Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Washington County Custody Lawyer

Tips For Creating Parenting Plans

Creating child custody agreements can be difficult, but it is important to cover all of your bases to avoid conflict later. Below are some important considerations:

  • Will the children reside primarily with one parent or move between both homes?
  • Which parent will be responsible for transportation of the children?
  • How will educational, medical, and religious decisions be made?
  • How will the children communicate with the other parent (i.e., phone, Skype)?
  • When will holiday and vacation periods start and end?
  • How will you and your ex divide the costs of the children’s extracurricular activities?

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

Kids and Online Abuse

Across the country, school districts are trying to train parents and community members to fight back against child abuse. Many districts host workshops including topics like safeguarding kids online, recognizing the signs of child abuse, and dealing with troublesome behavior in kids.

Here are 3 tips for protecting your child from abuse:

Monitor your children’s friend lists and online communications, making sure they are talking only with people you know and trust.

  • Inform your children that once something is online, it may stay there forever.
  • Talk with your children about their online activities.

provides aggressive representation in child abuse cases. If you have been accused of abuse, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody In Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania law, courts make decisions on child-custody matters based on the child’s best interests. The court looks at key factors that affect the child’s physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual well-being.

In determining whether to award temporary custody, the court considers 16 factors, including elements such as the child’s sibling relationships, the availability of extended family, and the present and past abuse of the child.

Another important factor for determining custody is promoting consistency for the children. Courts are generally reluctant to disturb an existing arrangement or split siblings between parents.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in child custody cases. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody: Generations Program

Q: What is the Generations program in Allegheny County?

A: Generations is a program that aims to resolve child-custody disputes without the emotional and financial costs of a trial.

First, the program requires parents to attend an educational session on the court process and the importance of co-parenting. Then, the parents are required to attend mediation in an attempt to resolve any custody disputes and settle on a custody schedule.

If the mediation is unsuccessful, the spouses meet with their attorneys present in a custody conciliation for yet another attempt to resolve custody matters. If parents still cannot reach an agreement, they attend a conciliation with the judge in a final attempt to resolve the case prior to trial.

Studies show that parents are far more likely to follow a custody order they devise themselves. The purpose of Generations is to give parents multiple opportunities to reach agreement.

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.

Pennsylvania Child Custody Lawyers

Question: My ex has filed a child custody action against me. What should I do?

Answer: You should speak to an experienced child custody attorney. At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong, compassionate representation in all child custody matters. We carefully explain the process, describe your options, and propose legal strategies based on your goals and the unique facts of your case. We are skilled negotiators and experienced trial lawyers who fight for you to achieve the best possible outcome.

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.

Parental Alienation Signs

Parental alienation occurs when one parent psychologically manipulates the child, causing the child to withdraw from the other parent.

Some common symptoms of parental alienation include, but are not limited to:

  • Your child refuses to have contact with you;
  • Your child is hostile toward you without logical reason (no history of abuse);
  • Your child is hostile toward your extended family; and
  • Your child expresses only negative feelings toward you, but never toward the other parent.

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.

Child Custody and Emotional Abuse

Ending a physically or emotionally abusive relationship doesn’t always end the abuse, especially when children are involved. You still have to see your ex-spouse to arrange for custody exchanges, holidays, etc.

If your ex-spouse continues to engage in controlling or manipulative behavior, consider limiting your communications to text or email. This can both reduce the level of conflict between the two of you, and allow you to document evidence of your ex’s inability to work together.

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

Follow Your Custody Order

If you have a custody order, follow it. Pennsylvania courts determine custody by looking to the best interests of the children, which is based upon 16 factors. One of the factors asks which parent is more likely to permit and continue frequent contact between the children and the other parent.

If you do not abide by the terms of the existing order, you may be adversely affecting your case. You may also subject yourself to contempt proceedings, which can involve fines and even jail time. Unless you have safety concerns for your children, you should abide by the terms of your custody order.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFAs. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

5 Child Custody Don’ts

If your child exhibits temper tantrums, you may believe that they are not capable of feeling complex emotions. But children are more perceptive than you may realize. They are able to pick up on your emotions and the things that you say, so it is imperative to filter what is said to them and in front of them.

To avoid upsetting your children, here are five things you should not do during a divorce or custody dispute:

  • Do not directly or indirectly encourage your children to choose between you and your ex-spouse;
  • Do not speak ill of your ex-spouse in front of the children;
  • Do not prevent your children from spending time with your ex-spouse;
  • Do not ask your children to pass messages to your ex-spouse;
  • Do not disclose details of your legal matters to the children.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFAs. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody: Nesting

Divorce is a difficult process and the children of divorced parents often find themselves caught up in a situation over which they have little control.

They also have to contend with the idea that their everyday lives will change, whether that is not seeing one of their parents on a daily basis or moving to a different house or location.

Nesting is a new idea in the arena of child-custody arrangements. The children stay in the home while the parents are the ones who leave and return. This allows the children to stay in the home and provides the children with a feeling of permanence. This sense of routine can be helpful to the children at a time of change and turbulence.

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