Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Pittsburgh Family Law

Divorce Rates Increase Due to Politics, Economy

Current political divisions have taken a toll on many relationships.

Family law attorneys and mental health professionals attest to an uptick in separation and divorce based at least partially on political differences.

Economic woes have also contributed to high stress levels experienced by many families, as fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic includes high rates of unemployment in many industries.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, division of assets and debts, estate planning, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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

Guidance for Parents Seeking a Divorce

Parents who wish to get a divorce typically have four major issues to resolve.

First, you must determine how to divide time with your children. This is known as child custody. Many parents equally share custody of their children, though there may be reasons for one parent to serve as the primary caregiver.

Second, you must determine if either parent is eligible to receive financial assistance. This may come in the form of child support or spousal support. Child support will be paid until all the minor children turn 18 or graduate from high school. Spousal support may end when the divorce is resolved or, in some cases, continue even after the divorce in the form of alimony.

Third, you must divide the marital estate by determining the values for all assets and debts accumulated during the marriage. Assigning values to some assets can prove complicated. For instance, appraisals may be necessary to determine the value of the marital residence, family business, or retirement accounts.

Fourth, you must obtain a decree in divorce. The decree is a legal document issued by the Court of Common Pleas in your county indicating that the divorce has been finalized. Some spouses wish to resume their maiden name when finalizing a divorce.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas related to divorce and family law, including: child custody, child support, spousal support, alimony, division of assets and debts, name changes, and Protection From Abuse (PFA). To schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce and family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Final Preparations for Divorce

When preparing for divorce, you should take stock of all your financial assets and debts.

For many families, the most significant assets include the marital residence and retirement accounts.

Other assets may include bank accounts, investment accounts, vehicles, jewelry, and furnishings.

Debts commonly include credit cards, mortgage balances, home-equity lines of credit, and student loans.

At Spivak Law Firm, we routinely help people determine the value of their marital estates and negotiate marriage settlement agreements.

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

What Is CYF?

Children Youth and Families is the name of the child-welfare agency in Allegheny County.

The stated purpose of CYF is: to protect children from abuse and neglect, to keep families together whenever possible, and to make sure that every child has a safe, permanent home.

The agency ensures that basis needs are met by their families, including: food, safe housing, supervision, clothing, and medical care.

The agency investigates reports of child abuse, neglect, and teen issues to determine if they are true.

If the reports are true and safety issues identified, the agency must decide if the child will be safe if they stay in their parent’s home.

Most of the time, children can stay in their home with their parents and the family will receive services to address the safety issues.

Other times the safety issues cannot be addressed while the child remains in the home and the child enters placement.

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

When a child is placed, visitation must be arranged for the child and the parent to keep their relationship strong.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, effective advocacy for people facing child abuse allegations. To speak with an attorney experienced in family law and criminal defense, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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.

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.