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Bridgeville Divorce Lawyer

Divorce: Risks For Kids

Research shows that divorce poses serious physical and emotional risks for children that can cause problems well into adulthood. Divorce can be a rough transition for children and it may be wise to enlist the help of a professional.

However, it is not abnormal for children to show signs of stress as they adjust. There are some general clues to look for when trying to decide whether your child needs therapy.

If you notice unusual behavior that persists for more than a couple of weeks, it is a sign your child might need help. Other specific symptoms include social withdrawal, increased sleepiness, and persistent mood swings.

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.

3 Tips For Child Custody and Divorce

Divorce can be a difficult experience for many children.

By focusing on your child’s best interest, you can ensure that they are cared for just as well as if you and your spouse were still together.

Here are three tips for maintaining your child’s best interest during divorce:

  • Encourage your child not to take sides. Don’t blame your spouse for the divorce in front of your child. Instead, remain respectful about and to your former spouse in front of your child.
  • Avoid leaning on your child for emotional support. If you need help dealing with the emotional burden of divorce, turn to a counselor or therapist. Your child will have a difficult enough time dealing with his or her own emotions without feeling responsible for yours.
  • Hire an experienced family lawyer. Navigating the divorce process can be overwhelming and stressful. A knowledgeable family attorney understands how choices made in the legal process can affect life afterwards.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal 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.

Avoid Stress in Divorce

Family Pic3Divorce doesn’t have to be stressful emotionally or financially.

Litigation tends to increase stress levels for people going through a divorce. But you can get a divorce without ever stepping into a courtroom.

Spivak Law Firm is trained in mediation and collaborative law. We are skilled negotiators who can help spouses reach settlement on all issues, including: child custody; child and spousal support; and dividing assets and debts.

If agreement is reached, we then draft a Marital Settlement Agreement and quickly process the divorce.

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

Child Custody in Allegheny County (Part 5 of 7)

111787230In Allegheny County, any person involved in a child custody dispute must enroll in Generations, an alternative dispute resolution program that includes an educational seminar and mediation session. To learn about the educational seminar, please click here. To learn about the mediation session, please click here. To learn about waiving the mediation session due to issues of domestic violence, please click here. To learn about the custody conciliation, please click here.

If you and the other party are unable to come to an agreement at the custody conciliation, you may be ordered to submit income information for psychological/home evaluations.  Allegheny Forensic Associates conducts psychological evaluations.

Once an order is issued for psychological evaluations, the assigned evaluator will contact the parties and schedule the appropriate appointments. Evaluators may administer certain psychological tests and conduct interviews and observations. When the evaluation is completed, the evaluator will issue a report to the parties and the assigned Judge.

The moving party may praecipe for a judicial conciliation before the assigned Judge with the docket clerk on the third floor of the Family Court Building once they have received the report, if they wish to go forward.

In custody matters, if requested by either party or if ordered by a child custody officer, hearing officer or judge, parties may be referred for a home evaluation. The officer or judge will determine and allocate the total fee. Requests to reallocate fees will only be addressed in motions court by the assigned judge.

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

Understanding Alimony in Allegheny County

ConflictCan you still get alimony even if you had an affair during the marriage?

Yes. Under Pennsylvania law, courts consider 17 factors when determining whether to order alimony. Adultery and other forms of marital misconduct represent just one of those factors. Other factors include the duration of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, and the relative needs of the parties. Courts will consider adultery only if it occurred prior to the date of final separation between the parties. A person cannot continue to receive alimony after moving in with a new partner, unless the parties agree otherwise.

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

7 Tips For Avoiding High-Conflict Divorce

111787230Even the most civil divorce can be devastating emotionally and financially. But high-conflict divorce – in which parties litigate over all aspects of the divorce, including custody, child support, alimony, and property division – can be especially damaging. Protect yourself by following these tips for avoiding high-conflict divorce:

1.     Develop an emergency plan.

Your partner could assault or evict you at any time. Figure out a safe place to go, and get some ready cash, and think about who can help you on short notice. Copy important records and keep them in a safe place.

2.     Keep a journal.

As soon as possible after they occur, write down accurate details of problems and events between you and your partner that could become issues in court. Keep a journal or other written record of anything pertinent. Save email and text-message correspondence in a safe place, especially copies of hostile and harassing exchanges.

3.     Think before hitting “send.”

Communicate very carefully and respectfully with your partner, because anything may be introduced into evidence. Make any emails, whether initiated by you or in response to your partner, brief, informative, friendly, and firm. This is especially true if your partner’s emails are hostile.

4.     Seek counseling.

Obtain a therapist to help you understand your partner’s behavior, anticipate problems, deal with your emotions around the divorce or separation, and learn about yourself.

5.     Retain a family law attorney.

Hire an attorney with good communication skills, and consult with this professional to prepare for predictable crises and accusations.

6.     Avoid social media.

Delete your Facebook, Twitter, or any other publicly accessible online social networking account. You may wish to erase your browsing history from your computer. Make sure your passwords are secure. Make sure that what you want to keep private, such as letters or lists, is kept private.

7.     Reach out to loved ones.

Tell your family and friends what to expect, how to respond, how they can help, and how to avoid splitting either of you into being viewed as all good or all bad.

This list was adapted from Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

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

Protecting Kids in Divorce

Little girl wearing sundress holding flowersIn Pennsylvania, courts generally frown on parents who fail to protect their children from conflicts during divorce.

If you’re engaged in a child custody dispute, protect your children from conflicts between you and your partner. Don’t say anything against your partner, no matter how provoked you might be, because anything could become evidence.

Avoid the following behavior:

  • Asking your children questions about the other partner;
  • Discussing court with your children or within their hearing;
  • Asking your children to compare you and your partner;
  • Giving your children choices between their two parents;
  • Exposing your children to your negative emotions.

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