Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pittsburgh Family Law

CYF and Removing Kids

When safety issues cannot be addressed while a child remains in the home, Children Youth and Families (CYF) may remove the child from the home.

The child may be placed with a relative, in a foster home, or in a group home facility.

Out-of-home placement is a devastating event for the child and the entire family.

The trauma of separation can affect a child’s learning, emotional, and behavioral well-being for a long time.

Placement is also traumatic for parents and can affect their ability to function normally. It is critical that children be returned to their family as soon as safely possible.

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

Divorce Process In Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, most divorce cases proceed with litigation in which each spouse retains an attorney to represent his or her interest.

There are many opportunities to negotiate a settlement agreement resolving all economic claims.

If there are significant assets and debts in the marital estate, the attorneys will often engage in discovery – a formal process for obtaining all the relevant information.

Each side will file an inventory of their marital estate with the Court, then assign values to each asset and debt based on financial documentation.

If necessary, a family-court judge will attempt to mediate a settlement between the spouses. If no agreement is reached, there will be a hearing to determine a fair division of the marital estate.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

To schedule a consultation with an experienced Pittsburgh divorce attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Divorce: Cheating Spouses

Divorce often occurs when there are allegations of cheating.

But proving such allegations rarely affects the divorce process.

Under Pennsylvania law, there is no need to prove fault to obtain a divorce.

You might still have to pay alimony to your ex, even after proving that he or she engaged in an extra-marital affair that led to the divorce.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, alimony, counsel fees, and dividing assets and debts.

To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Collaborative Divorce In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania recently passed a law providing guidelines for collaborative divorce, in which couples may agree on any type of financial plans that work for them, even if it might be outside the authority of the courts.

In a collaborative divorce, each spouse is represented by an attorney and enters a participation agreement with the goal of preparing a legally binding agreement resolving all issues.

The parties agree at the outset that, should they fail to negotiate a resolution, they will each be required to retain new counsel and new law firms for any subsequent litigation.

The process allows divorcing couples to take more control of the outcome and to have privacy in resolving their differences without involving the court.

It typically involves numerous meetings with both parties, a collaborative coach and the attorneys.

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

The spouses may also be assisted by specialized experts such as tax accountants, financial planners, parenting coaches and counselors who are jointly retained by the parties.

Trained in collaborative divorce, Attorney Todd Spivak is an active member of the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania (CLASP). To learn more, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA and Financial Help

In Pennsylvania, courts can award financial assistance at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings.

More than 70 percent of women surveyed at domestic-violence shelters reported that they stayed with an abuser longer because they could not afford to leave, according to a Mary Kay Foundation report.

Perpetrators of domestic abuse frequently use financial manipulation to torment and control their victims.

While some states offer unemployment-insurance benefits to domestic violence and stalking victims who have to quit their jobs and relocate, many states don’t have any form of financial assistance.

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

Common Divorce Myths

When it comes to divorce, many common beliefs are accepted as truths. However, the process of divorce is complex and every case is unique.

Here are some of the most common divorce myths and why they aren’t always true:

  1. Mom always gets custody: In Pennsylvania, the law does not favor either parent for custody. The judge is required to look at what is in the child’s best interest.
  2. Only women get alimony: Historically, women have been awarded spousal support or alimony more often than men. As more women enter the workplace and change gender roles, it is becoming more common for men to receive some form of alimony. Alimony is generally awarded to the lower earning spouse when there is a significant disparity in incomes.
  3. I don’t need a divorce lawyer: Even if you are on good enough terms with your spouse going into the divorce, you need to make sure you have someone in your corner who is going to ensure your rights are protected.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child 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.

Enforcing Divorce Agreements

You may avoid mediation, court hearings, and costly attorney fees by simply negotiating a Marriage Settlement Agreement with your ex.

At the time you finalize the divorce, you may ask the court to merge the Agreement into the final divorce decree. The Agreement becomes a contract between you and your ex. If your ex violates its terms, you may remedy the violation by seeking damages.

Keep in mind that it is easier to address violations of the Agreement if it has been incorporated into the final decree. When incorporated, it becomes an official court order that may be enforced through contempt powers of the court.

Spivak Law Firm routinely handles divorce, equitable distribution, and drafting Marriage Settlement Agreements. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

In The News: Spivak Law Firm

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has once again featured Spivak Law Firm on issues involving family law and criminal defense.

The P-G recently published Attorneys Need More Protection, written by attorney Todd Spivak, a two-time nominee of The Pulitzer Prize who focuses his practice on child custody and domestic abuse.

The Post-Gazette routinely features Spivak Law Firm, publishing several articles regarding child custody, Protection From Abuse (PFA), and criminal-record expungement laws in Pennsylvania.

In Attorneys Need More Protection, Attorney Spivak discusses the Constitutional basis for vigorously defending people accused of committing heinous crimes.

In Clean The Slate In Pennsylvania, Attorney Spivak and Attorney Rebecca Canterbury critique a new Pennsylvania law that for the first time seals criminal information from public view for people convicted of second- and third-degree misdemeanors.

In Impoverished Parents Deserve Their Day In Court, Attorney Canterbury reveals how exorbitant filing fees in Allegheny County prevent low-income parents from asserting their child-custody rights.

In Crack Down on Domestic Violence in Allegheny County, Attorney Spivak recommends that only specialized judges with extensive domestic-violence training oversee PFA hearings.

In Improve Pennsylvania’s Domestic-Abuse Law, Attorney Spivak exposes the issue of bogus PFA orders and recommends ways to curb abuses in the system.

In Child Custody for Rapists, Attorney Spivak explains how sexual predators use family court to harass and intimidate their victims.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family law and criminal defense matters. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Pittsburgh Media Features Attorney Todd Spivak

Attorney Todd Spivak, owner of Spivak Law Firm, recently published an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the importance of vigorously defending people accused of committing heinous crimes.

Attorney Spivak, a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, practices family law and criminal defense with a special focus on child custody and domestic-violence defense. His article discusses the challenges of handling high-conflict emotional cases involving people with mental illness, substance abuse, and histories of violent behavior.

Spivak Law Firm has represented hundreds of people in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland. Call us today 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.