Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

South Hills Divorce Lawyer

Divorce: Who Gets The Family Pets?

When undergoing divorce or separation, you are likely worried about child custody, division of your property, and your pets.

You may view your dog or cat as a member of the family, but under Pennsylvania law, they are as much family as your television set. Pets are technically personal property, which means that a court will not order visitation or custody schedules for pets.

Courts will likely classify the pet as marital or non-marital property. If your ex purchased the pet prior to the marriage, the pet will be considered non-marital property and will likely go to your ex.

However, you have the option to bypass formal court proceedings and mediate this issue with your ex to develop an agreement that works for both of you.

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.

Divorce and Marital Assets

Q: I think that my spouse is hiding marital assets – what should I do?

A: If you suspect that your spouse is hiding or misrepresenting the value of marital assets, your divorce attorney can investigate by initiating a formal discovery process.

Divorcing spouses are required to exchange documentation proving the value of marital assets, the amount of marital debt, and the incomes of both spouses. The discovery process compels the spouse to release all relevant documentation regarding marital assets, debts, and income.

Although discovery can be time-consuming, it is sometimes necessary to uncover a spouse’s hidden assets.

Spivak Law Firm provides experienced counsel to help you navigate the divorce process in a way that protects your interests. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody: 3 Tips for Parents

Children thrive on routine. A shift in the family dynamic can be difficult for children.

You and your ex may follow a consistent child custody schedule, but shuttling back and forth between two homes can be confusing for the children.

To help your children adjust between exchanges, consider the following three tips:

  • Give the children a chart of the custody schedule;
  • Remind the children ahead of time when an exchange will take place; and
  • Remind the children when they will see you next.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family law matters with a special focus on child custody and child support. To speak with an experienced child custody attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Alimony and Tax Benefits in Pennsylvania

Alimony represents the payments a higher-earning spouse makes to a lower-earning spouse after their divorce has been finalized.

Historically, the spouse making the payments could deduct alimony on his or her taxes. The spouse receiving the payments had to include the income for tax purposes. Thus, the paying spouse received a tax benefit.

Under the new law, which takes effect on January 1, 2019, alimony payments will no longer be deductible for the payor nor taxable for the receipient. Thus the spouse receiving the alimony payments will also get the tax benefit.

If you are considering a divorce, it may benefit you to wait for the new tax law to take effect or to finalize your divorce in advance.

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

Divorce: Tips For Protecting Your Kids

Divorce can be emotionally painful and traumatizing, especially for children.

Here are tips for protecting your kids as you go through divorce:

  • When you break the news to your children, be prepared to comfort and reassure them.
  • Encourage your children to be honest with their thoughts and feelings.
  • Provide consistency and routine for your children to avoid major disruptions in their school and social life.
  • Try to avoid major changes and transitions so your children have time to adjust.

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

Divorce: Who Gets To Stay In The House?

Despite the fact that you and your spouse have decided to divorce, both of you equally share in the right to occupy the jointly owned residence. Living together while separated can be difficult. But know that you have options.

If you or your children are subject to violence or threats of violence by your ex, you may seek a Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order, which will immediately evict your ex from the residence.

If there is no abuse present, but living together is unbearable, you may petition the court for exclusive possession of the marital residence. The court may award you temporary possession of the marital residence pending final distribution of all marital property.

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.

Protecting LGBTQ Pennsylvanians

Spivak Law Firm supports efforts to enact a federal Equality Act, providing civil-rights protections for LGBTQ communities throughout the United States.

Pennsylvania lags behind many other states in ensuring basic protections for LGBTQ residents.

For instance, there are no statewide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, exposing thousands of people to termination from their jobs or eviction from their homes merely for identifying as LGBTQ.

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

How Divorce Affects Kids

Children who experience the stress of strained parental relationships are more likely to have their immune systems compromised, according to a recent study done by Carnegie Mellon University psychologists.

During a separation it is common for the child of the separating parents to think they are the cause of it, which leads to a negative self-view and high levels of stress.

Experts recommend that separated parents keep the child’s interest at the forefront of any decision and encourage parents to seek a third party for help.

Spivak Law Firm provides experienced counsel to help you navigate the divorce process in a way that protects your children. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Divorce in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, marital property is not simply divided equally at the time of divorce. Instead, a court aims to divide the marital property based on what it thinks is fair.

The formal court process for dividing marital assets and marital debts based on principles of fairness is known as equitable distribution. Marital assets include houses, cars, and other investments. Marital debts include financial obligations accrued during the marriage.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and Protection From Abuse (PFA). We help people file for divorce, negotiate Marriage Settlement Agreements, and litigation equitable-distribution trials. To schedule a consultation, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Benefits Of Collaborative Divorce

Q: Why should I consider a collaborative divorce?

A: Collaborative divorce, also known as no-court divorce, is a non-adversarial process for handling divorce.

It tends to be cheaper, faster, less stressful, and more private than conventional divorce.

Spouses can avoid court fees and share the costs of experts, such as financial advisers or mental health professionals. Studies show that people who choose collaborative law, on average, save $5,000-$10,000 over people who choose litigation.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide you with strong, cost-effective representation. We aim to preserve your finances by avoiding prolonged conflict to arrive at solutions that are in the best interests of you and your family.

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