Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pgh Custody Lawyer

Shared Custody In Pennsylvania

In the past, divorce decrees offered children visits with their father every other weekend. But these visits were hardly enough to foster a father-child relationship.

Children who spend at least 35 percent of their time with each parent, rather than live with one and visit the other, have better relationships with their parents and do better academically, socially, and psychologically, according to more than 50 studies of joint physical custody.

Under Pennsylvania law, mothers and fathers may pursue shared custody schedules that allow for equal time with their children.

Spivak Law Firm helps parents assert their child-custody rights in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

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

Helping Kids With Stress

The standard response for problem children is to punish them. However, new studies show that making sure everyone in the school community understands the effects of trauma on children can help reduce their damaging effects.

Children who lack adequate protection from adults can experience potentially damaging effects. Researchers have learned that highly stressful childhood experiences have far-reaching implications for schools.

With this knowledge, schools can offer children special services that cater to their individual needs.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a focus on high-conflict child custody and allegations of domestic abuse. We handle: child custody, child support, divorce, spousal support, Protection From Abuse (PFA), and Children Youth and Families (CYF).

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.

Child Support: Earning Capacity

Q: Do I still have to pay child support if I’m unemployed?

A: Maybe. If a parent has no income, but is capable of working, the court can order child support based on that parent’s earning capacity. In this situation, the court may estimate what the unemployed parent could earn given his or her education, skills and prior employment history.

Other factors involve the child-custody arrangement and each parent’s expenses relative to their income levels.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, Protection From Abuse (PFA), and Children Youth and Families (CYF). 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.

Child Custody: Sharing Time

In the past, sole custody was usually given to the mother because of society’s ideas about gender roles. However, in today’s world, with the image of the mother as primary caregiver changing as more fathers take on active roles in child-raising, other kinds of custody arrangements have emerged.

To date, more than 25 states have introduced bills advocating for shared parenting over sole custody.

Proponents of shared parenting argue that it allows children to spend as close to equal time as possible with both parents without placing an overwhelming burden on the mother or alienating the father.

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

Parental Alienation

A common issue in custody battles is when a parent intentionally attempts to alienate the children from the other parent. Trying to prove the alienation can be difficult and many judges are reluctant to allow children to testify in court.

Experts recognize the tragic impact serious alienation has on children, as the children may go on to have psychiatric disorders, failed relationships, and dysfunctional lives.

Spivak Law Firm helps parents assert their child-custody rights in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

Protect Kids From Trauma

 

Researchers have found that exposure to psychological abuse between parents is associated with more damage to the wellbeing of children as they get older than physical domestic abuse.

Social support has been found to be vital for recovery from traumatic events in childhood. However, this research reveals that exposure to high levels of psychological domestic abuse may be associated with a decrease in young people’s satisfaction with the social support they receive.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, Protection From Abuse (PFA), and Children Youth and Families (CYF). 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.

Consequences for Violating A Custody Order

You should not withhold your children from the other parent unless there is a true emergency. Instead, you may file a custody action and obtain an enforceable order of court.

An order of court establishing custody or visitation rights may always be modified for the best interests and welfare of the children.

Failure to comply with an order of court by withholding your children from the other parent could result in a contempt action. Sanctions against you may include makeup time for the other parent and paying their attorney fees.

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

Tips for Co-Parenting

expunge-pic4You may still harbor hard feelings against your ex even after divorce. As difficult as it may be, it is important to put the interests of your children ahead of any ill feelings between you and your ex-spouse.

The following tips may be helpful in co-parenting with your ex-spouse:

  • Communicate with your ex-spouse civilly;
  • Talk to one another regarding rules and discipline of the children;
  • Abide by similar dinner, bedtime, and homework schedules;
  • Avoid high-conflict topics prior to exchanges;
  • Encourage the children to have frequent and continuing contact with extended family;
  • Discuss proposed custody schedule changes with your ex-spouse ahead of time.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFAs. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Tips For Child Custody Hearings

Custody Pic1In a child custody hearing, you may think that the judge’s main focus in the courtroom is on the lawyers. But the judge is mindful of all parties involved and pays close attention to the parents’ body language and demeanor.

When you are in court, pay attention and remain calm. If the other parent says something disagreeable, avoid shaking your head, rolling your eyes, sighing, or squirming in your chair. One of the sixteen custody factors considered by the judge is the level of conflict between the parties. Negative body language may lead the judge to believe that you and your ex-spouse are unable to effectively co-parent in the best interests of your children.

To speak with an experienced family law attorney, contact 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.