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.

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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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Grandfather facing criminal charges in child custody dispute

Child custody cases are among the most emotionally charged and highly contentious legal matters handled by family law attorneys. There are few things that Pennsylvania residents hold more dear than the right to raise their children, and even extended family members can become wrapped up in a bitter child custody dispute. However, as one widely reported case demonstrates, allowing one’s emotions to overrule their reason can lead to serious consequences.

The case involves a father and grandfather who made the decision to interfere with a child custody transfer ordered by a court. Such custody disputes happen across the country every day, but this case made national headlines due to the fact that the grandfather is a police sergeant and is now facing criminal charges in the matter. Both he and the child’s father had a recent court date, and entered a plea of not guilty.

Police assert that the grandfather failed to cooperate when local authorities came to his home in an effort to recover his grandson. A court in a southern state and in the home state of the grandfather had ordered that the child be returned to the care of his mother. However, the paternal family allegedly conspired to keep the 3-year-old boy in their care. The child was recovered shortly after, and returned to his mother. The father and grandfather now face charges of custodial interference, among other related charges.

In the recent hearing, the grandfather entered a plea of not guilty. He will present his case in a future hearing. Meanwhile, he has been placed on paid leave from his position with the Police Department. While it is understandable that a child custody dispute can be incredibly emotional, this case serves as an example of what family members in Pennsylvania and elsewhere should not do in an effort to change a custody determination. By intentionally going against an existing custody order, this grandfather may have severely harmed his chances of having continued access to a grandson he clearly loves.

Source: ctpost.com, “Cop pleads not guilty in child custody case,” Frank Juliano, May 9, 2013

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