Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Mt. Lebanon Child Custody Lawyer

Child Custody: Fast Food v. Organics

custody-pic1You may not like that your ex feeds the kids fast food while you prepare homemade organic meals. But try not to sweat the small stuff. While your ex-‘s household rules may aggravate you, they usually aren’t issues worth bringing to court.

Such disagreements over child custody decisions may exacerbate tensions between you and your ex, making co-parenting more difficult.

Moreover, you want to avoid irritating the judge by arguing over what will likely be deemed as superficial or petty disagreements.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including divorce, child custody, child 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.

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.

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.

Penalties for Not Paying Child Support

Little girl wearing sundress holding flowersIf you are entitled to receive child support, the system in Pennsylvania is set up to garnish wages from the paying spouse and deposit the money directly into your account.

If a parent fails to pay child support, the court may enter a judgment for the total amount of unpaid support, requiring immediate payment in full.

Failure to obey a support order of court could result in sanctions such as attorney’s fees and even imprisonment.

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

Domestic Violence Penalties

DV Pic5Domestic violence experts say that strangulation is a strong indicator for future homicide.

In 2015, six people were strangled to death in Pennsylvania. Studies show that the odds of becoming a homicide victim increase dramatically for women who reported strangulation by a partner in the past.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are now considering a bill to establish a felony strangulation law. The bill would rank strangulation as a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony if the defendant is named in an active Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order, uses an instrument of crime, or has been previously convicted of strangulation.

Spivak Law Firm handles all matters of family law and criminal defense with a focus on domestic violence. Call us 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.

Don’t Let A PFA Stop You From Being A Parent

dandelion wishing blowing seedsUnder Pennsylvania law, you can file for custody even if there is a Protection From Abuse (PFA) restraining order against you. If the PFA does not allege abuse against a child, you may even be entitled to primary or shared custody.

If the PFA does include allegations of abuse against a child, you still may get time with your child depending on the circumstances. In such cases, there may be a period of time where your custody visits are supervised. But supervised custody tends to be temporary, so hang in there and you’ll eventually see your custody time increase.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all PFA and child custody matters. We represent clients in Pittsburgh and all nearby counties including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

3 Types of PFA Orders in Pennsylvania

133338146There are three types of Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders:

  • Emergency PFA Orders are issued by a District Justice when the Court is closed during non-business hours. An emergency PFA Order expires at the end of the next business day for the Court.
  • Temporary PFA Orders are issued by the Court of Common Pleas until a final hearing can be held, which is scheduled within ten business days.
  • Final PFA Orders are entered as a result of an appearance before the Court where both parties have the chance to be heard by the Judge.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants at PFA hearings in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

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

 

Who Can File a PFA?

77005984Under Pennsylvania law, to file a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order, there must be a current or former relationship between the victim and the abuser.

A relationship is defined as a spouse, ex-spouse, or persons who have lived like spouses; a current or former sexual or intimate partner; a parent or child; a brother or sister; or other persons related by blood or marriage.

If you are a minor under 18, a parent, guardian, or another adult household member may file on your behalf.

If you do not meet the relationship criteria above, a PFA Order cannot be entered.

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

What If Your Ex Violates the Custody Order?

102719637You have a child custody order, but your ex continually violates it. Maybe your ex withholds the child during your custody time or fails to return the child on time. Or maybe your ex unilaterally makes big decisions about where the child goes to school without receiving your input or consent. What can you do?

When a child custody order is entered, family courts expect both parents to comply with its terms. You may seek to hold a non-compliant parent in contempt of court. If a parent is found to be in contempt for failing to follow the court order, the other parent may be awarded make-up time for the missed visits as well as other sanctions such as payment of attorney fees.

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