Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pittsburgh Child Custody Lawyers

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.

PFA Hearings: Child Testimony

A child under 13-years-old who alleges physical or sexual abuse may not have to testify at a Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearing under Pennsylvania Law.

The Tender Years Hearsay Act allows a psychologist or caseworker from Children Youth and Families (CYF) to testify on the child’s behalf.

The purpose of the Act is to protect children from the added trauma of appearing in court to describe the details of the alleged assault.

New legislation may expand the Act to include children under 17-years-old.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania opposes the bill on grounds that it violates the defendant’s right to due process.

Courts heavily rely on other professionals to determine whether abuse on a child actually occurred.

There may be a forensic interview conducted by a child abuse specialist in the presence of a police detective and a CYF caseworker.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on PFA, domestic abuse and high-conflict child custody.

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.

Child Custody and Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation anxiety disorder is the most common anxiety disorder in children ages 12 and younger, and symptoms can emerge as early as age 2.

The causes aren’t entirely clear.

Genetics play a role – if one or both parents have an anxiety disorder of any kind, their children are more likely to have separation anxiety disorder.

The disorder can also be triggered in the wake of a stressful life event, like a high-conflict divorce or child custody dispute.

Parents who are concerned that their child may be showing signs of separation anxiety disorder should see a therapist who specializes in treating pediatric anxiety.

If left untreated, anxiety disorders increase the risk of other mental health conditions such as depression.

Treatment generally involves using cognitive behavioral therapy to help kids learn to manage symptoms plus training to help manage tantrums.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law and child custody matters. We routinely help families connect with important resources, such as: pediatric counselors, family counselors, and co-parenting counselors.

To speak with an experienced child custody attorney, 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.

Domestic Violence and the “Boyfriend Loophole”

Existing federal law forbids people convicted of domestic violence against a current or former spouse to buy or own a firearm.

But what if the abuse was perpetrated by an intimate partner who is not your spouse?

Lawmakers may close the so-called “boyfriend loophole” to expand protections for abuse victims.

Efforts to renew the Violence Against Women Act include a provision to prohibit firearm ownership by those convicted of abusing, assaulting or stalking a dating partner, or to those under a restraining order.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation. We handle all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on domestic violence, child custody, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

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