South Hills Family Law
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.
If you are served with a Temporary PFA, a hearing will be scheduled within 10 days.
At the hearing, a judge will hear testimony and review evidence to determine if a Final PFA is warranted.
Most requests for a Temporary PFA are granted. No judge wants to deny a person’s request for protection then find out later that the person seeking help was seriously harmed.
The chances of obtaining a Final PFA are significantly lower, especially if you have an experienced PFA defense attorney.
The Final PFA represents the first time in the process that the defendant can push back on the abuse allegations.
The defendant can testify, cross-examine the accuser, call witnesses to the stand, and provide documentary evidence for the court to review.
Spivak Law Firm provides strong representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Crawford, Beaver, Buter, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset. Venango, Washington and Westmoreland.
For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Children who witness domestic abuse may struggle in their development and ability to solve problems.
They may feel incompetent.
They sometimes tend to avoid risk.
They often fear abandonment.
Young children will tend to use language for the purpose of keeping others at a distance rather than to convey meaning. They also tend to have difficulty defining cause and effect relationships.
Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a special focus on child custody and domestic violence.
To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Anxiety is a critical protective mechanism that children begin to develop during their first year of life.
Healthy anxiety warns us when danger might be ahead, and for babies and toddlers, separation anxiety marks a developmental milestone as children begin recognizing that loved ones offer the most safety and protection.
Short, manageable meltdowns that happen right after day care drop-off, at bedtime, or when a parent leaves the room are normal and generally self-limiting.
Those episodes can also happen during periods of transition, such as after moving into a new home or starting a new school.
They typically last only a few minutes and go away entirely after the child has had a few weeks to adjust to the new routine.
Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all child custody and family law matters. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Many people who are served with a Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order make the mistake of not taking it seriously.
They might not hire an attorney. This is mistake because the alleged victim will almost certainly have an experienced trial lawyer. Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties have local nonprofit organizations that provide free lawyers for people alleging abuse.
Some defendants do not even show up to court for the Final PFA hearing. This is a mistake because failing to appear for the hearing will usually result in a maximum three-year Final PFA against you.
All defendants should have an experienced PFA attorney evaluate their case even if they no longer want to have contact with the person alleging abuse.
A Final PFA creates a permanent record of abusive behavior.
If you’ve been served with a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm today. For a free consultation, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Young children may exhibit symptoms of separation anxiety when their parents divorce. Symptoms may include whimpering to be picked up, shrieking if a parent leaves the room, or wailing at bedtime.
Child psychologists recommend the following strategies to prevent or de-escalate meltdowns:
- Validate their feelings: Acknowledge that you understand why the situation makes them feel scared, and encourage them to practice being brave and trying an activity on their own.
- Reward quiet acts of bravery: Avoid prolonging goodbyes and paying attention to tantrum. Be sure to reward them for playing alone or going to bed without fuss.
- Practice routines: If you suspect that your child might struggle with an upcoming event, like starting remote learning, returning to preschool or an overnight visit with family, practicing the routine a few days before can help your child prepare.
- Provide a transitional object: Give your children something small and personal that reminds them of home – that they can keep in their pocket or cubby and retrieve when they need to feel a connection to loved ones.
- Relieve your own stress: Anxious parents can exacerbate their children’s anxiety, so take steps to relieve your own stress.
Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, alimony, separation of assets and debts, estate planning, 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.
Q: I’ve been served with a PFA. Do I need an attorney?
In Pittsburgh and surrounding counties, a free attorney is provided to anyone alleging abuse in PFA Court.
Therefore, if you are a PFA defendant, you should level the playing field by hiring an attorney to represent you.
Otherwise, you will be negotiating with and potentially facing off in court against a seasoned PFA lawyer.
A Final PFA carries significant consequences.
You may be evicted from your home and restricted from your children. You may lose your job. You could even lose your liberty and go to jail if accused of violating the PFA.
Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense at Final PFA hearings. If necessary, we subpoena documents and witnesses. We are experienced trial lawyers.
We offer a free consultation for PFA matters and generally charge a flat fee so our clients know upfront exactly how much our representation will cost.
For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
If you are hiring an attorney on retainer, there are two numbers you need to know.
Question #1: How much money will you need to pay upfront?
The lump-sum of money paid upfront represents the retainer itself. A retainer is an acknowledgement by the attorney and the client that the total cost for legal services is unknown. If the case resolves quickly with limited litigation or court appearances, there may be money leftover that is returned to the client. On the other hand, if the case is fully litigated and results in a trial, there may be a need to replenish the retainer when it runs out. The attorney deposits the retainer into an escrow account. At Spivak Law Firm, we routinely accept retainers for divorce and child custody matters. Most family law firms require a retainer in the range of $2,000 – $5,000 depending on the complexities of the case.
Question #2: What is your hourly rate?
An attorney bills against the retainer for legal services rendered. Periodically, clients will receive an invoice detailing all tasks performed on their case and how much time was spent performing each task. The invoice will also reflect how much money remains in the retainer so clients know if there is a need to add to the retainer for upcoming legal work. In Allegheny County, the hourly rate for family law attorneys varies widely from about $200 an hour all the way up to over $400 an hour. A client’s retainer will last longer with a lower hourly rate. At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to preserve our client’s resources by keeping our hourly rates low and frequently discounting our client’s invoices as a professional courtesy.
To learn more about hiring an attorney for your family law matters, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Under Pennsylvania law, a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order carries serious consequences.
It may evict you from your home, restrict you from your children, and even lead to your arrest.
New legislation may further strengthen the law by requiring PFA defendants to wear an electronic monitoring device.
Dozens of other states allow GPS monitoring for domestic-violence suspects.
In Pennsylvania, such devices are commonly used for criminal defendants.
PFAs are administered by family courts, though violating a PFA order may lead to criminal charges including Indirect Criminal Contempt, which carries a maximum six-month jail sentence.
The legislation regarding electronic monitoring comes on the heels of the 2018 law requiring a person under an active PFA order to turn over their firearms to local law enforcement within 24 hours.
Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings. For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
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.