Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

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Allegheny County Child Custody Law Firm

Grandparent Custody: Seeking Primary Custody

A grandparent may bring an action for primary custody of a child if the relationship with the child began with the consent of a parent or under a court order, and the grandparent is willing to assume responsibility for the child.

Additionally, a grandparent seeking primary custody must show one of the following conditions:

-The child was found dependent under juvenile law;

-The child is at risk due to parental abuse, neglect, or incapacity; or

-The child has, for at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparent, and has been removed from the home by the parents.

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

CYF and Child Custody

In high-conflict custody cases, one parent may inappropriately use Child Youth and Families (CYF) as a tool to harass or control the other parent.

One possible consequence of a CYF investigation is that children may be removed from the care of the allegedly abusive or neglectful parent.

The assigned CYF caseworker may eventually make a finding that no abuse occurred.

However, at that point, your children may have already been removed from your care for months.

At Spivak Law Firm, we work hard to expedite the process so parents accused of abuse are reunited with their children as quickly as possible.

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

Custody Exchanges During Coronavirus

Do I have to exchange my child during the Coronavirus?

Absent a true emergency, you must abide by the terms of your Custody Order. A party who willfully fails to comply with any Custody Order may be found in contempt of Court.

At this time, the Pennsylvania Courts have not yet established if the COVID-19 pandemic is a valid justification for a parent failing to follow their Custody Order.

If you can still exchange your child safely, you should do so. Be as reasonable and accommodating with the other parent as possible. Communicate with the other parent to develop an exchange plan that limits exposure to the virus and aligns with CDC and government recommendations.

An experienced attorney can help you navigate these issues and help create options. For instance, your attorney may communicate with your ex or their attorney directly to develop a plan for custody exchanges, or even entering a Consent Order for guaranteed makeup time once the threat of the Coronavirus eases.

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

Tips For Child Custody Hearings

Custody Pic1In a child custody hearing, you may think that the judge’s main focus in the courtroom is on the lawyers. But the judge is mindful of all parties involved and pays close attention to the parents’ body language and demeanor.

When you are in court, pay attention and remain calm. If the other parent says something disagreeable, avoid shaking your head, rolling your eyes, sighing, or squirming in your chair. One of the sixteen custody factors considered by the judge is the level of conflict between the parties. Negative body language may lead the judge to believe that you and your ex-spouse are unable to effectively co-parent in the best interests of your children.

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

Talking Divorce To Kids

Custody Pic1Although there is a great deal of literature discussing the impact of divorce on children, there really is no clear cut way to break the news to them. Each family unit is unique, but the following five tips may make it less traumatic for both you and your children:

  • Discuss what you plan to tell the children;
  • Agree on what you do not plan to tell the children;
  • Tell your children together with your ex-spouse;
  • Reinforce to the children that the divorce is not their fault;
  • Ensure that the children know the divorce is not reversible.

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

A Parent’s Responsibilities

Custody Pic5Every parent has the responsibility to:

  • Engage in the best possible cooperative parenting partnership
  • Encourage and promote their children’s relationship with the other parent
  • Make and keep appropriate custody and visitation schedules
  • Develop their own parenting style and not deliberately interfere with the other parent’s parenting
  • Provide private and comfortable space for their children in their home
  • Provide good, safe, and appropriate child-care when parents cannot be available
  • Communicate with the other parent about legal, educational, medical, and financial needs
  • Support their children’s participation in educational or extra-curricular and community activities

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in all child custody matters. To speak with an experienced family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.