Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pittsburgh PFA Lawyers

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.

Domestic Violence: Victim Blaming

Criminal domestic violence court can be a site of victim blaming, but not just by alleged abusers. Spivak Law Firm advocates educating judges overseeing cases of domestic violence to avoid using victim-blaming language.

Victim advocates recommend instructing judges to use language that more appropriately describes the effects of domestic violence and holds abusers responsible.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants at Protection from Abuse (PFA) and criminal domestic violence hearings. We routinely volunteer with Neighborhood Legal Services Association to help victims of domestic violence obtain protection orders from their abusers.

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

Funding For Abuse Victims

 

702075.TIFIn domestic-violence cases, research demonstrates that legal-aid services for women reduce the likelihood they will experience domestic violence in the future.

Unfortunately, President Trump’s proposed budget severely cuts departments that fund programs supporting domestic-violence victims. Additionally, the budget proposes to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal aid to domestic-abuse victims who are married to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

Spivak Law Firm helps victims of domestic violence get the legal protections they need at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings and by working with prosecutors on criminal domestic-violence cases. To schedule a consultation, 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.

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.

Child Custody: Kids’ Choice

 

dandelion wishing blowing seedsContrary to popular belief, Pennsylvania courts generally do not determine child custody schedules based on the preference of the child.

Pennsylvania follows the “best interest of the child” standard. The well-reasoned preference of the child is only one of sixteen factors considered by the judge, and it may not be weighed at all if the child is deemed too young or immature.

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

PFAs and College Students

702075.TIFPennsylvania colleges are increasingly cracking down on domestic violence, raising awareness of Protection from Abuse (PFA) restraining orders as tools to stop harassment and stalking, as well as physical and sexual violence.

College students served with PFA orders are at great risk of violating the PFA if they continue to attend college on the same campus as their accuser.

You may be arrested and charged with Indirect Criminal Contempt if the plaintiff merely accuses you of contacting, harassing, or stalking, even if a police officer does not witness the alleged violation.

A PFA alone is enough to disrupt educational and employment opportunities, but you could face even more hurdles when the PFA is coupled with criminal contempt charges that include a maximum sentence of six months in jail.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

We have effectively represented college students attending University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Carlow University, Slippery Rock University, and other schools in the Pittsburgh area.

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

Reporting Child Abuse in Pennsylvania

dandelion wishing blowing seedsIn the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal at Penn State University, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed laws expanding mandatory reporting of child abuse for certain adults, including: medical facility employees, medical examiners, school employees, social services staff, child-care center staff, clergy, EMTs, foster parents, librarians, and adults in regular contact with a child.

Reporting is mandatory when:

  • There is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is being abused,
  • Someone reports that the child is a victim of abuse, or
  • Someone age 14 or older admits to abusing a child.

Spivak Law Firm routinely defends parents against allegations of child abuse. We provide strong, compassionate representation at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings, Child Youth and Family (CYF) hearings, and criminal defense hearings.

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

Westmoreland County PFA Withdrawn

86505321Joe has an anger problem. And he has a drinking problem. But right now the biggest problem he faces is a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order filed by his ex-girlfriend.

Joe’s ex says he threatened her. Joe denies the allegations.

On the morning of the PFA hearing, Joe and his ex sit in separate rooms. She wants a PFA lasting at least one year.

As Joe’s attorney, I ask to speak with the judge. The judge quickly reviews the allegations and appears ready to order a final PFA against Joe.

But I explain to the judge that the parties are not married, have no kids together, and are not living together because Joe has already signed a lease on a new apartment in Westmoreland County. A final PFA could cause Joe to lose his job, which subjects him to routine background checks.

Because there’s nothing tying the parties together, I argue, the judge should dismiss the PFA and let them move on with their lives.

The judge agrees. He instructs the plaintiff’s lawyer to withdraw the PFA. When I return to the waiting area and inform Joe, he exhales a sigh of relief.

“I wasn’t going to hire a lawyer,” Joe says. “I wasn’t even going to show up at the hearing.”

If Joe had not attended the hearing, he likely would have received a maximum three-year PFA. Instead, with the help of his attorney, the PFA was dropped.

For a free consultation with an experienced Westmoreland County PFA lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.