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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Marijuana and child custody in Pennsylvania: Is use a factor?

Marijuana use is currently a hot topic in the United States. Though Pennsylvania has not yet followed suit, a number of states have approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. One western state recently approved use of the drug for both medicinal and non-medicinal use. That action has prompted some to question how passage of the Amendment will affect child custody litigation within the state.

Disputes over child custody and visitation are often elevated when allegations of drug use arise. But how do courts handle these issues if the law in their state permits use of marijuana? There are some indications that complaints concerning the misuse of marijuana in custody situations have become more frequent after pot was approved for medical and recreational use.

Those involved in child custody matters in Colorado, where the Amendment legalizing marijuana passed last November, do not expect the approach taken by judges presiding over these disputes to change significantly. In fact, one observer drew a comparison to alcohol consumption and prescription pill abuse. Courts are typically charged with deciding child custody matters in terms of the best interests of the children involved. To the extent that any behavior is documented that adversely affects a parent’s responsibilities regarding the health and care of their children, a judge could well remove or limit custody for that individual.

Each child custody dispute is different, and that is as true in Pennsylvania as it is in any other jurisdiction. The best first step for parents unable to resolve custody and visitation issues among themselves is to seek objective advice about the available options for ensuring that the best interests of the child are placed first. When parents cannot agree, a court typically steps in and makes the decision for them. Where one party is abusing drugs or alcohol, there is an inevitable risk that a court may determine it is preferable for the children to have limited exposure to the parent fighting those issues.

Source: TheDenverChannel.com, “No laws governing marijuana consumption in child custody cases,” Ryan Budnick, Feb. 27, 2013

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