Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pgh Divorce

Divorce: Dividing Marital Debts

When dividing a marital estate, it is important to value all of the assets accumulated during the marriage.

It is equally important to value all of the debts, which may include mortgages, car loans and school loans.

Credit cards comprise the most common debt in most divorce cases.

For many people, separating the credit-card debt is key to reaching a resolution on economic claims. If possible, they may attempt to pay off all credit-card debt as part of the divorce settlement in order to get a fresh start in their new lives.

Spivak Law Firm provides smart, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family-law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, alimony and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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

Divorce With Compassion

A divorce may be resolved in just a few months, though some cases drag on for years due to financial complexities in the marital estate and conflict between the parties.

For most people, divorce represents one of the most stressful and painful episodes in their lives.

It is common for one spouse to be further along emotionally than the other spouse in coming to terms with the divorce.

At Spivak Law Firm, we guide our clients through the divorce process with compassion.

In many cases, we are able to negotiate a financial settlement that meets their needs without ever having to go to court.

We handle all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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

Dividing Retirement Accounts In Divorce

In many divorce cases, the spouses’ retirement accounts represent the largest assets in the marital estate. Retirement accounts such as a spouse’s 401(k), IRA, or pension may be valued at tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Retirement accounts opened during the marriage are considered marital property subject to division at divorce.

If a retirement account was opened prior to the marriage, then any increase in value from the date of separation until the divorce is finalized may be subject to equitable distribution. It may be necessary to calculate the marital portion of your retirement accounts, which can be divided by court order in a divorce settlement without tax consequences.

Spivak Law Firm provides smart, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all divorce matters. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Divorce: Risks For Kids

Research shows that divorce poses serious physical and emotional risks for children that can cause problems well into adulthood. Divorce can be a rough transition for children and it may be wise to enlist the help of a professional.

However, it is not abnormal for children to show signs of stress as they adjust. There are some general clues to look for when trying to decide whether your child needs therapy.

If you notice unusual behavior that persists for more than a couple of weeks, it is a sign your child might need help. Other specific symptoms include social withdrawal, increased sleepiness, and persistent mood swings.

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.

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.

Divorce Settlements in Pennsylvania

 

ConflictIn Pennsylvania, many divorces are resolved through negotiation, without ever having to appear in court, with a Marriage Settlement Agreement. But sometimes parties later regret entering into the agreement for failing to fully understand the terms.

It is important to thoroughly read over you Marriage Settlement Agreement before it is finalized. Also, ask yourself if this agreement is practical for your life. Can you really follow through with its terms? Can your ex?

If you do not have legal counsel, understand one thing: your ex’s attorney does not represent your interests. You should consult with your own attorney to review the agreement before signing. It’s possible that you aren’t receiving a fair deal.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and Protection from Abuse (PFA). Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Update Your Will After Marriage Or Divorce

The most important times to reassess your will include the times when your family makeup changes. For example, if you get married, everything changes to include your spouse. If you have a new child, you want to include the child in your will as well. If you have a divorce, you want to go back and change the funds and property that you are giving your soon-to-be ex-wife or ex-husband. You will also want to look at your will for other reasons to make changes.

To speak with a Pittsburgh attorney about drafting your will, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Providing Records to Your Divorce Lawyer

111787230Once the divorce process is under way, your lawyer will need ready access to all relevant financial documents. Start by locating and gathering together the following records pertaining to both you and your spouse:

  • Social Security numbers
  • Income tax returns for the past three years
  • Retirement savings plans statements for the past three years
  • Bank account statements
  • Insurance policies (life; automobile; house; other)
  • Stock certificates
  • Credit card bills
  • Employment payment stubs
  • Brokerage statements
  • Pension statements
  • Health insurance and work-related benefits
  • Real estate records
  • Receipts and monthly statements documenting household expenses and everyday expenses (groceries, gas, heat, water, personal grooming, transportation, gifts, clothing, laundry and cleaning supplies, entertainment, miscellaneous expenses, and so forth)
  • List of all assets and liabilities
  • Date of separation (the date of separation is the date used to determine the value of particular assets – the matrimonial home, bank statements, investments, and so forth)

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

Child Custody in Allegheny County (Part 5 of 7)

111787230In Allegheny County, any person involved in a child custody dispute must enroll in Generations, an alternative dispute resolution program that includes an educational seminar and mediation session. To learn about the educational seminar, please click here. To learn about the mediation session, please click here. To learn about waiving the mediation session due to issues of domestic violence, please click here. To learn about the custody conciliation, please click here.

If you and the other party are unable to come to an agreement at the custody conciliation, you may be ordered to submit income information for psychological/home evaluations.  Allegheny Forensic Associates conducts psychological evaluations.

Once an order is issued for psychological evaluations, the assigned evaluator will contact the parties and schedule the appropriate appointments. Evaluators may administer certain psychological tests and conduct interviews and observations. When the evaluation is completed, the evaluator will issue a report to the parties and the assigned Judge.

The moving party may praecipe for a judicial conciliation before the assigned Judge with the docket clerk on the third floor of the Family Court Building once they have received the report, if they wish to go forward.

In custody matters, if requested by either party or if ordered by a child custody officer, hearing officer or judge, parties may be referred for a home evaluation. The officer or judge will determine and allocate the total fee. Requests to reallocate fees will only be addressed in motions court by the assigned judge.

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

Understanding Alimony in Allegheny County

ConflictCan you still get alimony even if you had an affair during the marriage?

Yes. Under Pennsylvania law, courts consider 17 factors when determining whether to order alimony. Adultery and other forms of marital misconduct represent just one of those factors. Other factors include the duration of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, and the relative needs of the parties. Courts will consider adultery only if it occurred prior to the date of final separation between the parties. A person cannot continue to receive alimony after moving in with a new partner, unless the parties agree otherwise.

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