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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Pennsylvania child support: A woman’s battle for support

One of the most important jobs that parents do is support their children financially — making sure they are clothed, fed and otherwise taken care of. When a child support order is issued in a divorce case, it is not done to punish the noncustodial parent, but to help the children. Unfortunately, there are many Pennsylvania parents who either don’t have the ability to pay or refuse to pay to support their children.

When that happens, withholding orders can be sent to an employer or other payor of the noncustodial parent. That entity or person is then required by law to deduct the amount of support ordered from any payments given to the non-paying party. Most, if not all, companies have provisions for dealing with these withholding orders.

However, what happens is a payor refuses to abide by the order? This is what happened to one woman. She has been in a years long battle with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois over a withholding order they say they are not obligated to follow. The woman’s ex-husband is a chiropractor that receives insurance payments from Blue Cross. Blue Cross continues to insist that it is not a payor. An appellate court disagrees, saying that the statute doesn’t specify that a payor has to be an employer, and insurance proceeds count.

In the meantime, her ex-husband is blaming Blue Cross for the fact that he is behind on his child support. As would be the case here in Pennsylvania, the court’s order establishing his financial obligation to his children does not make his payments contingent on whether Blue Cross abides by the withholding order. It is up to him as the father of the children to support them financially, and he is still required to make payments regardless of the outcome of his ex-wife’s litigation with Blue Cross.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Woman in battle with Blue Cross over child support, Lisa Black, Sept. 1, 2013

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