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 divorce: Should you withdraw from joint accounts?

A fear that divorcing women around the country and in Pennsylvania have is how they are going to pay for their living expenses and an attorney before any temporary order can be put into place. One way is to remove money from the couple’s joint accounts in anticipation of a divorce filing. However, this does come with some risks and rules.

Most states restrict withdrawals from joint accounts once a divorce proceeding has been filed. Therefore, the timing of the withdrawal is critical. It has to be done before proceedings are filed. This, too, is not always as easy as it sounds.

Withdrawing money before a divorce is filed could send a message to the other spouse that the party that withdrew the money is expecting a contentious divorce. This could cause unneeded and undesired animosity between the parties. It could also cause the other party to move money out of his or her separate accounts so that it may not be easily found during later proceedings.

Then there is the question of how much money to take out. A relatively safe estimate is 50 percent of the balance in the account. However, this could end up causing the couple more problems if there are outstanding charges on the account and are no other accounts to cover the shortage. In some cases, it may be possible to remove all of the money in a joint account depending on the rest of the couple’s financial situation.

Getting a Pennsylvania divorce can be a financially scary prospect. Without having access to the necessary funds to sustain a household, getting through each day can seem debilitating. Knowing that it is possible to obtain funds prior to filing for divorce, before temporary orders are issued, can help make the process less intimidating.

Source: Forbes, Divorcing Women: When Can You Withdraw Funds From Joint Accounts?, Jeff Landers, Sept. 17, 2013

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