We are delighted to announce that our physical office is re-opening to our existing and new clients. To provide safety to both our clients and staff, we are adapting the CDC guidelines for social distancing while we are in the yellow phase. Rest assured, that we have and will continue to regularly clean all areas of the office especially the high-traffic areas. All attorneys and staff will have their temperature taken daily and will be wearing masks when interacting with clients. Any attorneys and staff with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will work remotely. They will then be required to follow CDCrecommended steps, including not returning to work until the CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation are met.

As the health and safety of our clients and their families is our top priority, we are asking that our clients follow the procedures below during the yellow phase:

  1. Upon entering the building, we ask that all persons wash their hands or hand-sanitize. We will be providing access to soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
  2. We will also be taking temperatures with non-contact thermometers upon entering the office.
  3. Our office is set-up to comply with social distancing of six feet. In the conference and mediation rooms we are asking that each person sit a minimum of one chair apart from attorneys and/or staff at all times.
  4. Masks are available and will be provided open request.
  5. Teleconferences Zoom meetings, and FaceTime are available in lieu of inperson meetings if requested.
  6. We will continue to have the drop-box available for delivery of documents.

In the event that anyone is sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, we ask that you reschedule your appointment or utilize the electronic forums listed above.

As each county determines the procedures that will be followed, please ask your attorney of the specific procedures regarding the county in which your case in pending.

Please note that we will also continue to accommodate the needs of new clients, who are welcome, and as always we encourage and appreciate referrals. During this uncertain and unprecedented time, please stay safe and remember that Sweeney Law Office, LLC will remain by your side for all of your family’s legal needs. We ask that you have patience during this challenging time.

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Couples may see help for international child support woes

Some divorced Pennsylvania parents are likely familiar with the difficulties that can arise when trying to maintain child support agreements when a former spouse is living within the same city or state. However, these child support agreements can become even more difficult to uphold when one former spouse is living in an entirely different country. These parents may soon see assistance, though, with new legislation that has recently passed through the House.

The legislation would make it easier for states to collect child support payments from parents living in countries outside the United States. It would ratify an already existing agreement, the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, between the U.S. and various other countries that ensures the nations under it would cooperate to get families the support payments they legally deserve. However, the agreement is reportedly not as effective as it could be.

The ratification will provide the language needed to implement the existing agreement. Additionally, the ratification would establish a standardized process for sharing information between countries relating to these support agreements and payments. Hopefully, the ratification will work to speed up the process of setting up these support agreements which can currently last up to five years.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Senate will pass this legislation as well in order to ratify the 2007 agreement. Parents who may currently be seeing issues establishing child support obligations between countries due to lack of cooperation may benefit from knowing what legislation may currently apply to them, as well as what may apply to them in the future. Regardless, cooperation between former Pennsylvania spouses on these matters may work to help the situation as well and uphold the best interest of the children involved.

Source: Yahoo! Finance, “House acts on international child support treaty,” Jim Abrams, June 6, 2012

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