Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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High Conflict Child Custody

High Conflict Child Custody Law Firm

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on high conflict child custody cases. High conflict child custody cases often involve parents with serious communication problems and significant levels of anger and distrust.

We encourage our clients to shield their children from any hostile communication to protect their mental and emotional health. We also have extensive experience helping families with issues of domestic abuse, parental alienation, and substance abuse.

At Spivak Law Firm, we are effective negotiators who help parents craft their own child custody orders. We are also trained trial lawyers experienced at aggressively litigating cases to reach our client’s goals.

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.

High Conflict Child Custody Tools

If you are engaged in a high conflict child custody battle, below are some tools to help:

  • Our Family Wizard: OFW is a communication tool to ensure your ex does not bombard you with texts, emails and phone calls. It also provides easy access for the Court to monitor your communications to ensure that they are civil.
  • Co-Parenting Counseling: Working with a skilled co-parenting counselor may help you communicate and cooperate better with your ex for the best interests of your children.
  • Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders: If your ex engages in harassing or threatening behaviors, you may consider trying to obtain a PFA Order. Also known as a restraining order, a PFA order is a powerful tool for victims of domestic abuse.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: child custody, PFA, child support, and divorce. Call us today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

High Conflict Child Custody Cases

Custody Pic9In Allegheny County, parents are strongly encouraged to determine their own child custody schedules. In most cases, with the help of family law attorneys and court-appointed mediators, parents are able to reach agreement on how to divide time with their children.

But high-conflict custody cases often cannot be resolved through negotiation. Parents with serious communication problems and high levels of anger and distrust may take their cases to trial.

At Spivak Law Firm, we are effective negotiators who help parents craft their own child custody orders. We are also trained trial lawyers experienced at aggressively litigating cases to reach our client’s goals.

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

High-Conflict Divorce

Most divorce cases are settled by negotiation without need to go to court or stand before a judge.

But some high-conflict cases make settlement impossible.

Spouses may disagree on everything from how to divide the marital estate to the child custody schedule or how much child support or spousal support should be paid.

In such cases, the spouses may engage in multiple motions, hearings or trials before the divorce can be finalized.

There may also be need to undergo discovery – the formal court process for obtaining important information needed for trial. In divorce cases, discovery may be necessary to obtain key financial documents.

Spivak Law Firm has extensive experience in high-conflict divorce and child custody. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Shielding Kids In High-Conflict Divorce

102719637Parents who do not engage in physical violence but do engage in hostile communications must understand the negative impact of such conduct on their child. Every effort should be made to shield the child from the hostilities. Proposing that all communications be by email or text is one way to do so; however, it is often necessary to put boundaries around such communications.

When it is financially viable, parents in high-conflict situations should use the expertise of skilled practitioners in co-parent counseling and meet regularly to address ongoing issues.

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

7 Tips For Avoiding High-Conflict Divorce

111787230Even the most civil divorce can be devastating emotionally and financially. But high-conflict divorce – in which parties litigate over all aspects of the divorce, including custody, child support, alimony, and property division – can be especially damaging. Protect yourself by following these tips for avoiding high-conflict divorce:

1.     Develop an emergency plan.

Your partner could assault or evict you at any time. Figure out a safe place to go, and get some ready cash, and think about who can help you on short notice. Copy important records and keep them in a safe place.

2.     Keep a journal.

As soon as possible after they occur, write down accurate details of problems and events between you and your partner that could become issues in court. Keep a journal or other written record of anything pertinent. Save email and text-message correspondence in a safe place, especially copies of hostile and harassing exchanges.

3.     Think before hitting “send.”

Communicate very carefully and respectfully with your partner, because anything may be introduced into evidence. Make any emails, whether initiated by you or in response to your partner, brief, informative, friendly, and firm. This is especially true if your partner’s emails are hostile.

4.     Seek counseling.

Obtain a therapist to help you understand your partner’s behavior, anticipate problems, deal with your emotions around the divorce or separation, and learn about yourself.

5.     Retain a family law attorney.

Hire an attorney with good communication skills, and consult with this professional to prepare for predictable crises and accusations.

6.     Avoid social media.

Delete your Facebook, Twitter, or any other publicly accessible online social networking account. You may wish to erase your browsing history from your computer. Make sure your passwords are secure. Make sure that what you want to keep private, such as letters or lists, is kept private.

7.     Reach out to loved ones.

Tell your family and friends what to expect, how to respond, how they can help, and how to avoid splitting either of you into being viewed as all good or all bad.

This list was adapted from Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

To schedule an appointment with a family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

How to Divorce a Jerk

Divorce can be emotionally difficult especially if your ex behaves like a jerk who demeans and disrespects you.

