Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Spivak Law Firm

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.

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.

Estate Planning Goals

What do you want to accomplish by having an estate plan in place? Here are a list of possibilities:

  • Protecting your spouse if you die?
  • Helping your children pay for college?
  • Safeguarding your home and investments?
  • Donating to your favorite charity?
  • Ensuring that you have enough funds in retirement?
  • Selecting caretakers for your minor children if both parents die?
  • Passing along family heirlooms?

At Spivak Law Firm, we help our clients identify their goals and employ strategies to help achieve them. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm 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.

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.

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.