Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pittsburgh Child Custody Attorneys

Child Custody and Travel Amid Coronavirus

Q: I do not want my children to travel during the Coronavirus outbreak, what can I do?

A: Your Court Order likely provides vacation time for you and your ex, but it probably does not include what to do in cases of a public health emergency.

If your ex seeks to take your child to a Coronavirus epicenter or out of the country, this may constitute an emergency matter necessitating Court intervention.

An attorney can draft and present an emergency petition to the Court to restrict the other parent’s ability to travel with your child.

In Allegheny County, Courts are generally directing parents to follow child custody orders and continue with custody exchanges despite government directives to stay at home.

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

Kids Who Witness Violence

Children who witness abuse suffer emotionally behaviorally, and cognitively.

There are no typical reactions to violence experienced by children.

Factors that may affect their behaviors include:

-Age

-Gender

-Amount of violence witnessed

-Type of abuse witnessed

-Whether the child is a victim as well as an observer of the abuse

Parents should try to be aware of behaviors that are unusual for a particular child and continue for a week or more.

If necessary, they should seek the help of a mental-health professional.

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

Custody Exchanges During Coronavirus

Do I have to exchange my child during the Coronavirus?

Absent a true emergency, you must abide by the terms of your Custody Order. A party who willfully fails to comply with any Custody Order may be found in contempt of Court.

At this time, the Pennsylvania Courts have not yet established if the COVID-19 pandemic is a valid justification for a parent failing to follow their Custody Order.

If you can still exchange your child safely, you should do so. Be as reasonable and accommodating with the other parent as possible. Communicate with the other parent to develop an exchange plan that limits exposure to the virus and aligns with CDC and government recommendations.

An experienced attorney can help you navigate these issues and help create options. For instance, your attorney may communicate with your ex or their attorney directly to develop a plan for custody exchanges, or even entering a Consent Order for guaranteed makeup time once the threat of the Coronavirus eases.

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

Grandparents Have Child-Custody Rights

Under Pennsylvania law, grandparents for years have held a special status that allows them to seek custody of a grandchild even against the parents’ wishes.

A new law that went into effect last summer intended to clarify the specific situations under which grandparents may pursue partial physical or supervised custody of a grandchild.

For instance, a grandparent may seek custody so long as the relationship with the child began either with the consent of a parent of the child or under a court order and the parents of the child have been separated for at least six months.

Alternatively, the new law invests custody rights in grandparents even the parents oppose it in cases when the parents are going through a divorce.

Spivak Law Firm handles all child custody and support matters, including: custody trials, custody conciliations, drafting custody orders, custody relocation, father’s rights, mother’s rights, and grandparents’ rights.

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

Collaborative Divorce: A New Trend

A new Pennsylvania law aims to legitimize collaborative divorce and create a uniform standard of practice.

Collaborative divorce is a relatively new, alternative way for couples to obtain a divorce without need for court intervention.

Collaborative divorce involves a problem-solving approach with interest-based negotiations rather than positional bargaining.

It involves several meetings with two clients, two collaborative lawyers, a facilitative coach who is a mental health professional, a neutral financial professional and a neutral child specialist if needed.

The meetings address all elements of the divorce, including child custody, child and spousal support, and division of the marital assets and debts.

Spivak Law Firm has received specialized training in collaborative divorce with membership in the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody: 3 Tips for Parents

Children thrive on routine. A shift in the family dynamic can be difficult for children.

You and your ex may follow a consistent child custody schedule, but shuttling back and forth between two homes can be confusing for the children.

To help your children adjust between exchanges, consider the following three tips:

  • Give the children a chart of the custody schedule;
  • Remind the children ahead of time when an exchange will take place; and
  • Remind the children when they will see you next.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family law matters with a special focus on child custody and child support. To speak with an experienced child custody attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Shared Custody for Working Parents

 

Custody Pic3In many families, the Dad is the breadwinner and the Mom stays home with the children. But if they separate or divorce, each parent still may be entitled to equal time with the children.

The distance between parents’ residences is a key consideration for deciding whether a shared custody schedule is appropriate. Living in the same school district will increase your chance of winning shared custody.

Spivak Law Firm handles all child custody matters. We negotiate and draft custody agreements, litigate custody relocation hearings and trials, and work closely with clients to develop legal strategies to achieve their goals. We provide strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation.

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

Shield Children From Custody Disputes

 

Family Pic5Tensions often run high in child custody litigation. But you should not involve your children in the dispute.

Although it may be trying at times, you should not speak ill of the other parent in front of the children, as a judge may sanction you for turning your child against the other parent.

Be aware of what you say around your children, whether they are in another room or even sleeping.

Attempts to turn the children against the other parent are strictly discouraged, with the exception of cases involving domestic violence for the protection of the children.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: child custody, child support, divorce, Protection From Abuse, and Children Youth and Families (CYF). To speak with an experienced family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Domestic Violence Penalties

DV Pic5Domestic violence experts say that strangulation is a strong indicator for future homicide.

In 2015, six people were strangled to death in Pennsylvania. Studies show that the odds of becoming a homicide victim increase dramatically for women who reported strangulation by a partner in the past.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are now considering a bill to establish a felony strangulation law. The bill would rank strangulation as a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony if the defendant is named in an active Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order, uses an instrument of crime, or has been previously convicted of strangulation.

Spivak Law Firm handles all matters of family law and criminal defense with a focus on domestic violence. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.