Conflict mediators recommend the following tips for dealing with a difficult ex:

Don’t be defensive: Getting defensive may be a natural response, but it only escalates the cycle of aggression.

Redirect the discussion: Start a conversation about the conversation itself by reflecting on the tone of the discussion.

Challenge their aggression: Gently challenge the belief that aggression is necessary.

Minimize interaction: An aggressive ex can’t cause as much harm if interactions are limited. Consider having all communication occur through the attorneys, if necessary.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a special focus on high conflict divorce and child custody as well as allegations of domestic abuse.

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

Dave N.

Attorney Todd Spivak is knowledgeable, honest, and experienced. I brought him into a difficult situation and he proved my first impression was correct, which was he was the right attorney for the job. I have used and will continue to use him for my high conflict cases. Todd has saved my family and continues to fight for us to this day.

Family

Pittsburgh Family Law Attorneys

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation for all family law matters. Based in Pittsburgh, we have helped thousands of families through the most challenging and difficult times of their lives involving:

  • Child Custody and Child Support
  • Divorce and Dividing Marital Property
  • PFA and Domestic Abuse

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

Child Custody and Child Support Lawyers

There is nothing more important to parents than their children.

Spending quality time with their children. Nurturing their children’s growth. Guiding their children’s development. Ensuring their children’s safety.

We take child custody matters very seriously, working closely with parents to develop strategies for achieving their goals. We have significant experience in high conflict custody cases with allegations of parental alienation, substance abuse, mental health issues, and domestic abuse.

We routinely handle child support cases, including: filings, modifications, hearings, enforcement, and appeals.

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

Divorce and Equitable Distribution Law Firm

Divorce can be relatively simple and straightforward if both spouses agree to the divorce and there aren’t many marital assets to divide. But there often tend to be complications.

Common issues may include:

  • Who gets the house?
  • How do I calculate equity in the house?
  • Can I move out before the divorce is finalized?
  • How do we divide the retirement accounts?
  • What if my spouse is hiding income?
  • How does adultery affect the divorce?
  • Who is responsible for the credit card debt?
  • How do I value my spouse’s business?
  • Who gets the family pets?
  • Can I get spousal support or alimony?
  • How long does the divorce process take?

Spivak Law Firm has extensive experience handling all matters related to divorce and equitable distribution, the formal process for dividing marital property. In most cases, we negotiate a fair settlement that spares our clients the financial and emotional cost of litigation.

We are also skilled courtroom lawyers experienced in complex divorce cases. If necessary, we work with experts in forensic accounting and business and pension valuations to advance our clients’ interests.

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

Pittsburgh PFA and Domestic Abuse Lawyers

If you’ve been accused of abuse, a PFA Order can turn your life upside down by instantly evicting you from your home, restricting you from your children, and threatening your employment.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, a PFA Order is a powerful tool for restricting your abuser from having any contact with you under threat of arrest.

At Spivak Law Firm, we have extensive experience representing both defendants and victims at PFA hearings. We appreciate the need for a PFA Order in true cases of domestic abuse, and we understand how the PFA system itself is sometimes abused by people seeking leverage in child custody or divorce matters.

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

PFA Hearings: Child Testimony

A child under 13-years-old who alleges physical or sexual abuse may not have to testify at a Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearing under Pennsylvania Law.

The Tender Years Hearsay Act allows a psychologist or caseworker from Children Youth and Families (CYF) to testify on the child’s behalf.

The purpose of the Act is to protect children from the added trauma of appearing in court to describe the details of the alleged assault.

New legislation may expand the Act to include children under 17-years-old.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania opposes the bill on grounds that it violates the defendant’s right to due process.

Courts heavily rely on other professionals to determine whether abuse on a child actually occurred.

There may be a forensic interview conducted by a child abuse specialist in the presence of a police detective and a CYF caseworker.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on PFA, domestic abuse and high-conflict child custody.

Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody and Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation anxiety disorder is the most common anxiety disorder in children ages 12 and younger, and symptoms can emerge as early as age 2.

The causes aren’t entirely clear.

Genetics play a role – if one or both parents have an anxiety disorder of any kind, their children are more likely to have separation anxiety disorder.

The disorder can also be triggered in the wake of a stressful life event, like a high-conflict divorce or child custody dispute.

Parents who are concerned that their child may be showing signs of separation anxiety disorder should see a therapist who specializes in treating pediatric anxiety.

If left untreated, anxiety disorders increase the risk of other mental health conditions such as depression.

Treatment generally involves using cognitive behavioral therapy to help kids learn to manage symptoms plus training to help manage tantrums.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law and child custody matters. We routinely help families connect with important resources, such as: pediatric counselors, family counselors, and co-parenting counselors.

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