Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA


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Wilkinsburg Child Custody Lawyer

3 Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce can help you resolve your conflict, and it provides a number of advantages over going to court, including:

  • Collaborative divorce is often less expensive than litigating through the courts.
  • The process is more flexible, as you can determine your own meeting times to accommodate your work schedule rather than having to follow the court’s schedule.
  • Your children are better shielded from conflict, as they avoid the stress of going to court.

To learn more about collaborative divorce, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390 to schedule a consultation.

Avoid Conflict in Divorce

The decision to divorce does not end the hurt feelings and conflict between spouses. The animosity often spills over into the divorce process and can affect your ability to parent effectively. But allowing conflict to take charge of your divorce can prove costly.

One of the best ways to keep legal fees to a minimum is by cooperating with your ex-spouse, if possible. This does not mean giving in to every demand, but to simply make an effort to forgive and remain civil with one another. You and your ex-spouse may benefit from attending co-parenting classes together or even seeing a counselor, which may limit your emotional and financial stress.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFAs. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Divorce and Child Custody


family-pic4Separating from your spouse when there are children involved can be emotionally draining.

If you intend to pursue a shared custody schedule, ideally you should plan to relocate to an area within the school district where your children currently attend. You should also find a residence to comfortably accommodate you and your children.

If you moved out of the marital residence and provide support to your spouse, maintaining your own residence can be a huge financial burden. If you are temporarily living with friends or family or are living in a residence outside of the children’s school district, this doesn’t necessarily hurt your chances of obtaining shared physical custody. However, you should eventually establish a more permanent residence to properly accommodate you and your children.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and PFA hearings. To speak with an experienced family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

What’s In A Child Custody Order?

Beautiful baby of three months old in his mothers hands.A child custody order can be short – as little as half a page – or very long – running many dozens of pages. Child custody orders typically direct how parents:

–Share responsibility for making major decisions that affect the children

–Share time with the children during the school year

–Share time with the children during the summer months

–Share time with the children during holidays and birthdays

–Communicate about the children

–Communicate their vacation plans

–Transport the children for custody exchanges

–Notify one another if they plan to relocate

Parents need not follow the order so long as they both agree to changes. But in the event parents disagree, the order provides a framework that enables them to co-parent effectively while minimizing conflict.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong, compassionate representation in all child custody matters. Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

High Conflict Child Custody Cases

Custody Pic9In Allegheny County, parents are strongly encouraged to determine their own child custody schedules. In most cases, with the help of family law attorneys and court-appointed mediators, parents are able to reach agreement on how to divide time with their children.

But high-conflict custody cases often cannot be resolved through negotiation. Parents with serious communication problems and high levels of anger and distrust may take their cases to trial.

At Spivak Law Firm, we are effective negotiators who help parents craft their own child custody orders. We are also trained trial lawyers experienced at aggressively litigating cases to reach our client’s goals.

For a free consultation with an experienced child custody lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

The Needs and Rights of Children

dandelion wishing blowing seedsIdeally children should be parented cooperatively. They should be permitted and encouraged to form the best possible relationship with both parents and develop health connections with the families of both parents as well. If children feel safe and secure in their primary relationships, they are likely to be successful, happy, and well-adjusted. The goal is to establish a base from which children can continue their uninterrupted healthy growth patterns.

Every child has the right to:

  • Develop a relationship with both parents
  • Exist in a world free of parent-driven conflict
  • Go back and forth to visit freely between both parents
  • Spend time and engage in activities with both parents
  • Have a comfortable and safe space in both homes
  • Expect consistent behavior from both parents
  • Have the major issues (medical, legal, educational) shared with both parents
  • Not ever be put in a position to choose between their parents
  • Sometimes make their own choices and to be heard
  • Be a child

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

What To Expect At Child Custody Mediation

Expunge Pic4In Allegheny County, any parent who files for child custody must participate in the Generations program, a two-part alternative dispute resolution program administered by the Child Custody Department. Step one is an education seminar. Step two is a mediation session.

Below is information on the Generations mediation session:

  • The mediation is a opportunity for parties to negotiate a detailed, workable parenting agreement outlined in an informal agreement called a Memorandum of Understanding. Only the parents are permitted in the mediation session – neither children nor attorneys may attend.
  • The mediation session is approximately two hours in length.
  • The mediation session is conducted at the child Custody Department on the first floor of the Family Law Center located in downtown Pittsburgh at 440 Ross Street.
  • The mediation session is mandatory. If you fail to attend the mediation session, the custody action may be dismissed or you may be held in contempt of court for not following the scheduling order. Failure to appear at a contempt hearing may result in the issuance of a custody order and/or a bench warrant for your arrest.
  • If you have been the victim of domestic violence, you may complete and file a domestic violence waiver and bring it to the Child Custody Department. You will then receive an order of court canceling the mediation session and scheduling a conciliation session instead.
  • If you and the other party have agreed to a parenting plan at the completion of your mediation session, you may: complete a Memorandum of Understanding, consult with you attorneys, or have the agreement turned into a legally binding, fully enforceable court order by a domestic relations officer, if available (this option will dispose of the custody action and you will go no further into the court system).
  • If you do not agree after your mediation session, you can request a conciliation date at the Child Custody Department window or pursue additional mediation sessions privately with your mediator.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all child custody matters. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.