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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The unanticipated costs of a divorce in Pennsylvania

Many times, when couples confront divorce in Pennsylvania, they focus on commonly identified issues such as asset division, spousal maintenance and child custody. Yet many couples may not give much thought to other realities of divorce; namely, that they will both be living with the benefit of only one primary income. A divorce can lead to unexpected expenses, ranging from additional taxes to added insurance costs, retirement plan contributions and even how much a membership at the local gym will be.

Many times, a family is covered under the health insurance plan provided by the employer of one spouse. However, a divorced spouse cannot be included on his or her former spouse’s medical plan. Accordingly, plans must be made to pay for a COBRA health plan or for a separate policy if other arrangements aren’t made.

Similarly, other insurance plans also change after divorce. Car insurance policies typically include discounts for multiple cars or multiple policies with the same insurer. If one or both spouses vacate the marital home, any multi-policy discount may be lost. Life insurance, as well, may change if a prior policy was included as part of the other spouse’s employer. With divorce, that portion of the policy is often dropped and the affected party may need to replace it with their own policy.

Retirement plans are another area of potential added expense. If a retirement plan through one spouse’s employer is subject to property division, any contributions made by the employer after a divorce will only benefit the spouse that is earning it. The former spouse who receives a portion of the other’s retirement plan in the divorce may also be required to make their own contributions to the plan post-divorce.

Above all, the important takeaway is to plan ahead. In a number of cases divorce is the best choice for couples, but being unprepared can cause serious headaches. Once the decision to separate is made, it may make sense to investigate exactly what additional costs may be involved according to one’s particular circumstances. Doing so may help the negotiations go more smoothly and may also provide a realistic view of what it will cost to start your new life.

Source: Huffington Post, “Six Unexpected Expenses Divorcees Face,” Susan Saper Galamba, Jan. 8, 2013

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