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Todd Adam Spivak

Todd Spivak’s Answers

104 total


  • Can my Pfa be appealed?

    I was granted a Pfa after a year of continuances. The defendant is trying to appeal the Pfa due to him being in the hospital, however, the last continuance (and all others except for one) was asked for by him. He needed surgery the day of the Pfa...

    Todd’s Answer

    It's unclear from your question whether a PFA hearing was ever held. Did you get a Final PFA based on the defendant failing to appear at the hearing? If yes, then he can appeal based on the argument that he was incapacitated at the time of the hearing. Or did you get a Final PFA after a hearing occurred? If yes, then he can appeal based on the argument that the Judge made legal errors. Or did the defendant consent to the Final PFA? If yes, then he has a very weak case for appeal given that he agreed to the Order.

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  • What is the best way to get a custody order to be followed.

    My ex wife and I have a custody agreement split custody. It states that if whoevers day it is to have the child is away from them for more then 4 hours that the parent has first option to babysit. She refuses to follow the custody agreement. When ...

    Todd’s Answer

    File a Petition to Enforce the Custody Order, then request a Contempt Hearing. Be prepared to explain in detail to the Court all the ways in which your ex has violated the Order. Request sanctions in the form of attorney's fees and make-up time with your child.

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  • What is the definition of primary vs. joint physical custody in PA?

    Does joint physical custody necessarily mean 50% for each parent? I've read articles stating that shared custody is when each parent has the children at least 35% of the time.. If one parent has the children 55% or 60%, and the other...

    Todd’s Answer

    Shared physical custody refers to each parent or guardian having their child physically with them at their residence overnight roughly 50 percent of the time. Generally, a parent or guardian who has the child overnight for at least 40 percent of the time -- or 146 nights per year -- is considered to have shared custody. "Joint custody" is just another term for shared custody. "50/50 custody" refers to parents who enjoy exactly the same number of overnights with their child each year -- for instance, on a week-on, week-off basis. "Primary custody" refers to one parent having the child overnight the vast majority of the time -- usually at all times except two weekends per month.

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  • Can my husband go to rehab instead of jail for a domestic abuse case

    Husband has a criminal background

    Todd’s Answer

    Yes, it is possible that your husband can receive a sentence of anger management counseling as an alternative to jail for domestic abuse. Because of the he-said, she-said nature of many domestic abuse cases, the district attorney generally cannot prosecute a defendant without the victim's testimony. In many Pennsylvania counties, the district attorney will honor the victim's wishes when determining such matters as whether to prosecute and the type of plea agreement to offer. If you want your husband to receive court-ordered counseling but do not want him to go to jail, then let the district attorney know this. The district attorney may ignore your request, but unless the abuse was egregious there is a strong chance that the prosecutor will honor it.

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  • If I didnt get a summons and the da called and left a message saying I have to go to court on a certain day can they make me go

    I got a call from the da saying I have to appear in court and if he doesn't hear fromme that he will send a detective to take me to court or have the judge file a bench warrant, can they force me to go like that with no summos?

    Todd’s Answer

    If you're a victim in a domestic violence matter, and you do not appear in court, it is unlikely that the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. In such cases, your unwillingness to appear in court or testify against the defendant will often lead to a dismissal of charges. You may wish to let the district attorney know in advance that you do not intend to show up.

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  • What should I bring to my PFA hearing tomorrow?

    What should I bring to my PFA hearing tomorrow? I need a PFA against my mother--she has threatened to kill me. I have a voicemail message that proves it. We live in the same town.

    Todd’s Answer

    Attorney Williams is correct. Follow his advice to maximize your chances of receiving a Final PFA.

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  • If i did not receive a new subpoena when the hearing was postponed, am i no longer required to be there?

    I am the victim of a domestic. My husband is the accused. I do not wish to testify against him due to the fact hes sought counseling. Hearing has been postponed several times now, I've gotten two subpoenas notifying me of this. The last postponeme...

    Todd’s Answer

    If you do not wish to testify against your husband or have him prosecuted, then you should inform the district attorney's office about this as soon as possible. In many domestic violence cases, the charges are dropped against the defendant if the victim does not appear in court.

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  • Can a mother leave an abusive marriage with her children and travel across state lines.

    My sister is in an abusive marriage. They have two boys under 13 yrs. She wants to leave. The husband has not physically touched her but has the boys. He has not left any marks on them. He has left them in the woods by themselves and later gone ba...

    Todd’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Your sister should speak with an experienced family law attorney in Colorado about restraining orders and custody relocation procedures.

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  • My ex- husband only has shared legal custody with me for our child. What information must I share with him?

    Ex- husband has no visitation or custodial rights at this time . He just got released from prison for a fifth violation of a PFA, which did not include our son. Ex- husband asks about child's activities , sports and such . Our son does not want t...

    Todd’s Answer

    Shared legal custody means you are must jointly decide and share information regarding major issues involving the child, including: education, health, and religious decisions. Because your husband apparently has a PFA against him and was convicted for violating the order, you may seek to modify the custody order so that you have primary legal custody over the child. You seem to have a fairly strong case for primary legal custody given the circumstances.

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  • What actions should I take to end child support and custody?

    My 16 year old son does not want to live with his mother anymore due to fighting with her boyfriend. Can he move in with me or does he have to stay with her?

    Todd’s Answer

    More information is needed to answer your question. For instance, is there a custody order? Do you have shared or partial custody over your son? Do you live in the same county and/or school district as your son? Depending on the answers to these questions, you might consider filing for custody or modifying the current order so that your son can move in with you.

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