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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Divorce mediation is not for everyone in Pennsylvania

With divorce at an all time high nationwide, many people are touting the benefits of keeping Pennsylvania couples out of court. Options such as divorce mediation and collaborative law are gaining popularity. However, there are times when neither of these options will work for a Pennsylvania couple.

Of course, it would be nice if a couple could get along and have an amicable divorce, but no couple should feel as though they are doing something wrong if they need to make use of the Pennsylvania courts. Sometimes, couples are unable to communicate with each other in the weeks and months following their decision to end their marriage. They may be able to achieve a level of civility when dealing with visitation if there are children involved, but as for any additional communications, neither party is ready.

Because of this, parties need intermediaries such as attorneys and judges to help the parties with negotiations and decisions. The ability to compromise is sometimes difficult to achieve when there is still so much hurt, anger, resentment and sometimes fear or control between the parties. There are also times when there are extenuating circumstances such as one party hiding assets or domestic violence. In these cases, mediation is doomed to fail.

Thousands of couples still litigate their divorce. Just because there is a trend toward divorce mediation, that doesn’t mean that every couple should be using it. A traditional divorce is touted as being more expensive, but for some it’s the only way to end their marriage. Some issues can’t be overcome by mediation.

Source: Huffington Post, Divorce Confidential: Should I Negotiate or Litigate My Divorce?, Caroline Choi, Sept. 25, 2013

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