Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Dormont Family Law

Child Custody Schedules

When a court has ordered shared custody between parents, it can be particularly challenging to alter that joint schedule.

But there are a number of circumstances where a judge may consider changing a custody schedule, including, when you or your ex:

  • Attempt to alienate the child from the other parent;
  • Repeatedly denigrate the other parent to the child;
  • Are charged or convicted with a crime;
  • Are incarcerated;
  • Are investigated by Children Youth and Families (CYF);
  • Abuse drugs or alcohol, or;
  • Relocate outside of the county.

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

PFA Restricts All Contact

A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order restricts you from having any contact with the person who filed against you.

No contact includes:

  • No face-to-face contact
  • No phone contact
  • No texting
  • No contact through social media
  • No passing messages through a third party

In fact, if you see the accuser in a public place, you are advised to immediately leave the area or risk getting arrested.

Spivak Law Firm routinely handles all matters involving PFAs, including: PFA hearings, PFA expungements, and PFA violations. To learn more, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody: Relocation and School

School placement for children during and after a divorce can be a very contentious topic between spouses.

If you are contemplating changing schools or districts for your child during a custody case, it is imperative that you either agree that the child will change schools or bring the issue in front of the court as early as possible.

Under Pennsylvania law, relocation is any change in residence of the child which significantly impairs the ability of the non-relocating parent to exercise custodial rights. It is up to a judge to determine whether a move qualifies as “significantly impairing.”

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and child custody, including: drafting custody orders and litigating custody trials and relocation hearings.

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

Why Judges Grant Temporary PFA Orders

In Pittsburgh and surrounding counties, judges grant the vast majority of requests for Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders.

Judges issue Temporary PFA orders without ever hearing from the alleged perpetrator of abuse. There’s usually no evidence of abuse except for the alleged victim’s sworn testimony.

Judges issue the orders with full knowledge that they may completely turn the alleged perpetrator’s life upside-down by evicting them from their homes, restricting them from their children, and placing them at great risk for arrest if they’re even accused of violating the order by having non-threatening contact.

So why do judges grant more than 90 percent of Temporary PFA petitions?

It’s likely because judges opt to err on the side of caution. Domestic abuse is real, and no judge wants to deny a request for help that leads to physical violence. Unfortunately, innocent people often go through hell while awaiting their PFA hearings.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

3 Tips for Co-Parenting

As an intact family, you and your partner work together to raise your children.

But when parents separate, the family dynamic may change dramatically as parents now lead separate lives while still having to work together.

Here are three tips for keeping conflict to a minimum:

  • Try to forgive your ex-spouse
  • Address areas of potential conflict as they arise
  • Follow your custody order

Keeping your emotions in check will allow you to keep a level head. Remaining upset may cause you to make rash decisions. The last thing you want to do is annoy your judge by repeatedly filing motions in court over frivolous matters.

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.

PFA Hearings: What Is Evidence?

At Final PFA hearings, both the accuser and the alleged perpetrator of abuse have the right to introduce evidence to prove their cases.

Evidence at Final PFA hearings commonly includes:

-Photographs of injuries and damaged property

-Medical records of injuries

-Mental health records reflecting treatment

-Texts and emails of threatening or harassing behavior

-Social-media postings on Facebook and Instagram of threatening or harassing behavior

-Eyewitness accounts

-Character witnesses seeking to bolster credibility

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland.

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

PFA Hearings: No Right To Jury Trial

If you’ve been served with a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, we urge you to take it seriously. A PFA can take away your home, your job, your children, and even your liberty. A PFA can destroy your reputation and stigmatize you as an abusive person for the rest of your life.

A PFA is a civil matter determined by judges in family court. There is no right to a jury trial at a PFA hearing because it’s not a criminal matter, though a PFA can quickly and easily result in criminal charges if you’re merely accused of violating the order.

Under Pennsylvania law, there is no right to a jury trial except in criminal cases whereby conviction could lead to a jail sentence exceeding six months. The maximum penalty for violating a PFA is six months and a $1,000 fine.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong representation at PFA hearings. Based in Pittsburgh, we represent clients in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Mercer County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

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

Child Custody Tips For Memorial Day Weekend

While holidays offer parents an opportunity for quality time with their children, they also often involve issues such as fitting a vacation around the other parent’s schedule and giving up some time for the other’s sake.

Here are some valuable tips to help you have a great holiday:

  • Stick to the plan: If you agreed to a parenting or custody plan, you should try to stick to it as much as possible.
  • Plan ahead: Avoid misunderstandings and disagreements about who has the kids by discussing it with your ex in advance.
  • Maintain contact: Regardless of whether your child is with you or the other parent, it is vital for the child to stay connected with the parent who is not present.

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.

Child Custody Schedules

If you and your ex have a child custody order but follow a completely different schedule, you should consider updating your order.

For instance, your order stipulates that you have your children every other weekend, but you and your ex actually share custody of the children on a week on/week off arrangement.

You may think there is no need to update your current order, since you and your ex are following a schedule without issue. But if conflict arises, your ex could revert back to the custody order and withhold the children from you.

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

PFA: Financial Abuse

In many domestic violence cases, financial abuse is what keeps a woman trapped in the abusive relationship. Even if these women are able to leave the relationship, their finances may remain in jeopardy.

A new startup company, FreeFrom, pilots entrepreneurship programs for domestic violence survivors. Many of the women enrolled in the program come in with small-business ideas and the organization helps identify what these women are good at and how they can turn it into an opportunity.

By helping survivors start businesses, they can earn their own incomes and achieve financial stability independent of a partner. Program participants can meet with FreeFrom’s team once a week for up to 90 minutes and the free service runs for a six-month period.

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.