Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

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South Hills Family Law

Domestic Violence and the “Boyfriend Loophole”

Existing federal law forbids people convicted of domestic violence against a current or former spouse to buy or own a firearm.

But what if the abuse was perpetrated by an intimate partner who is not your spouse?

Lawmakers may close the so-called “boyfriend loophole” to expand protections for abuse victims.

Efforts to renew the Violence Against Women Act include a provision to prohibit firearm ownership by those convicted of abusing, assaulting or stalking a dating partner, or to those under a restraining order.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation. We handle all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on domestic violence, child custody, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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

Child Custody: Parenting During COVID-19

Parents of young children may take solace or even find helpful tips or simple wisdom in hearing from others working through the challenges of parenting during the pandemic.

In a recently published letter, Lydia Kiesling relates meltdowns shared with her 6-year-old daughter during the lockdown:

“For months, she and I have found ourselves locked in an awful duet of upset and recrimination. I yell; she yells; we both cry. As March turned into April turned into June – as “you’ll see your friends soon” became “at least there will be kindergarten in the fall” became hopefully it will be safe by first grade” – it grew clear that even the most cosseted children won’t get out of this situation unscathed.”

She praises a seminal book on parenting: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

The book reminded her that life is flying by:

“I spent so much of the early pandemic days in a holding pattern that I failed to realize that the pandemic had become reality – that our crisis mode urgently needed to be retooled for a longer journey, emotionally as much as logistically. Regardless of how we feel about this period, it is happening, and the days continue to pass.”

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

 

PFA Orders May Affect Divorce

Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders can significantly affect a divorce.

A PFA can evict a person from their own home for an extended period of time. If you are going through a divorce, a PFA can evict a spouse from the marital residence and provide the other spouse leverage for maintaining the residence as part of the divorce settlement.

A PFA can also restrict a parent from his or her children. This could have a detrimental effect on your custody rights as you proceed through divorce.

If your custody rights are restricted due to a PFA, you may also be required to pay child support as a result since the other parent is primarily raising the child.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, PFA defense, PFA for victims, division of assets and debts, spousal support, and alimony.

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 and Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is normal and happens as children begin to differentiate between things that are safe and familiar and things that are new and different.

Classic symptoms include clinginess when a parent or caregiver is present, and crying or short tantrums right after the person leaves the room or home.

For most kids, separation anxiety sets in between 8 and 12 months of age and fizzles out around age 3.

But for kids who have a condition called separation anxiety disorder, which affects between 3 and 5 percent of children, those meltdowns can persist into elementary school and even after. They may escalate over time and include physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach aches.

The current pandemic has added an extra layer of stress and disruption. Symptoms might increase, especially in households where one or more parents are essential workers who are now home less often.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a special focus on child custody, mental health, drug addiction, and domestic abuse.

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

Talking to Kids About Divorce

Parents going through a divorce should take steps to protect their children’s emotional health.

Professionals recommend that parents determine in advance what they will say to their kids.

Parents should make clear that the divorce has nothing to do with the children, and work together to ensure consistency in their daily routines.

Individual counseling or family counseling may be helpful to address any lingering concerns.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: child custody, child support, divorce, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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.

Child Custody: Back to School Amid COVID-19

In Pennsylvania, many school districts are offering parents three options for school amid COVID-19:

  • Option #1: Go to a physical classroom inside their school building
  • Option #2: Attend school online only
  • Option #3: Choose a hybrid of the first two options by going to a classroom for part of the week and attending school online for the remainder

Parents who share custody of their children may not agree on which option to choose. One parent may feel that send their child into a classroom is too risky given the coronavirus. One parent may feel strongly that the risk of infection by sending the child into a physical classroom is low and necessary to ensure proper learning.

If the parents cannot agree, then a hearing officer may make the decision for them at a school-choice hearing. Both parents will get the opportunity to explain their positions, and the hearing officer will make a decision based on the children’s best interests.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all child custody and family law matters. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Couples Break Up In PFA Court

Under Pennsylvania law, Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders require a family or intimate relationship between the alleged victim and abuser.

While some rare cases pit parent against child or brother against brother, the vast majority of cases occur between spouses or ex-lovers.

PFA court can be highly emotional, as people are torn from their children, evicted from their homes, and fear losing their jobs.

An abuser often wants to reconcile with the person who obtained the PFA against them. In these situations, it is hard for them to accept that their relationship has been ended without an ability to speak or get closure.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings. To speak with an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

If You Witness Domestic Abuse

While domestic violence typically happens behind closed doors, in some cases it occurs in a public space or around friends or family members, meaning that other people may witness or be aware of the abuse.

Here are 3 tips for what you might do to intervene:

  • Take into account your own safety as well as the survivor’s. Gather a group of people to stand nearby and either verbally or physically intervene.
  • Contact the authorities if necessary.
  • Approach the victim afterwards in a private space and provide them with the contact information of support services.

Spivak Law Firm provides aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in domestic violence cases, including Protection From Abuse (PFA), Children Youth and Families (CYF), and criminal domestic violence.

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

Divorce: Refinancing the Marital Residence

The marital residence often represents the greatest asset in a divorce. Some people sell the home and divide any proceeds remaining from the sale. In other cases, a decision will be made for one of the spouses to remain at the property after the divorce is finalized.

If both spouses are listed on the mortgage, it will be necessary to refinance the loan. Under a refinance, the spouse who stays at the marital residence will become solely liable for the mortgage and all fees related to the property. The lending institution will approve the refinance in most cases involving a good credit history.

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

Child Custody and Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation Syndrome may occur in divorce and child custody disputes involving high levels of conflict between the parents.

The term conveys how a child’s relationship with one parent can be poisoned by the other parent.

Parental Alienation Syndrome describes a cluster of symptoms present in children who reject one parent as a direct result of strong, negative claims introduced by the other parent.

At Spivak Law Firm, we focus our practice on high-conflict child custody disputes involving allegations of domestic abuse, substance abuse, and parental alienation.

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