Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Collaborative Divorce Guidelines

The new Pennsylvania Collaborative Law Act provides several guidelines for people seeking to obtain a collaborative divorce, including:

  • Establishing minimum requirements for collaborative practice participation agreements
  • Providing specific standards to determine when and how the collaborative process begins and concludes
  • Requiring the disqualification of collaborative lawyers from appearing before a court to represent a party in a proceeding related to the legal matter identified in the participation agreement
  • Mandating that parties to a collaborative process provide timely, full, candid and informal disclosure of information related to resolution of the legal matter identified in the participation agreement
  • Creating a privilege for communications that occur during the collaborative process and clarifying when the privilege is not applicable or may be waived
  • Protecting the confidentiality of certain communications made during the collaborative process to the extent agreed upon by the parties
  • Providing for the enforceability of settlement agreements reached through the collaborative process

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, division of marital assets, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

To learn more about collaborative divorce, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Where Should I Keep My Will?

Your original Last Will and Testament, signed by you and multiple witnesses, is an important legal document that will ensure your wishes are carried out.

You should keep your will in a safe place that is also accessible to the people who will need to access it after you die.

It is not generally a good idea to keep your will in a bank safety deposit box because it may not be readily accessible.

Instead, you may wish to keep it secure in a home safe or a safe located at your attorney’s office.

The person you appoint as your executor, who is charged with carrying out your wishes, should have a copy of your will with directions on where and how to access the original.

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

Pennsylvania Expungement Law Draws Criticism

As Pennsylvania recently enacted a sweeping new expungement law, thousands of people across the state stood to benefit from new opportunities to clean their criminal records so they could move on with their lives.

Some employers and landlords oppose the new clean-slate law on grounds that they have a public-safety interest in knowing the criminal records of their employees and tenants.

The new law seeks to strike a balance by making people with criminal records wait as much as five or ten years before they are eligible for an expungement.

Based in Pittsburgh, Spivak Law Firm has helped people across Allegheny County to expunge their criminal and PFA records.

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

Living With Your Spouse During the Divorce

There is nothing unusual about spouses who decide to divorce but continue living together due to financial hardship.

They may sleep in different rooms and try to occupy separate parts of the residence to minimize conflict.

But such situations can be understandably tense and problematic.

If living together proves too difficult, one spouse may ask the court to award him or her exclusive possession of the residence.

Be careful not to engage in any abusive behavior that could lead to the filing of a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, which may evict you from the home for up to three years and provide the other spouse leverage for getting the property as part of the divorce.

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

Back to School During COVID-19

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.

Temporary PFA v. Final PFA

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.

What If I Don’t Pay Child Support?

If you don’t pay your child support, your wages may be withheld.

Other child support enforcement measures include:

  • Your federal and state income tax refunds can be taken if you owe overdue child support;
  • The court can order banks and credit unions to turn over your financial assets to pay your overdue child support;
  • If you are late in paying child support, your name and the amount of back support you owe may be reported to the major credit bureaus;
  • The court may suspend your driver’s license if you owe more than three months of child support;
  • Your overdue child support may become a lien against all real estate you own in Pennsylvania.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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

Divorce: Changing Your Name

It is common for people going through a divorce to resume their prior or maiden name.

In Allegheny County, the process for resuming your prior name is simple so long as it is part of a divorce action.

People are often happy to learn that they do not have to wait until the divorce is finalized to begin the process. So long as a divorce complaint has been filed, you may petition the court to resume your prior name.

After receiving authorization from the court, you will then need to inform different governmental agencies in order to update your contact information.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, alimony, name changes, estate planning, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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

Access to Criminal Records

If you have a criminal record, it is visible to the public through a basic docket search using your first and last name. If your criminal record is wiped clean through the expungement process, it will not appear on public dockets.

But district attorneys and the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository will still have access to your record. Other law enforcement agencies and courts may obtain access to your record by request. They retain access to your record for the following purposes:

  • To identify people in criminal investigations;
  • To determine the grading of future criminal offenses; and
  • To determine eligibility for diversionary programs.

Erasing your criminal record may open new opportunities for employment.

Spivak Law Firm expunges criminal records for a low, one-time fee. For more information, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Domestic Abuse: Effects on Kids

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.