Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Brookline Divorce Lawyer

How to Calculate Alimony in Pennsylvania

Unlike child support and even spousal support during the marriage, Pennsylvania law does not provide any formula for determining an alimony award.

After a divorce decree has been entered, the lower-earning spouse may be entitled to continued financial support in the form of alimony.

Courts generally award alimony only if the division of the marital estate is not sufficient to help the dependent spouse.

Alimony is based on the financial need of the dependent spouse and the length of the parties’ marriage.

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

Protecting Kids In Divorce

The divorce process can be enormously difficult when children are involved.

A study by researchers at the University of York found that children of divorced parents are more damaged by the fighting during the marriage than the split itself. This inter-parental conflict may be harmful to a child’s development, making them more likely to have difficulty with peers, drop out of school and experience emotional problems.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, Protection From Abuse (PFA), and Children Youth and Families (CYF). 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.

Tips For A Positive Divorce

Divorce is often one of life’s most difficult and painful transitions, but there are things you can do to diminish the emotional toll.

Here are some tips for easing the pain of divorce:

  • Practice empathy and forgiveness.
  • Take the high road.
  • Take responsibility for your actions.
  • If you have children, focus on their happiness.

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.

Preparing for Divorce

 

family-pic8If you are considering a divorce, it is important to have an understanding of your finances before initiating the proceedings.

Without this information, your attorney may have to engage in a costly discovery process to obtain the documents. Having copies of tax returns, utility bills, grocery bills, retirement accounts, bank accounts, and other financial documents could save you a substantial amount of money in attorney’s fees.

Take the time to review your financial documents and understand your marital assets and debts with the help of your attorney.

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.

Dividing Marital Property

 

ConflictUnder Pennsylvania divorce law, marital property is divided through a process known as equitable distribution. Marital property includes property acquired during the marriage, such as: houses, cars, retirement accounts, jewelry, artwork, etc.

To save significant time, stress, and money, you may bypass the formal equitable distribution process by reaching agreement on the distribution of marital assets through a written Marriage Settlement Agreement.

Spivak Law Firm handles divorce, equitable distribution trials, and the drafting of Marriage Settlement Agreements. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Divorce May Result in Multiple Trials

ConflictIn Allegheny County, every aspect of a divorce is handled separately through the courts.

A divorce commonly includes the following issues: child custody, child support, spousal support, dividing marital assets and debts, and the divorce itself.

There is not just one trial that resolves all these issues.

Instead, each issue is placed on a separate trial track. This means you may face multiple trials or hearings: one to address child support, another to resolve child custody, and still another to determine how to divide assets and debts.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and Protection From Abuse (PFA). Call us today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

How to Calculate Spousal Support

Family Pic8Q: How do courts calculate spousal support in Pennsylvania?

A: The formula for determining spousal support is as follows:

First, add together the lower-earning spouse’s net monthly income and monthly child support. Then subtract that number from the higher-earning spouse’s net monthly income. Finally, multiply the net difference by 30 percent (or 40 percent if there are no children) to calculate the basic support obligation.

For instance, let’s say you earn $1,200 net monthly income and collect $1,000 per month in child support; and let’s say your spouse earns $5,000 net monthly income. According to the formula, you would receive $800 per month in spousal support.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, custody, support, and PFA. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Calculating Child Support in Pennsylvania

Little girl wearing sundress holding flowersQ: How do courts calculate child support?

 

A: Courts follow support guidelines created by the Pennsylvania Legislature when determining a child support order. Under Pennsylvania law, both parents must continue to support their children even after a divorce. The obligation generally continues until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever happens last. In determining a child support obligation, courts consider the incomes or earning capacities of both parents. Statewide support guidelines establish a presumptive amount of support with the primary focus placed on income.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFAs. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

What to Expect At Your Child Support Hearing

Custody Pic5In Allegheny County, many people resolve child support issues without need for a hearing. Parties first disclose their income and expenses to a domestic-relations officer usually in a small office or cubicle. The officer will usually run calculations based on state support guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Legislature. The parties then have an opportunity to reach an agreement as to the amount of support, if any. The officer at this first level does not have authority to enter a recommendation.

If the parties do not reach agreement, they will attend a hearing on the same day. The hearing is a mini-trial in which each party is sworn under oath and permitted to testify, introduce evidence, and cross-examine one another. The hearing officer will hear testimony, accept evidence, and issue a recommendation within 30 days. If either party is dissatisfied with the recommendation, he or she may file an appeal known as exceptions to be reviewed by the judge assigned to the case.

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

Why You Need A Child Custody Order

 

The father and the son

Q: My ex and I get along well. Do we need a child custody order?

A: Yes.

A child custody order is critical even for parents who communicate well and cooperate with one another. Without a court order, each parents risks enduring bad behavior by the other parent.

For instance, without a custody order, your ex may suddenly relocate to a new state or school district without seeking your consent. During holidays, especially, a custody order is critical if one parent unilaterally decides to withhold the child from the other parent.

A custody order is fully enforceable by a judge. Violating the order can result in make-up time with the children and sanctions such as attorney fees.

Even under the best-case scenarios where parents remain friendly, an enforceable child custody order is highly advisable. To speak with an experienced child custody attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.