sleeping patterns, medical developments, as well as any noteworthy milestones. If there is a high level of conflict between you and the other parent, consider keeping track of these updates in a notebook, which you may pass back and forth during exchanges.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law: child custody, child support, divorce, and Protection From Abuse (PFA). If your ex is denying you regular and frequent contact with your infant child, call Spivak Law Firm today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody and Child Support

Beautiful baby of three months old in his mothers hands.Contrary to popular belief, parents retain custody rights to their children even if they fail to pay court-ordered child support. Child custody and child support are two separate legal issues.

Just because you do not receive child support does not mean that you can refuse custodial access to the children. If you have a custody order, and you refuse to abide by its terms, you may be held in contempt for violating a court order, which carries the following potential consequences:

  • Up to six months in jail;
  • A fine up to $500;
  • Probation for up to six months;
  • Suspension of your driver’s license; and
  • Payment of the other parent’s attorney’s fees.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Domestic Violence Warning Signs

dv-pic5Domestic violence experts increasingly aim to identify “red flags” that often precede homicides and murder-suicides where abuse is present.

Warning signs include: strangulation, stalking behavior, sexual violence, gun possession, unemployment, substance abuse, and prior attempts by the victim to end the relationship.

Previous abuse by the suspect is the strongest of these “red flags,” according to experts.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a special focus on domestic violence and Protection From Abuse (PFA). Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody: Kids With Two Homes

Custody Pic3Separation and divorce often means two different homes for children, which also often means two competing sets of rules for children to follow.

As a parent, you have the right to set the rules for your children, even if those are different than your ex-spouse. But having opposite rules for children in each household can be confusing for them at a time when they’re learning to cope in a new family environment.

Consider the following three tips to avoid confusing the children:

  • Follow a similar schedule for the children (dinner time, bed time, etc.).
  • Create consistent rules to follow in each household.
  • Implement similar forms of discipline, and work together to enforce the rules.

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 Back-to-School

The transition from summer vacation to back-to-school is a difficult one to make for both parents and children. To avoid conflict between you and your ex-spouse, consider planning ahead with these four tips:Custody Pic5

  • Coordinate back-to-school shopping for the children.
  • Determine which parent will complete schoolwork (or certain assignments) with the children.
  • Discuss after-school activities for the children.
  • Coordinate schedules for parent-teacher conferences.

To further prevent conflict, avoid discussing these issues in front of your children.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: child custody, child support, divorce, equitable distribution, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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

How A PFA Affects Your Divorce

Family Pic3When you initiate a divorce, it is important to keep your emotions in check. Divorce can be emotionally draining, but the playing field may quickly uneven when one party obtains a Temporary Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order.

Avoid any form of contact that could be construed as abusive, which includes shouting matches with your ex. Your ex could file a PFA against you after a verbal argument claiming that she fears you.

The PFA can evict you from your home, restrict your child custody rights, require you to pay support, and order you to continue contributing to marital home expenses.

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.

4 Tips for Sharing Custody

Custody Pic5Your child’s refusal to follow a custody order places you in a difficult position. Violation of a court order can subject you to contempt proceedings, which can carry harsh penalties such as fines, license suspensions, and even jail time.

Since it may be difficult to force your child to visit with the other parent, try following these four tips to avoid being held in contempt:

  • Ensure your child is dressed, packed and ready to go;
  • Encourage your child to go with the other parent;
  • Record your attempts to follow the custody order;
  • Consider enrolling your child in counseling to discuss underlying issues.

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

Child Custody and Social Media

Custody Pic3Everyone has a friend or follower on social media known as the “over-sharer” who posts private information for everyone to see.

If you’re engaged in a child custody dispute, avoid being the “over-sharer.” Think twice about whether or not your next status update could negatively affect your case. What was once a venting session could become evidence that your ex-spouse’s attorney uses against you in Court. The same holds true with emails and texts.

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

Key Factors for Child Custody

Family Pic6Judges consider many factors when determining a child custody schedule. A child’s preference is just one of many factors. As children get older, courts may give greater weight to the child’s preference, though many judges do not want to hear directly from children. After all, it can be traumatizing for a child to choose between parents.

An important factor for determining custody is promoting consistency for the children. Courts generally will not disturb an existing arrangement or move children from their current school if they are doing well. Courts are also reluctant to split siblings between parents.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in child custody cases. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Spivak Law Firm Seeks PFA Reforms

PFA Pic1Attorney Todd Spivak recently participated on a panel at Duquesne University School of Law to advocate reforming Pennsylvania’s Protection From Abuse (PFA) laws.

A PFA, also commonly known as a restraining order, is a powerful tool that can evict you from your home, restrict you from your children, and prohibit you from possessing firearms.

Attorney Spivak has long advocated for reforming the PFA law to curb false claims of abuse. Proposals for reform include as follows:

  • Courts should make it easier to allow defendants to recover attorney fees when a PFA is withdrawn or dismissed.
  • District attorneys should criminally prosecute serial filers of bogus PFAs.
  • Temporary PFAs should be removed from the public database when a PFA is later withdrawn or dismissed.

Other panelists included Allegheny Court of Common Pleas Judge Kim D. Eaton and Attorney Tom Putinsky, winner of the Edgar G. O’Connor Fellows Award for outstanding public service.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong representation at PFA hearings for plaintiffs and defendants. To speak with an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.