Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Pittsburgh Family Law Firm

Last Will and Testament Requirements

When making your Last Will and Testament, the following factors must be met for it to be deemed a valid legal document under Pennsylvania law:

  • You must be 18 or older to make a Last Will and Testament.
  • You must be of sound mind.
  • Your will must be in writing, containing your signature or mark, or signed by another at your direction in your presence, and the signing must be done in the presence of two witnesses who also sign at the same time.
  • You must have a date on the will of when it was created and signed.
  • You must name a person to be the executor of your will. It is recommended that you also name a backup executor, as a contingency in case your first-named person cannot serve (or prefers not to serve) for some reason.
  • You must list at least one substantive provision. For example, you must leave your property to a named person in your will.

Spivak Law Firm helps people carry out their wishes by drafting their Last Will and Testament and Powers of Attorney. For a free consultation, 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.

Spivak Law Firm Offers Many Clients Flat Fees

Flat fees are one-time charges for legal services. Unlike retainers, flat fees provide clients certainty for how much their total legal fees will cost.

Flat fees are generally offered if a client seeks legal representation at a court hearing or for drafting legal documents. Flat fees may even include filing fees and travel costs related to the case.

At Spivak Law Firm, many of our clients appreciate that we offer flat fees so they know upfront how much they will need to pay for our representation.

We offer flat fees for many types of cases, including:

To speak with an experienced family law and criminal defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm 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.

Grandparent Custody: Seeking Primary Custody

A grandparent may bring an action for primary custody of a child if the relationship with the child began with the consent of a parent or under a court order, and the grandparent is willing to assume responsibility for the child.

Additionally, a grandparent seeking primary custody must show one of the following conditions:

-The child was found dependent under juvenile law;

-The child is at risk due to parental abuse, neglect, or incapacity; or

-The child has, for at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparent, and has been removed from the home by the parents.

To learn more about grandparent custody rights, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Helping Teenagers Through Divorce

The decision to divorce can be difficult especially if you have children.

Child psychologists recommend the following techniques for communicating with teenagers:

Listen: Let your teenage children vent about their problems, as the best relief often comes from simply articulating their worries and concerns.

Empathize: Offer comforting words to teenagers rather than advice so they know you’re there for them.

Support: Reassure your teenage children to establish confidence that they can overcome their problems.

Brainstorm: Discuss solutions to help your teenagers to come to terms with things outside their control.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and Protection From Abuse (PFA). For more information, call us today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

How To Lower a Child’s Risk for Addiction

Parents with substance-abuse problems often struggle to protect their kids from the genetic and environmental risks of addiction.

Such parents can best help their children by providing:

-Healthy models for sobriety, support, and coping

-Physical, financial, and emotional stability

-Trusted peer groups with parents who help look out for the child

“When a child believes he or she has the ability to resist peer pressure, he will be a lot more likely to do so,” writes Jessica Lahey, author of The Addiction Innoculation.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters with a special focus on issues of addiction, mental health, and domestic abuse. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law 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.

CYF and Child Custody

In high-conflict custody cases, one parent may inappropriately use Child Youth and Families (CYF) as a tool to harass or control the other parent.

One possible consequence of a CYF investigation is that children may be removed from the care of the allegedly abusive or neglectful parent.

The assigned CYF caseworker may eventually make a finding that no abuse occurred.

However, at that point, your children may have already been removed from your care for months.

At Spivak Law Firm, we work hard to expedite the process so parents accused of abuse are reunited with their children as quickly as possible.

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