Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

South Hills Family Law Firm

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.

Underage Drinking and Driver’s License Suspension

Underage drinking is a criminal offense in Pennsylvania punishable by up to three months in jail.

The legal age for buying, drinking, possessing or transporting alcohol in Pennsylvania is 21-years-old.

The mere attempt to purchase alcohol may result in a summary offense if you’re underage.

Additionally, the Department of Transportation may suspend the defendant’s driver’s license even if there was no car involved.

A first conviction will result in a 30-day suspension of driving privileges; a second conviction will result in a 1-year suspension; and any additional convictions will result in a 2-year suspension.

For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (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.

Helping Women In Criminal Cases

Women are more likely to remain incarcerated because they cannot afford bail, according to a recent report.

High pretrial detention rates are a major component of mass incarceration, accounting for 99 percent of jail growth over the last 15 years. Women comprise the fastest rate of growth among incarcerated populations.

Women held in pretrial detention often face long separations from their families resulting in devastating collateral consequences such as loss of child custody and eviction from their homes.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in all family-law and criminal-defense matters with a special focus on domestic violence and child custody. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Spivak Law Firm Wins More Awards

The award-winning Spivak Law Firm received multiple honors this month for providing superior legal services and client satisfaction.

The Pittsburgh-based firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on Protection from Abuse (PFA) hearings and high-conflict child custody cases.

Our award-winning attorneys have helped hundreds of people accused of physical abuse, harassment, stalking, sexual abuse, child abuse, and other forms of domestic abuse.

In many cases, we get the PFA and related criminal charges dismissed then expunge our client’s records so they can fully move on with their lives.

We handle the following family law cases: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, Children Youth and Families (CYF), and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

We routinely defend people criminally charged with: domestic violence, driving under the influence (DUI), simple assault, aggravated assault, harassment, recklessly endangering another person, stalking, disorderly conduct, retail theft and various other misdemeanors and summary offenses.

This month, Attorney Todd Spivak was honored again by American Institute of Family Law Attorneys and designated a Super Lawyer.

Attorney Rebecca Canterbury was named a Top 10 Family Law Attorney by Attorney and Practice Magazine and received a 10.0 rating on the Avvo legal directory, where clients routinely sing her praises as a strong, compassionate advocate who gets results.

To speak with an experienced family law or criminal defense 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.

Disorderly Conduct Penalties In Pennsylvania

Disorderly conduct is generally charged as a summary offense, though it may be graded as a more serious third-degree misdemeanor under certain conditions in Pennsylvania.

Disorderly conduct is a third-degree misdemeanor when:

  • The defendant intends to cause “substantial” harm;
  • The defendant intends to cause “serious” inconvenience; or
  • The defendant “persists” in disorderly conduct after reasonable warning to stop.

Penalties for a summary offense include a maximum of 90 days in jail, whereas penalties for a third-degree misdemeanor offense include a maximum of one year in jail.

Under Pennslylvania law, only summary offenses can be expunged after five years, though third-degree misdemeanors may be eligible for sealing after 10 years.

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

Charged With Simple Assault?

Under Pennsylvania law, you may be criminally charged with simple assault not only for hitting somebody. You may also face simple assault charges merely for scaring them.

Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in jail. It’s a charge commonly brought by police when there are allegations of domestic violence.

If you’re accused of getting into a bar fight, you’ll likely be charged with simple assault.

If you’re accused of hitting your spouse, you’ll likely be charged with simple assault.

The law additionally provides that a person is guilty of simple assault for attempting to put a person “in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.”

Thus, threatening a person with a weapon may result in simple assault charges even if there was no physical harm.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense in all criminal matters. For a free 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.