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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Grandparents’ rights law pushed by granddad denied custody of kids

Pennsylvania readers may be interested to learn that the head of a grandparents’ rights association from a southern state has been using his personal experience as motivation to seek changes in child custody proceedings across the country. He raised his two grandchildren, along with his wife, since shortly after the kids were born. However, that all changed in 2010, when his state’s Department of Social Services stepped in and removed the children, claiming that the man and his wife were too old and medically unfit to continue to raise them. The experience turned him into a spokesman for grandparents’ rights.

Now head of a grandparents’ rights group in his state, he recognizes that he cannot change the result concerning his own grandchildren. Nevertheless, he is motivated to ensure that what happened to him and his wife does not happen to other grandparents locally and in other states. Parallel bills are pending in each legislative body in his state. They seek a law declaring that preference should be given to placing children with family, including grandparents. It is also proposed that specific guidelines be enacted for doing so, and that grandparents be entitled to participate in child custody proceedings concerning their grandkids.

While the bills are pending in South Carolina, the grandfather is said to be working with other groups fighting for grandparents’ rights for passage of similar bills in other states. He indicated that Tennessee already has a law on the books. It is not known if he has discussed his proposals with any Pennsylvania legislators.

The topic of grandparents’ rights continues to be of growing importance in Pennsylvania and across the country. As our society changes, the concept of family has changed as well. This legislative effort appears to embrace that change and include grandparents when it comes to determining what is best for a particular child under specific circumstances. It is not always possible for a child to be raised by his or her own parents, and it simply makes good sense that grandparents be considered when alternative arrangements are necessary and in the best interests of the children involved.

Source: carolinalive.com, “Grandparents fight for custody rights,” Kaila DeRienzo, March 25, 2013

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