Mt. Lebanon Family Law
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.
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.
Moving 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.
In 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.
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.
Teenage 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.
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.
People 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.
If you’re a victim of domestic abuse, you can get a Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order against your abuser simply by telling your situation to a judge at an ex parte hearing. The alleged abuser receives no notice and may not attend the hearing.
Is this fair?
For true victims of domestic abuse, an ex parte hearing is often necessary to escape a violent relationship. But it is commonly known among family law professionals that many people abuse the PFA system just to gain leverage in child custody and divorce.
To speak with an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Given today’s economic realities, it is not at all uncommon for married couples to continue living together even after separating and heading toward divorce.
After all, many families struggle to keep up with their expenses in one household. Taking on a second mortgage or another monthly rental payment may not be an option.
Even if the parties still live together, it is possible to establish a date of separation for purposes of divorce so long as the parties:
- Separate bank accounts. The parties should separate their finances by opening individual bank accounts.
- Abstain from marital sex. The parties should no longer share a bedroom or bed.
- Do not hold themselves out as married. The parties should refrain from describing themselves as a married couple to others in the community.
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.