Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pittsburgh Family Law

How to Calculate Alimony in Pennsylvania

Unlike child support and even spousal support during the marriage, Pennsylvania law does not provide any formula for determining an alimony award.

After a divorce decree has been entered, the lower-earning spouse may be entitled to continued financial support in the form of alimony.

Courts generally award alimony only if the division of the marital estate is not sufficient to help the dependent spouse.

Alimony is based on the financial need of the dependent spouse and the length of the parties’ marriage.

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

Protecting Kids In Divorce

The divorce process can be enormously difficult when children are involved.

A study by researchers at the University of York found that children of divorced parents are more damaged by the fighting during the marriage than the split itself. This inter-parental conflict may be harmful to a child’s development, making them more likely to have difficulty with peers, drop out of school and experience emotional problems.

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

Tips For A Positive Divorce

Divorce is often one of life’s most difficult and painful transitions, but there are things you can do to diminish the emotional toll.

Here are some tips for easing the pain of divorce:

  • Practice empathy and forgiveness.
  • Take the high road.
  • Take responsibility for your actions.
  • If you have children, focus on their happiness.

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

3 Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce can help you resolve your conflict, and it provides a number of advantages over going to court, including:

  • Collaborative divorce is often less expensive than litigating through the courts.
  • The process is more flexible, as you can determine your own meeting times to accommodate your work schedule rather than having to follow the court’s schedule.
  • Your children are better shielded from conflict, as they avoid the stress of going to court.

To learn more about collaborative divorce, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390 to schedule a consultation.

Avoid Conflict in Divorce

The decision to divorce does not end the hurt feelings and conflict between spouses. The animosity often spills over into the divorce process and can affect your ability to parent effectively. But allowing conflict to take charge of your divorce can prove costly.

One of the best ways to keep legal fees to a minimum is by cooperating with your ex-spouse, if possible. This does not mean giving in to every demand, but to simply make an effort to forgive and remain civil with one another. You and your ex-spouse may benefit from attending co-parenting classes together or even seeing a counselor, which may limit your emotional and financial stress.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFAs. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Tips for Co-Parenting

 

Custody Pic1For divorced or separated couples, coordinating schedules for the children’s school schedule can be challenging.

But factoring in extracurricular activities, doctor’s appointments, and play dates can be especially tough.

To keep everyone on the same page, consider setting a family meeting once a month to discuss your children and their schedules.

You may find it easier for you and your ex-spouse to hash out schedules sitting down all at once rather than with scattered phone calls and emails.

At the end of the meeting, consider giving your children a copy of the schedule so they are aware of what to expect.

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

Child Custody & Domestic Abuse

 

DV Pic5In some extreme cases, mothers seeking to protect their children from abusive fathers are disbelieved by the courts and even sanctioned for parental alienation.

Such outlier cases form the basis of a recently released documentary by filmmaker Rachel Lewis, who spotlights the issue of mothers who have lost custody of their children to abusive fathers. The film warns that violent men can use the court system to further control and intimidate their exes by asserting their child custody rights.

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

Divorce and Child Custody

 

family-pic4Separating from your spouse when there are children involved can be emotionally draining.

If you intend to pursue a shared custody schedule, ideally you should plan to relocate to an area within the school district where your children currently attend. You should also find a residence to comfortably accommodate you and your children.

If you moved out of the marital residence and provide support to your spouse, maintaining your own residence can be a huge financial burden. If you are temporarily living with friends or family or are living in a residence outside of the children’s school district, this doesn’t necessarily hurt your chances of obtaining shared physical custody. However, you should eventually establish a more permanent residence to properly accommodate you and your children.

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.

Spivak Law Firm Hires New Attorney

rc-headshot-white-fullSpivak Law Firm is pleased to announce that Rebecca Canterbury has joined our family law and criminal defense practice as an attorney at law.

A Pittsburgh native, Attorney Canterbury earned a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law. During law school, she represented clients at Protection From Abuse (PFA) and child custody hearings while working for Neighborhood Legal Services Association and the Duquesne University School of Law Family Law Clinic.

Attorney Canterbury served as a law clerk for the Honorable Kevin G. Sasinoski of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas – Criminal Division, as well as for several private law firms in Pittsburgh focusing on criminal defense and family law. She began as a law clerk at Spivak Law Firm before joining the firm as an attorney.

While serving as president of the Family Law Society at Duquesne University School of Law, Attorney Canterbury organized and moderated a symposium to address whether Pennsylvania’s Protection From Abuse (PFA) laws strike the right balance for protecting domestic-violence victims while also limiting false claims of abuse.

Earlier this year, Attorney Canterbury wrote an article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette entitled Impoverished Parents Deserve Their Day In Court on how filing fees in Allegheny County prevent low-income parents from asserting their child-custody rights. The article was reproduced in the fall 2016 edition of At Issue, published by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

This month, Attorney Canterbury co-wrote an article with Attorney Spivak published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette entitled Clean The Slate In Pennsylvania on the importance of making it easier to expunge criminal records and give people a fresh start in life.

Attorney Canterbury focuses her practice on PFAs, child custody, domestic-violence defense, and criminal record expungements.

Spivak Law Firm offers a free consultation on family law and criminal defense matters. To schedule an appointment, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Tips for Co-Parenting

expunge-pic4You may still harbor hard feelings against your ex even after divorce. As difficult as it may be, it is important to put the interests of your children ahead of any ill feelings between you and your ex-spouse.

The following tips may be helpful in co-parenting with your ex-spouse:

  • Communicate with your ex-spouse civilly;
  • Talk to one another regarding rules and discipline of the children;
  • Abide by similar dinner, bedtime, and homework schedules;
  • Avoid high-conflict topics prior to exchanges;
  • Encourage the children to have frequent and continuing contact with extended family;
  • Discuss proposed custody schedule changes with your ex-spouse ahead of time.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFAs. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.