Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pgh Parental Alienation Lawyer

Divorce and Bankruptcy

My spouse and I both want a divorce. We also need to file for bankruptcy due to our significant debts. What should we do first: file for divorce or file for bankruptcy?

The answer depends on the circumstances of your case, according to a recent article in Lawyers Journal written by Pittsburgh attorney Beth Slaby.

“If the spouses are on amicable terms, it may be best to file bankruptcy first,” she writes. “This allows both to share in the cost of attorneys’ fees and filing fees and could possibly protect them from paying joint debt.”

On the other hand, she writes: “The benefit of filing for divorce first may be that a married couple’s joint income is too high to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, but a person might be able to qualify individually after the divorce is final.”

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

Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Teen Mental Health Issues

Statistics regarding teen mental health are, well, depressing.

More than 30% of high schoolers report persistent sadness.

About 20% say they have seriously considered suicide.

Teenagers may be happy to learn that some social scientists recommend combating these problems by advocating for less homework and later start-times at school.

Teenagers are not getting enough sleep, according to a recent Washington Post article:

“No one questions the benefits of sleep for babies and young children. But teenagers’ brains and bodies are changing and growing just as much as they did in their earliest years. The restructuring of the adolescent brain is pivotal to healthy development – and to a large extent, it occurs during sleep.”

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on child custody and domestic abuse. Call us today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Domestic Abuse: Behavioral Effects On Kids

Children who witness domestic violence may have the following behavioral effects:

  • Poor impulse control
  • Stress disorders and psychosomatic complaints
  • Increased social isolation or withdrawal
  • Increased deceptiveness
  • Aggressiveness
  • Dependence
  • Passiveness
  • Bed-wetting
  • Nightmares
  • Lack of creativity and healthy exploration
  • Feelings of powerlessness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Confusion and insecurity
  • Sadness and depression
  • Poor definition of self
  • Defines self in parenting role
  • Ambivalence
  • Constant fear
  • Self-blame

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

We provide strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Grandparent Custody: Seeking Partial Custody

A grandparent or great-grandparent may bring an action for partial custody of a child if the parent of the child is deceased.

In such situations, the grandparent or great-grandparent must show that the relationship with the child began with the consent of a parent or under court order.

Additionally, the parents of the child must have filed a custody action and did not agree that the grandparent or great-grandparent should have custody.

Finally, the child for a least 12 consecutive months must have resided with the grandparent or great-grandparent, and was removed from the home by the parents.

Spivak Law Firm handles child custody matters in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties, including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

How Much Will My Divorce Cost?

A divorce can occur quickly over a period of just a few months, or it can be dragged out over many years.

The cost of a divorce depends on the complexities of the issues and the willingness of the parties to reach an agreement.

Divorce cases may include several issues, including:

-Division of assets and debts

-Transfer of property ownership by deeds or titles

-Calculating spousal support and child support

-Determining a child custody schedule

-Obtaining a divorce decree

If there is agreement on all of the issues, then an attorney will simply draft the necessary documents and process them with the Court.

If parties cannot reach agreement, then there may be need for settlement discussions, negotiations, and possible litigation.

Divorce cases tend to cost more when they are more fully litigated in Court.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, equitable distribution, spousal support, alimony, child support, child custody and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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

Divorce: Who Gets the House?

If both spouses want to remain in the marital residence after the divorce, then who will ultimately get the house?

This issue will be resolved as part of the divorce process.

Negotiations will occur to possibly induce one spouse into buying out the other spouse’s equity share of the residence.

The formula for calculating equity is simple: subtract the mortgage balance from the fair market value of the residence, then deduct an additional seven percent to account for realtor fees. The remaining amount constitutes the home’s equity.

If, after negotiations, the parties still cannot reach agreement about who gets the house, the court will decide. One possibility is that the court will force a sale of the residence and divide the proceeds between the spouses.

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

Child Custody During COVID-19

All parents snap at their children, says Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at George Washington University School of Medicine.

“Raising your voice or losing your cool from time to time?” wrote Jessica Grose recently in The New York Times. “That’s inevitable because we are human.”

The article distinguishes between “letting your irritation erupt” and “abuse.”

Physical and emotional abuse – such as ridiculing a child, constant criticism or withholding affection or comfort – are never acceptable, she writes.

But it’s natural for parents to feel frustrated and anxious at times. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified a lot of stressors on parents, both financial and emotional.

But experts suggest that parents who lose their cool should later apologize to their children. Parents should discuss ways to calm down with their children and use the episode as a “learning opportunity.”

Parents may consider therapy if they are suddenly irritable all the time and lashing out at their kids frequently, suggests Dr. Alexandra Sacks, a reproductive psychiatrist cited in the article.

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

Helping Parents Cope With Remote Learning

Remote learning has proven difficult or even disastrous for many students who have seen their grades drop since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents, too, have been strained both financially and emotionally as they try to work while giving their kids the support they need.

For parents who are now effectively listening in on their children’s classes for the first time, the tone or style of a teacher’s approach to correcting students can be stressful to overhear.

Witnessing our kids’ experiences can be jarring for a parent, as they may be criticized or scolded for not paying attention or not being prepared.

A recent article in The Washington Post describes ways for parents to cope: “Just acknowledging the emotional labor and time that goes into navigating remote school is an important step.”

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Living With Your Spouse During the Divorce

There is nothing unusual about spouses who decide to divorce but continue living together due to financial hardship.

They may sleep in different rooms and try to occupy separate parts of the residence to minimize conflict.

But such situations can be understandably tense and problematic.

If living together proves too difficult, one spouse may ask the court to award him or her exclusive possession of the residence.

Be careful not to engage in any abusive behavior that could lead to the filing of a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, which may evict you from the home for up to three years and provide the other spouse leverage for getting the property as part of the divorce.

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

Back to School During COVID-19

As the new school year begins, parents with differing views on whether to send their kids to school during COVID-19 are continuing to resolve their legal custody disputes in family court.

Judges face a challenge when balancing parental rights and health.

In Allegheny County, the bar has been set high for judges to change time-sharing schedules even in situations where parents are front-line workers.

Currently there is no FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination for children under 12. Family law experts anticipate more court disputes involving parents who disagree about whether to inoculate their children against COVID-19 as the vaccines become available for young children.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all child custody matters, including: negotiating and drafting custody agreements, enforcing custody orders, and litigating high-conflict custody trials.

Call Spivak Law at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.