Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Mt. Lebanon Family Law

Child Custody Trial Tips

Courts make custody decisions in the best interests of the children, which typically means judges are looking at which parent is best fit to meet the children’s day-to-day needs.

It’s not enough to tell the court that your ex never does anything for the children and is a bad parent.

Rather than spending time listing out all of the things your ex never does for the children, devote the majority of your time to presenting yourself as the parent best equipped to meet the day-to-day needs of the children.

If you take the children to school every morning, help them with their homework every night, and get them ready for bed most nights, let the court know.

Sometimes it pays to be positive at child custody trials.

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

Effective Parenting

The most effective parents are authoritative, according to the recently published book “Love, Money and Parenting.”

Authoritative parents use reasoning to persuade kids to do things that are good for them.

Instead of strict obedience, they emphasize adaptability, problem-solving and independence.

The book distinguishes authoritative parents from authoritarian parents – defined, by contrast, as issuing directives, expecting obedience from their children, and using corporal punishment to instill fear and inflict punishment.

Kids raised by authoritative parents report better health, higher self-esteem, and are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, according to the authors.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a special focus on child custody and domestic abuse. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Divorce: Who Gets The Family Pets?

When undergoing divorce or separation, you are likely worried about child custody, division of your property, and your pets.

You may view your dog or cat as a member of the family, but under Pennsylvania law, they are as much family as your television set. Pets are technically personal property, which means that a court will not order visitation or custody schedules for pets.

Courts will likely classify the pet as marital or non-marital property. If your ex purchased the pet prior to the marriage, the pet will be considered non-marital property and will likely go to your ex.

However, you have the option to bypass formal court proceedings and mediate this issue with your ex to develop an agreement that works for both of you.

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.

What If A Person Lies To Get A PFA?

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong, aggressive defense at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland.

Our clients often ask us if the alleged victim will face any consequences for lying or exaggerating to the court in order to obtain the Temporary PFA order.

Unfortunately, in our experience, the answer is: no.

People falsely accused of abuse may file a complaint with the police, but the district attorney’s office is unlikely to prosecute for fear of having a chilling effect on other people seeking protection.

Even in extreme circumstances, district attorney’s offices rarely prosecute plaintiffs who have filed repeated PFA petitions in multiple counties with outrageous, unsubstantiated accusations that are later dismissed.

It is commonly known that some people abuse the PFA system in order to gain leverage in a divorce or child custody action.

At Spivak Law Firm, we handle all family law and criminal defense matters, including: PFA defense, criminal domestic violence defense, divorce, child custody, child support, and criminal record expungements.

To schedule a free consultation with an experienced PFA defense 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.

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.

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.

Parenting Plans for Teens

Family Pic6Teenage children are often more adaptable to custody schedules because they can better balance differences in household routines. As long as the parenting plan allows the children to see both parents on a frequent and continued basis, the schedule can be flexible. When making a parenting plan for your teenagers, consider the following:

  • Permit the children to call the other parent in privacy;
  • Respect the well-reasoned preferences of the children;
  • Accommodate the children’s school activities and extracurricular activities;
  • Consider the social needs of the children.

To speak with an Allegheny County 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.

Pennsylvania Child Custody Laws

dandelion wishing blowing seedsPeople commonly believe that courts favor mothers over fathers when determining child custody schedules. But Pennsylvania law does not give special preference to mothers over fathers.

In fact, many judges today believe that the ideal custody arrangement provides for an equally shared schedule in order to maximize the child’s time with both parents. The results in any child-custody dispute depend on the particular facts and circumstances of the case.

At Spivak Law Firm, we handle all child-custody matters, including: trials, conciliations, relocation hearings, and contempt actions. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.