Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

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Dormont Family Law

PFA: Dating Partners

If signed into law, House Bill 223 would provide dating partners in Louisiana the same protections in domestic-abuse cases as spouses are afforded.

Under current law, dating partners involved in domestic abuse cases may only be charged with simple battery, not domestic abuse battery, which carries more severe penalties.

It’s vital for dating partners to receive the same protections from battery as other abuse victims. Abusive behavior left unchecked tends to escalate, and domestic-violence laws include enhanced penalties to deter such behavior.

The danger is just as real in a dating relationship as in marriage. In fact, roughly 60% of the people killed in domestic homicides in Louisiana in 2016 were not married to their alleged killers.

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.

Child Custody: Relocation

When parents of minor children separate or divorce, their ability to relocate to a new residence may be restricted.

Parents must either get the other parent’s approval or obtain permission from the court in order to relocate.

The judge considers many factors when making the decision on whether to grant the relocation request, including the child’s preference, the age of the child, and the reason for moving. Ultimately, the parent who wants to move must convince the judge that moving will be in the child’s best interest.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in child custody cases. We handle all child-custody matters, including trials, drafting agreements, and relocation hearings. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Shared Custody for Working Parents

 

Custody Pic3In many families, the Dad is the breadwinner and the Mom stays home with the children. But if they separate or divorce, each parent still may be entitled to equal time with the children.

The distance between parents’ residences is a key consideration for deciding whether a shared custody schedule is appropriate. Living in the same school district will increase your chance of winning shared custody.

Spivak Law Firm handles all child custody matters. We negotiate and draft custody agreements, litigate custody relocation hearings and trials, and work closely with clients to develop legal strategies to achieve their goals. We provide strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation.

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 Step-Parents

 

Custody Pic5Moving forward as a family after divorce or separation can be more difficult when step-parents are involved. To avoid conflict between your ex-spouse and the step-parent of your children, consider the following three tips:

  • Talk to the children together as a family, assuring them that their step-parent is not a replacement, but another person to care for them.
  • Set boundaries ahead of time, and discuss the role step-parents will play in the lives of the children.
  • Work together as a cohesive family unit; do not argue over the role of the step-parent in front of the children.

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

Expanding Your Child Custody Schedule

 

Custody Pic1Young children should have frequent contact with both parents, which includes engaging in daily routines. When planning your custody schedule, you should consider the following:

  • The child’s temperament;
  • Any special needs of the child;
  • The amount of conflict between you and the other parent;
  • The child’s familiarity with the households;
  • The childcare provided by each parent.

If you had less involvement in your child’s daily routine, you may consider exercising custody on a gradual basis to acclimate your child to the change. But once you are more familiar with your child’s daily routine, you may begin exercising more overnights.

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

Child Custody Mediation

dandelion wishing blowing seedsChild custody mediation provides an opportunity for you and the other parent to discuss what is best for your child without attorneys present. It is a time reserved for working out an ideal schedule for both the parents and the child.

Here are four don’ts for mediating a custody dispute:

  • Don’t neglect the needs of your child;
  • Don’t assume one parenting plan works for all children;
  • Don’t go to mediation without a plan; and
  • Don’t denigrate the other parent.

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

 

4 Tips for PFA Defendants

PFA Pic1It is important to maintain your composure at your Final PFA hearing.

It will be difficult to remain calm while the opposing party makes allegations of abuse against you, but walking into a hearing with a bad attitude may affect the judge’s opinion of you and add to the plaintiff’s credibility – even if the allegations are false.

To avoid discrediting your version of events, follow these four tips at your PFA hearing:

  • Do not raise your voice in anger to the judge, your lawyer, or the other party;
  • Do not shake your head, roll your eyes, or laugh while the other party is speaking;
  • Do not interrupt the other party or the judge;
  • Do not make mean-spirited comments about the other party.

If you have been served with a PFA order, 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.

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.

“The Terror Is Constant”

 

Conflict between man and woman

The following is the third of three excerpts from a recent column by Nancy Eshelman of the Patriot-News in Central Pennsylvania. Ms. Eshelman’s husband was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in a domestic violence related incident.

“For a domestic violence victim, the feeling of vulnerability increases after she makes the break. She knows he is angry and she waits for him to show it.

Walking to the mail box, taking out the trash, working in the yard become terrifying. The prospect of unloading groceries from her trunk causes her to sweat.

She drives everywhere with one eye in the rear view mirror and her car doors locked. She never exits the car without her house keys in her hand.

She burns too many lights. She looks out the windows. She wonders if she frantically dials 911 how long a response would take. She asks herself repeatedly which direction she would run if she saw him approaching.

The terror is constant. It takes a toll, physically and mentally.

And for too many women, the threat becomes all too real.”

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in PFA and criminal domestic-violence cases. For a free consultation, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.