Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Pennsylvania Child Custody Laws

dandelion wishing blowing seedsPeople commonly believe that courts favor mothers over fathers when determining child custody schedules. But Pennsylvania law does not give special preference to mothers over fathers.

In fact, many judges today believe that the ideal custody arrangement provides for an equally shared schedule in order to maximize the child’s time with both parents. The results in any child-custody dispute depend on the particular facts and circumstances of the case.

At Spivak Law Firm, we handle all child-custody matters, including: trials, conciliations, relocation hearings, and contempt actions. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Are PFA Hearings Fair?

BU010665If you’re a victim of domestic abuse, you can get a Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order against your abuser simply by telling your situation to a judge at an ex parte hearing. The alleged abuser receives no notice and may not attend the hearing.

Is this fair?

For true victims of domestic abuse, an ex parte hearing is often necessary to escape a violent relationship. But it is commonly known among family law professionals that many people abuse the PFA system just to gain leverage in child custody and divorce.

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

4 Goals At Preliminary Hearings

Criminal Pic3If you’re criminally charged with a misdemeanor of felony, you should have an experienced criminal defense attorney at your preliminary hearing. Here’s why:

First, there is an opportunity to resolve your entire case at the preliminary hearing. For instance, if you’re charged with a domestic-violence crime such as assault, harassment, or terroristic threats, your attorney may be able to reach a deal for dismissal of all charges upon completion of anger management classes.

Second, your attorney may be able strike a deal to drop certain charges in exchange for waiving the preliminary hearing.

Third, your attorney can cross-examine witnesses at the preliminary hearing to undermine their credibility and possibly get the charges against you dismissed.

Fourth, your attorney can cross-examine witnesses to create a record for trial.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation at preliminary hearings. To schedule a free consultation, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Calculating Child Support in Pennsylvania

Little girl wearing sundress holding flowersQ: How do courts calculate child support?

 

A: Courts follow support guidelines created by the Pennsylvania Legislature when determining a child support order. Under Pennsylvania law, both parents must continue to support their children even after a divorce. The obligation generally continues until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever happens last. In determining a child support obligation, courts consider the incomes or earning capacities of both parents. Statewide support guidelines establish a presumptive amount of support with the primary focus placed on income.

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.

Divorce: Living Separately Under One Roof

ConflictGiven today’s economic realities, it is not at all uncommon for married couples to continue living together even after separating and heading toward divorce.

After all, many families struggle to keep up with their expenses in one household. Taking on a second mortgage or another monthly rental payment may not be an option.

Even if the parties still live together, it is possible to establish a date of separation for purposes of divorce so long as the parties:

  • Separate bank accounts. The parties should separate their finances by opening individual bank accounts.
  • Abstain from marital sex. The parties should no longer share a bedroom or bed.
  • Do not hold themselves out as married. The parties should refrain from describing themselves as a married couple to others in the community.

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.