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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Family law: Are marriage contracts on deck in Pennsylvania?

The old nursery rhyme “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage” has been turned on its ear in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. While love may still come first, what comes after that is up for grabs. For some, it is a prenuptial agreement. For others, it might be a postnuptial agreement. Another family law proposal currently making the media rounds is referred to as a marriage contract.

It used to be that many saw a prenuptial agreement as anathema to the concept of marriage. However, these contracts have gained in popularity to the point where many couples about to walk down the aisle discuss the need for one. Some say the proof is in the pudding. The truth is that about half of all marriages end in divorce, many of them within the first seven years

A law was proposed in Mexico to provide for marriage contracts of a specific length of time. These written agreements could be for as little as two years and could also be renewed at the discretion of the parties. The legislation, however, was met with skepticism and ultimately was not enacted into law. Nevertheless, the notion remains that a contract providing for a marriage to last a predetermined period of time could address many of the same issues currently covered by prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

There is no proposal on the horizon for this novel concept to be adopted in Pennsylvania, but perhaps we should stay tuned. The president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers expressed the opinion that these types of family law agreements may make sense and could easily include the financial terms to be addressed once the contract was completed. After all, the financial costs of getting divorced have been estimated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars annually, and some say it may be time to simply acknowledge up front that many marriage are simply not built to last.

Source: The New York Times, “Till Death, or 20 Years, Do Us Part,” Matt Richtel, Sept. 28, 2012

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