Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

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Family Law

Domestic Violence and the “Boyfriend Loophole”

Existing federal law forbids people convicted of domestic violence against a current or former spouse to buy or own a firearm.

But what if the abuse was perpetrated by an intimate partner who is not your spouse?

Lawmakers may close the so-called “boyfriend loophole” to expand protections for abuse victims.

Efforts to renew the Violence Against Women Act include a provision to prohibit firearm ownership by those convicted of abusing, assaulting or stalking a dating partner, or to those under a restraining order.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation. We handle all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on domestic violence, child custody, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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

CYF and Parental Rights

Children have the right to visit with both of their parents in a case involving Children Youth and Families (CYF).

If a parent is not currently involved, the agency will try to offer the parent services and visitation to begin to form a relationship between them and the child.

The exception to these efforts would be if there was a documented account of the parent hurting the child or other children.

In a case like that, the agency would investigate what happened and see if it is reasonable to provide services while still assuring your child’s safety.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: child custody, child support, divorce, Protection From Abuse (PFA) and CYF. To schedule an appointment, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Children Who Witness Domestic Abuse

Children who witness domestic abuse may have the following range of symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep disturbance
  • School problems – refuses to attend, truancy, poor performance
  • Anxiety, fear of abandonment
  • Increased violent behavior
  • Verbal abusiveness, lying
  • Regression – wanting bottle, baby talk, thumb sucking
  • Perfectionism
  • Shyness
  • Tantrums

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: child custody, child support, divorce, Protection From Abuse (PFA) and Children Youth and Families (CYF).

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

Child Custody: Parenting During COVID-19

Parents of young children may take solace or even find helpful tips or simple wisdom in hearing from others working through the challenges of parenting during the pandemic.

In a recently published letter, Lydia Kiesling relates meltdowns shared with her 6-year-old daughter during the lockdown:

“For months, she and I have found ourselves locked in an awful duet of upset and recrimination. I yell; she yells; we both cry. As March turned into April turned into June – as “you’ll see your friends soon” became “at least there will be kindergarten in the fall” became hopefully it will be safe by first grade” – it grew clear that even the most cosseted children won’t get out of this situation unscathed.”

She praises a seminal book on parenting: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

The book reminded her that life is flying by:

“I spent so much of the early pandemic days in a holding pattern that I failed to realize that the pandemic had become reality – that our crisis mode urgently needed to be retooled for a longer journey, emotionally as much as logistically. Regardless of how we feel about this period, it is happening, and the days continue to pass.”

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

 

PFA Orders May Affect Divorce

Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders can significantly affect a divorce.

A PFA can evict a person from their own home for an extended period of time. If you are going through a divorce, a PFA can evict a spouse from the marital residence and provide the other spouse leverage for maintaining the residence as part of the divorce settlement.

A PFA can also restrict a parent from his or her children. This could have a detrimental effect on your custody rights as you proceed through divorce.

If your custody rights are restricted due to a PFA, you may also be required to pay child support as a result since the other parent is primarily raising the child.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, PFA defense, PFA for victims, division of assets and debts, spousal support, and alimony.

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 Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is normal and happens as children begin to differentiate between things that are safe and familiar and things that are new and different.

Classic symptoms include clinginess when a parent or caregiver is present, and crying or short tantrums right after the person leaves the room or home.

For most kids, separation anxiety sets in between 8 and 12 months of age and fizzles out around age 3.

But for kids who have a condition called separation anxiety disorder, which affects between 3 and 5 percent of children, those meltdowns can persist into elementary school and even after. They may escalate over time and include physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach aches.

The current pandemic has added an extra layer of stress and disruption. Symptoms might increase, especially in households where one or more parents are essential workers who are now home less often.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a special focus on child custody, mental health, drug addiction, and domestic abuse.

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

Divorce Rates Increase Due to Politics, Economy

Current political divisions have taken a toll on many relationships.

Family law attorneys and mental health professionals attest to an uptick in separation and divorce based at least partially on political differences.

Economic woes have also contributed to high stress levels experienced by many families, as fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic includes high rates of unemployment in many industries.

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

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

Living Wills Amid COVID-19

Elderly people may consider revising their living wills in light of COVID-19.

For older adults contemplating what might happen to them during the pandemic, ventilators may represent a terrifying lack of personal control.

Respiratory failure remains a signature consequence of COVID-19. Ventilators pump oxygen into patients’ bodies while they are in bed, typically sedated, with a breathing tube snaked down the windpipe.

For some seniors, this is their greatest fear: being hooked to a machine with the end of their lives looming. For others, there is hope that the ventilator might give them another shot at life.

People who are willing to be kept alive by ventilation tend to believe that life is worth living no matter the disability. By contrast, people who oppose ventilation for themselves may feel that life is not worth living if the health situation is so difficult

Spivak Law Firm routinely assists people with estate planning needs, including: drafting your living will, healthcare and financial powers of attorney, and last will and testament.

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

Guidance for Parents Seeking a Divorce

Parents who wish to get a divorce typically have four major issues to resolve.

First, you must determine how to divide time with your children. This is known as child custody. Many parents equally share custody of their children, though there may be reasons for one parent to serve as the primary caregiver.

Second, you must determine if either parent is eligible to receive financial assistance. This may come in the form of child support or spousal support. Child support will be paid until all the minor children turn 18 or graduate from high school. Spousal support may end when the divorce is resolved or, in some cases, continue even after the divorce in the form of alimony.

Third, you must divide the marital estate by determining the values for all assets and debts accumulated during the marriage. Assigning values to some assets can prove complicated. For instance, appraisals may be necessary to determine the value of the marital residence, family business, or retirement accounts.

Fourth, you must obtain a decree in divorce. The decree is a legal document issued by the Court of Common Pleas in your county indicating that the divorce has been finalized. Some spouses wish to resume their maiden name when finalizing a divorce.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas related to divorce and family law, including: child custody, child support, spousal support, alimony, division of assets and debts, name changes, and Protection From Abuse (PFA). To schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce and family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Talking to Kids About Divorce

Parents going through a divorce should take steps to protect their children’s emotional health.

Professionals recommend that parents determine in advance what they will say to their kids.

Parents should make clear that the divorce has nothing to do with the children, and work together to ensure consistency in their daily routines.

Individual counseling or family counseling may be helpful to address any lingering concerns.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: child custody, child support, divorce, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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.