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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Hidden assets during divorce: 1,200 pairs of shoes?

It is not all that uncommon for hidden finances to be discovered when a high-asset Pittsburgh couple divorces. With the frequency in which high-asset celebrities and public figures divorce, many of them may feel they need to hide some assets to ensure they can maintain their lifestyle if a divorce should be in their future. However, doing so can deprive the other spouse from assets they rightfully deserve.

One ex-couple are facing this situation post-divorce, when a man purportedly learned of his former-wife’s extensive and valuable shoe collection she kept over the course of their marriage. The collection consists of 1,200 pairs of shoes estimated to be worth $1 million. The man insists his former wife hid the collection from him during their marriage and divorce proceedings, and he is now demanding 35 percent of the collection’s worth. Now, he has filed a lawsuit to open up the divorce all over again.

Commonly, assets gained during a marriage are shared property between spouses. When a divorce occurs, these shared assets are typically equitably divided between the parties. If an individual is hiding a large asset, such as a $1 million shoe collection, the negotiations could well be skewed, and a spouse may unfairly receive less. Even when a couple is not considered to be “high asset,” these same problems can be encountered.

Sometimes, these hidden assets are revealed in the process of a divorce settlement, but in other cases they may not be discovered at all. Pittsburgh couples can attempt to avoid this situation by being informed on the finances of their spouse, both shared and individual. When this information is out in the open and easily accessed by both spouses, a truly fair settlement can be negotiated and achieved. It remains to be seen if the New York court hearing the dispute over the shoe collection will alter the terms of the divorce judgment, though such action is typically limited to actual proof of fraud.

Source: NJ.com, “A shoe-in for a lawsuit: Wife’s 1,200 pair designer heel collection focus of divorce suit,” June 25, 2012

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