Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Pittsburgh Family Law Firm

Domestic Abuse: Behavioral Effects On Kids

Children who witness domestic violence may have the following behavioral effects:

  • Poor impulse control
  • Stress disorders and psychosomatic complaints
  • Increased social isolation or withdrawal
  • Increased deceptiveness
  • Aggressiveness
  • Dependence
  • Passiveness
  • Bed-wetting
  • Nightmares
  • Lack of creativity and healthy exploration
  • Feelings of powerlessness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Confusion and insecurity
  • Sadness and depression
  • Poor definition of self
  • Defines self in parenting role
  • Ambivalence
  • Constant fear
  • Self-blame

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

We provide strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Grandparent Custody: Seeking Partial Custody

A grandparent or great-grandparent may bring an action for partial custody of a child if the parent of the child is deceased.

In such situations, the grandparent or great-grandparent must show that the relationship with the child began with the consent of a parent or under court order.

Additionally, the parents of the child must have filed a custody action and did not agree that the grandparent or great-grandparent should have custody.

Finally, the child for a least 12 consecutive months must have resided with the grandparent or great-grandparent, and was removed from the home by the parents.

Spivak Law Firm handles child custody matters in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties, including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Grandparent Custody: Seeking Primary Custody

A grandparent may bring an action for primary custody of a child if the relationship with the child began with the consent of a parent or under a court order, and the grandparent is willing to assume responsibility for the child.

Additionally, a grandparent seeking primary custody must show one of the following conditions:

-The child was found dependent under juvenile law;

-The child is at risk due to parental abuse, neglect, or incapacity; or

-The child has, for at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparent, and has been removed from the home by the parents.

To learn more about grandparent custody rights, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Helping Teenagers Through Divorce

The decision to divorce can be difficult especially if you have children.

Child psychologists recommend the following techniques for communicating with teenagers:

Listen: Let your teenage children vent about their problems, as the best relief often comes from simply articulating their worries and concerns.

Empathize: Offer comforting words to teenagers rather than advice so they know you’re there for them.

Support: Reassure your teenage children to establish confidence that they can overcome their problems.

Brainstorm: Discuss solutions to help your teenagers to come to terms with things outside their control.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and Protection From Abuse (PFA). For more information, call us today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

How To Lower a Child’s Risk for Addiction

Parents with substance-abuse problems often struggle to protect their kids from the genetic and environmental risks of addiction.

Such parents can best help their children by providing:

-Healthy models for sobriety, support, and coping

-Physical, financial, and emotional stability

-Trusted peer groups with parents who help look out for the child

“When a child believes he or she has the ability to resist peer pressure, he will be a lot more likely to do so,” writes Jessica Lahey, author of The Addiction Innoculation.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters with a special focus on issues of addiction, mental health, and domestic abuse. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody During COVID-19

All parents snap at their children, says Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at George Washington University School of Medicine.

“Raising your voice or losing your cool from time to time?” wrote Jessica Grose recently in The New York Times. “That’s inevitable because we are human.”

The article distinguishes between “letting your irritation erupt” and “abuse.”

Physical and emotional abuse – such as ridiculing a child, constant criticism or withholding affection or comfort – are never acceptable, she writes.

But it’s natural for parents to feel frustrated and anxious at times. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified a lot of stressors on parents, both financial and emotional.

But experts suggest that parents who lose their cool should later apologize to their children. Parents should discuss ways to calm down with their children and use the episode as a “learning opportunity.”

Parents may consider therapy if they are suddenly irritable all the time and lashing out at their kids frequently, suggests Dr. Alexandra Sacks, a reproductive psychiatrist cited in the article.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: child custody, child support, divorce, and Protection From Abuse (PFA). To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

CYF and Child Custody

In high-conflict custody cases, one parent may inappropriately use Child Youth and Families (CYF) as a tool to harass or control the other parent.

One possible consequence of a CYF investigation is that children may be removed from the care of the allegedly abusive or neglectful parent.

The assigned CYF caseworker may eventually make a finding that no abuse occurred.

However, at that point, your children may have already been removed from your care for months.

At Spivak Law Firm, we work hard to expedite the process so parents accused of abuse are reunited with their children as quickly as possible.

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

Helping Parents Cope With Remote Learning

Remote learning has proven difficult or even disastrous for many students who have seen their grades drop since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents, too, have been strained both financially and emotionally as they try to work while giving their kids the support they need.

For parents who are now effectively listening in on their children’s classes for the first time, the tone or style of a teacher’s approach to correcting students can be stressful to overhear.

Witnessing our kids’ experiences can be jarring for a parent, as they may be criticized or scolded for not paying attention or not being prepared.

A recent article in The Washington Post describes ways for parents to cope: “Just acknowledging the emotional labor and time that goes into navigating remote school is an important step.”

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

Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Collaborative Divorce Guidelines

The new Pennsylvania Collaborative Law Act provides several guidelines for people seeking to obtain a collaborative divorce, including:

  • Establishing minimum requirements for collaborative practice participation agreements
  • Providing specific standards to determine when and how the collaborative process begins and concludes
  • Requiring the disqualification of collaborative lawyers from appearing before a court to represent a party in a proceeding related to the legal matter identified in the participation agreement
  • Mandating that parties to a collaborative process provide timely, full, candid and informal disclosure of information related to resolution of the legal matter identified in the participation agreement
  • Creating a privilege for communications that occur during the collaborative process and clarifying when the privilege is not applicable or may be waived
  • Protecting the confidentiality of certain communications made during the collaborative process to the extent agreed upon by the parties
  • Providing for the enforceability of settlement agreements reached through the collaborative process

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

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

Back to School During COVID-19

As the new school year begins, parents with differing views on whether to send their kids to school during COVID-19 are continuing to resolve their legal custody disputes in family court.

Judges face a challenge when balancing parental rights and health.

In Allegheny County, the bar has been set high for judges to change time-sharing schedules even in situations where parents are front-line workers.

Currently there is no FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination for children under 12. Family law experts anticipate more court disputes involving parents who disagree about whether to inoculate their children against COVID-19 as the vaccines become available for young children.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all child custody matters, including: negotiating and drafting custody agreements, enforcing custody orders, and litigating high-conflict custody trials.

Call Spivak Law at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.