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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Pennsylvania divorce: What happens if your spouse lies in court?

According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, nearly one third of all adults in the United States admit to being deceptive with their spouse or partner about their shared finances. Almost 60 percent acknowledge they have hid cash or assets, while others admit keeping quiet about a small purchase (54 percent) and still others have stowed away a bill from their partner (30 percent). More than one third freely admit they have lied about how much money they make, how much money they have and/or how much money they owe. It is perhaps no wonder, then, that couples might think of lying when it comes to divorce proceedings.

There is one major distinction between lying privately to a spouse or partner and doing it in the context of a Pennsylvania divorce proceeding. When a divorce is commenced, parties are typically required to complete and sign a financial affidavit, and the maker is required to swear to the truth of the statements contained in the document under penalty of perjury. The document is a formal representation of income and assets as well as liabilities. Whatever inclination an individual might have to lie to their spouse privately, doing it in a divorce proceeding can lead to substantial problems. It is illegal, and there are cases that underscore the potential consequences that lying could provoke.

One California woman reportedly won the lottery less than two weeks before she filed for divorce. When she did file, she neglected to disclose the $1.3 million in lottery winnings. When the lie was discovered, the court acted decisively. If the wife had disclosed the winnings properly, each spouse would have received half of the winnings in California. Because she lied, the husband was awarded the entire amount.

No matter one’s gender, lying in divorce proceedings can result in severe consequences. In Pennsylvania, a party who lies could face criminal charges in addition to financial penalties in the divorce litigation itself. Those encountering these issues are likely best served by securing professional assistance to ensure they and their spouse play by the rules. In doing so, the parties can work to achieve a settlement that is both fair and comprehensive without risk of court sanctions for illegal representations.

Source: Forbes, “What Are the Consequences Of Hiding Assets During Divorce?” Jeff Landers, Nov. 14, 2012

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