Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA


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Bethel Park Divorce Attorney

3 Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce can help you resolve your conflict, and it provides a number of advantages over going to court, including:

  • Collaborative divorce is often less expensive than litigating through the courts.
  • The process is more flexible, as you can determine your own meeting times to accommodate your work schedule rather than having to follow the court’s schedule.
  • Your children are better shielded from conflict, as they avoid the stress of going to court.

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

Avoid Conflict in Divorce

The decision to divorce does not end the hurt feelings and conflict between spouses. The animosity often spills over into the divorce process and can affect your ability to parent effectively. But allowing conflict to take charge of your divorce can prove costly.

One of the best ways to keep legal fees to a minimum is by cooperating with your ex-spouse, if possible. This does not mean giving in to every demand, but to simply make an effort to forgive and remain civil with one another. You and your ex-spouse may benefit from attending co-parenting classes together or even seeing a counselor, which may limit your emotional and financial stress.

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

Divorce: Who Gets The House?


family-pic3Will I lose the house in the divorce if I move out?

Under Pennsylvania law, the marital residence is subject to division if it is considered marital property, which is defined as property acquired during the marriage and before final separation.

If your ex moves out at separation, you likely stand a better chance of staying in the home; however, you may later have to pay your ex a share of the home’s equity value.

Keep in mind that even if you acquired the house before marriage, your ex will share in any increases or decreases in the value of the property.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and PFA hearings. To speak with an experienced family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

What to Expect At Your Child Support Hearing

Custody Pic5In Allegheny County, many people resolve child support issues without need for a hearing. Parties first disclose their income and expenses to a domestic-relations officer usually in a small office or cubicle. The officer will usually run calculations based on state support guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Legislature. The parties then have an opportunity to reach an agreement as to the amount of support, if any. The officer at this first level does not have authority to enter a recommendation.

If the parties do not reach agreement, they will attend a hearing on the same day. The hearing is a mini-trial in which each party is sworn under oath and permitted to testify, introduce evidence, and cross-examine one another. The hearing officer will hear testimony, accept evidence, and issue a recommendation within 30 days. If either party is dissatisfied with the recommendation, he or she may file an appeal known as exceptions to be reviewed by the judge assigned to the case.

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

Child Support and Social Security Disability

83496541Are Social Security Disability benefits includable as income for support purposes? It depends what kind of disability benefits you receive. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are includable in “income” as defined by Pennsylvania law; but Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are not income for support purposes.

Whether you qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) depends on your work history. To qualify for SSD benefits, you must have paid into the Social Security system by working for a certain amount of time. To qualify for SSI benefits, you need not have any work history at all. Unlike SSD, SSI is similar to a welfare program. SSI recipients must be disabled and have a monthly income that does not exceed a certain level.

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

Pennsylvania Court Helps Divorced Parents

Transportation is a common problem for divorced parents who share custody of their children. School districts do not make things easier when they insist on providing transportation only to one parent’s residence.

But a court ruling from earlier this year will go a long way toward helping divorced parents by forcing school districts to provide bus transportation to both parents’ homes so long as they each reside in the district.

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court upheld a Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas judge’s ruling that ordered the Manheim Township School District to resume busing services for a middle school student who alternates weeks with his mother and father.

The Court cited Pennsylvania laws requiring school districts to provide transportation to resident pupils and prohibiting school districts from forcing students to travel more than 1.5 miles from their homes to the bus stop.

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