Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Family Law

Child Custody: Back to School Amid COVID-19

In Pennsylvania, many school districts are offering parents three options for school amid COVID-19:

  • Option #1: Go to a physical classroom inside their school building
  • Option #2: Attend school online only
  • Option #3: Choose a hybrid of the first two options by going to a classroom for part of the week and attending school online for the remainder

Parents who share custody of their children may not agree on which option to choose. One parent may feel that send their child into a classroom is too risky given the coronavirus. One parent may feel strongly that the risk of infection by sending the child into a physical classroom is low and necessary to ensure proper learning.

If the parents cannot agree, then a hearing officer may make the decision for them at a school-choice hearing. Both parents will get the opportunity to explain their positions, and the hearing officer will make a decision based on the children’s best interests.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all child custody and family law matters. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Factors For Modifying Child Support

A child support order may be modified at any time based on a change in circumstance.

The following factors related to the child support order are considered:

  • The income of either parent significantly increases or decreases;
  • The child now has significant or continuing medical expenses;
  • Child care and/or medical insurance changes;
  • The parents are now living together; or
  • The child receiving support is 18-years-old and graduated from high school.

Spivak Law Firm routinely helps people at child support hearings by providing strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation.

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

Wills and Powers of Attorney For Young Adults

It’s never too early to start thinking about drafting your Last Will and Testament and Powers of Attorney.

Clearly stating health care wishes and appointing a person to direct them are important at every age because accidents happen.

The trauma of an accident is exacerbated when sensitive health care decisions must be made based on assumptions, leaving family members, doctors, or even judges guessing about the patient’s values.

If you are healthy and young, you may still want to get certain wishes down in writing for just-in-case situations. For many parents, this means determining who will care for their children in the event of an emergency or crisis.

For more information about drafting your Last Will and Testament and Powers of Attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Final Preparations for Divorce

When preparing for divorce, you should take stock of all your financial assets and debts.

For many families, the most significant assets include the marital residence and retirement accounts.

Other assets may include bank accounts, investment accounts, vehicles, jewelry, and furnishings.

Debts commonly include credit cards, mortgage balances, home-equity lines of credit, and student loans.

At Spivak Law Firm, we routinely help people determine the value of their marital estates and negotiate marriage settlement agreements.

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

Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines

The Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines were developed with the principle that the children of separated, divorced or single parents should receive the same amount of parental support as if the parents were together.

The State Supreme Court issued these Guidelines for calculating how much child support a parent should pay.

The Guidelines are based on the needs of the child and the ability of the parents to provide child support until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. The incomes and assets of both parents are considered when the court establishes a support order.

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

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

Is Spanking Harmful to Kids?

Parents should not spank their children due to the harmful effects of corporal punishment, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The group also advised against using non-physical punishment that is humiliating, scary or threatening.

Corporal punishment is defined as “non-injurious, open-handed hitting with the intention of modifying child behavior.”

It is associated with increased aggression and defiance, producing effects similar to those of children who experience physical abuse, according to recent studies.

It is estimated that about two-thirds of parents in the United States have spanked their children.

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

Child Support And Cash Assistance

People who receive cash assistance generally cannot receive child support under Pennsylvania law.

If you receive cash assistance, current child support owed during the time you receive cash assistance will be paid to the state.

This is called “assignment of support rights.”

The amount of your support that may be collected by the state is limited to the amount of cash assistance you receive.

Spivak Law Firm handles all matters related to child support, including: filing for child support, negotiating settlement agreements, calculating child support, and advocating for our clients at child support hearings.

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

What Is CYF?

Children Youth and Families is the name of the child-welfare agency in Allegheny County.

The stated purpose of CYF is: to protect children from abuse and neglect, to keep families together whenever possible, and to make sure that every child has a safe, permanent home.

The agency ensures that basis needs are met by their families, including: food, safe housing, supervision, clothing, and medical care.

The agency investigates reports of child abuse, neglect, and teen issues to determine if they are true.

If the reports are true and safety issues identified, the agency must decide if the child will be safe if they stay in their parent’s home.

Most of the time, children can stay in their home with their parents and the family will receive services to address the safety issues.

Other times the safety issues cannot be addressed while the child remains in the home and the child enters placement.

Children may be placed with a relative, in a foster home, or in a group home facility.

When a child is placed, visitation must be arranged for the child and the parent to keep their relationship strong.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, effective advocacy for people facing child abuse allegations. To speak with an attorney experienced in family law and criminal defense, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Divorce: Negotiating Settlements

In most divorce cases, attorneys informally provide one another documents regarding their clients’ marital assets and debts on their way to negotiating a financial settlement.

The parties have a legal obligation to share all relevant information prior to resolving their economic claims, including:

-Bank accounts

-Retirement accounts

-Investment portfolios

-Mortgage statements

-Credit card statements

If a financial settlement is reached, the attorneys will draft a marital settlement agreement or consent order of court resolving economic claims.

If necessary, we will also draft deeds transferring ownership of the residence and documents necessary to divide retirement accounts.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including divorce, spousal support, alimony, dividing assets and debts, child custody, and child support.

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

Child Custody and Health Issues

Childhood obesity rates have risen to alarming levels in America.

Due to increased awareness into the long-term health consequences associated with obesity, parents and courts have grown concerned.

During custody disputes, many Moms and Dads may point out the physical health of their children as an attack against the other parent.

Pennsylvania courts decide custody disputes in the best interests of the child.

If a child’s health problems associated with obesity are exacerbated by decisions made by a parent, this has the potential to negatively impact their case.

For instance, if Dad regularly provides fast food meals for his overweight, diabetic child, a judge could determine that primary custody should go to Mom, who regularly makes healthy meals and exercises with the child.

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