Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Mt. Lebanon Custody Lawyer

Child Custody: Strategies to Prevent Meltdowns

Young children may exhibit symptoms of separation anxiety when their parents divorce. Symptoms may include whimpering to be picked up, shrieking if a parent leaves the room, or wailing at bedtime.

Child psychologists recommend the following strategies to prevent or de-escalate meltdowns:

  • Validate their feelings: Acknowledge that you understand why the situation makes them feel scared, and encourage them to practice being brave and trying an activity on their own.
  • Reward quiet acts of bravery: Avoid prolonging goodbyes and paying attention to tantrum. Be sure to reward them for playing alone or going to bed without fuss.
  • Practice routines: If you suspect that your child might struggle with an upcoming event, like starting remote learning, returning to preschool or an overnight visit with family, practicing the routine a few days before can help your child prepare.
  • Provide a transitional object: Give your children something small and personal that reminds them of home – that they can keep in their pocket or cubby and retrieve when they need to feel a connection to loved ones.
  • Relieve your own stress: Anxious parents can exacerbate their children’s anxiety, so take steps to relieve your own stress.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, alimony, separation of assets and debts, estate planning, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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

Alimony as Secondary Remedy

Alimony is considered a secondary remedy under Pennsylvania law.

If there are liquid assets in the marital estate, judges in Allegheny County prefer to award the lower earning spouse a higher percentage of the martial estate.

Divorce cases often do not include any alimony award, or there may be alimony for a short-term basis only.

Courts generally will not award unless the marriage exceeded 15 years and there is a significant disparity in income levels between the wife and husband.

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

Divorce for the Higher Earning Spouse

The higher-earning spouse may be required to pay spousal support or alimony as part of a divorce.

Spousal support refers to money paid to the lower-earning spouse until the divorce is finalized. Alimony refers to money paid to the lower-earning spouse after the decree in divorce has been issued.

Additionally, the higher-earning spouse may be entitled to a smaller portion of the marital estate.

Under Pennsylvania law, the formal process for dividing a marital estate is known as equitable distribution. If the parties cannot agree about how to divide the marital estate, the court will issue an order based on principles of fairness.

In such cases, the court may not believe that a 50/50 division of marital assets is fair. Rather, the higher hearing spouse may receive as little as 40 or 45 percent of the estate.

To learn more about how to divide assets and debts as part of your divorce, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Divorce for the Lower Earning Spouse

The lower-earning spouse stands to gain financially in many divorce cases.

For instance, the lower-earning spouse may receive spousal support – monthly payments until the divorce is finalize. In some cases, the lower-earning spouse may also receive alimony – monthly payments that continue even after the divorce is finalized.

Additionally, the lower-earning spouse may be entitled to a larger division of the marital estate.

If the parties cannot agree about how to divide the marital estate, the court will issue an order based on principles of fairness under Pennsylvania law.

In addition to monthly support, the lower-earning spouse may be entitled to receive a 55 or even 60 percent share of the marital estate.

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.

Financial Preparations for Divorce

If you and your spouse are about to separate, you should consult with an attorney about financial preparations for divorce.

You may want to defer income or delay any major purchases until after a divorce complaint has been filed in order to preserve your assets.

It is important for you to obtain copies of recent statements related to your marital estate. These include mortgage balance statements and retirement account statements, as well as tax returns and W-2s.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all divorce and family law matters.

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

How to Divorce a Jerk

Divorce can be emotionally difficult especially if your ex behaves like a jerk who demeans and disrespects you.

Conflict mediators recommend the following tips for dealing with a difficult ex:

Don’t be defensive: Getting defensive may be a natural response, but it only escalates the cycle of aggression.

Redirect the discussion: Start a conversation about the conversation itself by reflecting on the tone of the discussion.

Challenge their aggression: Gently challenge the belief that aggression is necessary.

Minimize interaction: An aggressive ex can’t cause as much harm if interactions are limited. Consider having all communication occur through the attorneys, if necessary.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a special focus on high conflict divorce and child custody as well as allegations of domestic abuse.

To schedule a consultation, 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 divorce settlement agreements.

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

High-Conflict Divorce

Most divorce cases are settled by negotiation without need to go to court or stand before a judge.

But some high-conflict cases make settlement impossible.

Spouses may disagree on everything from how to divide the marital estate to the child custody schedule or how much child support or spousal support should be paid.

In such cases, the spouses may engage in multiple motions, hearings or trials before the divorce can be finalized.

There may also be need to undergo discovery – the formal court process for obtaining important information needed for trial. In divorce cases, discovery may be necessary to obtain key financial documents.

Spivak Law Firm has extensive experience in high-conflict divorce and child custody. 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.

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.