Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pgh Family Law Attorney

What To Expect At Child Custody Seminar

Expunge Pic1In Allegheny County, any parent who files for child custody must participate in the Generations program, a two-part alternative dispute resolution program administered by the Child Custody Department. Step one is an education seminar. Step two is a mediation session.

Below is information on the Generations education seminar:

  • The education seminar is mandatory for all adults in the custody action and all children between the ages of 6 and 15.
  • The education seminar is approximately three hours in length. It is a parenting education program for adults and an interactive group for children.
  • Security is provided by the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department.
  • The education seminar occurs on the second floor of the Family Law Center located in downtown Pittsburgh at 440 Ross Street.
  • If you fail to attend the education seminar, the custody action may be dismissed or you may be held in contempt of court for not following the scheduling order. Failure to appear at a contempt hearing may result in the issuance of a custody order and/or a bench warrant for your arrest.
  • To reschedule your education seminar date, you may contact the Child Custody Department at (412) 350-4311. You must complete the education seminar prior to the mediation session.
  • There is no childcare available at the education seminar.

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

Why Having a Will is Essential in Pennsylvania

83496541Your last will defines what you want to give, where you want it to go, and how you want your last wishes carried out. The key to a will is to keep it up-to-date about you and your life. A will that is clearly defined and current is the best piece of legal work that you have that can be used to honor your wishes.

With the help of a will, you will be able to clearly define your loved ones’ futures. If you forget to go back to your will and include your newest grandchild, or you forget to make changes to your child’s college education requirements, they may end up losing out. If something changes down the road, include it in your will. You should come back to your will each year to consult it and consider any necessary changes that need to be made.

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.

Brainwashing Children in Custody Battles

ConflictParent alienation syndrome often occurs in the most bitter and hard-fought custody battles. In this scenario, one parent becomes obsessed with destroying a child’s relationship with the other parent when there is no good reason to do so. Alienation can be mild, moderate, or severe. A parent is engaging in parent alienation anytime children hear him or her speak in a negative way about the other parent.

In extreme situations, children are turned against a healthy parent. The children’s will and choice are removed from them through a form of brainwashing. This is a serious form of child abuse, because if isn’t stopped, the children may be headed for psychiatric disturbances, failed relationships, and dysfunctional lives in which they may pass the behavior on to their own children.

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.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Child Support?

Little girl wearing sundress holding flowersChild support payments in Pennsylvania continue until a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. If you owe child support but do not pay it, there are several enforcement measures that may be taken against you, including:

  • Your wages may be withheld
  • Your federal and state income tax refunds may be taken
  • Your bank or credit union may be ordered to turn over your financial assets
  • Major credit bureaus may be alerted
  • The following licenses may be suspended, denied, or not renewed:
    • Driver’s license
    • Commercial driver’s license
    • Professional or occupational license
    • Fishing license
    • Hunting license
  • Your passport may be denied or not renewed
  • Your lottery winnings may be taken
  • Your name may be published in the newspaper
  • Your overdue support may become a lien against all real estate that you own in Pennsylvania
  • You may be fined or imprisoned for up to two years

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

Getting Ann’s PFA Dismissed

For the first time, Ann went several days without seeing her child. The reason? Ann’s husband filed a Protection From Abuse (PFA) restraining order against her. The PFA booted Ann from her home and granted temporary custody of their child to her husband.

Ann’s husband said she hit him after discovering that he was having an affair. He claimed to be afraid of her.

In domestic violence cases, women typically seek protection from their boyfriends or husbands. But Spivak Law Firm has also successfully defended many women accused of abuse by their male partners.

At Ann’s PFA hearing in downtown Pittsburgh, her husband didn’t back down. He wanted to permanently evict Ann from their home and to get primary custody of their son. Both parties testified before a judge.

We aimed to show that Ann’s husband was abusing the PFA system to gain leverage in their imminent divorce and custody disputes. We argued that Ann’s actions did not rise to the level of a PFA because it was a single incident and there were no injuries.

The hearing lasted more than two hours. In the end, the judge dismissed the PFA.

“Thank you so much for everything,” Ann wrote us later that evening. “I couldn’t have done this without you. I am home with my son, I couldn’t be happier.”

Spivak Law Firm provides strong defense at PFA hearings throughout the Pittsburgh area in Allegheny County, Westmoreland County, Washington County, Beaver County, and Butler County. To speak with an experienced PFA defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Practical Advice for PFA Defendants

702075.TIFA PFA is a court order that restricts the defendant from having any contact with the plaintiff. But the plaintiff can contact the defendant without violating the PFA. The Sheriff’s Department of Clarion County distributes a helpful flyer instructing defendants on what to do if they encounter their accusers, which we have reprinted here:

–If you see the plaintiff walking toward you on the street, cross the street, and go in a different direction.

–If you are eating dinner in a restaurant when the plaintiff walks in, you need to avoid any contact with him/her. Get up, pay the bill, and leave, if possible, without making the plaintiff aware of your presence or talking to him/her.

–If you are in a movie theater waiting to see a movie and the plaintiff walks in, get up and leave the theater.

–If the plaintiff calls and says to come over for dinner or to “work things out,” do not go. You should have hung up before all that information was given to you. Do not violate the PFA order by talking to the plaintiff, even when she/he called you.

–If the plaintiff calls you and you can repeat what she/he said, you have violated the PFA order. You should have hung up as soon as you recognized the person’s voice.

–If you receive an email from the plaintiff and respond to it, you have violated the PFA order. You should not send or respond to faxes or emails from the plaintiff.

–If you are told that the PFA order has been changed or vacated and you can have contact with the plaintiff, first check with the court that issued the order. Unless and until court personnel confirm that the order has been changed or vacated or you see a court paper confirming that information, do not have any contact with the plaintiff.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense at PFA hearings in counties across Southwestern Pennsylvania, including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County. To make an appointment with an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.