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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Tax considerations and complex property division in Pennsylvania

Many issues need to be resolved before a divorce can be considered final. One issue that Pennsylvania couples may not consider during the divorce is the tax ramifications of complex property division. Some of the major assets that are divided in a divorce have tax issues that can cause problems later if not contemplated and accounted for during settlement negotiations.

The goal of property division in a divorce is an equitable division of a couple’s property. However, what may seem equitable on paper could end up not being fair at tax time. For instance, when an asset that appreciates is sold, capital gains tax may be due. This will effectively lower the value of that asset. Therefore, when one party gets the house and the other gets cash, it may be a good idea to consider these tax issues first.

Transferring retirement accounts can be particularly tricky when it comes to taxes. These accounts can be transferred without tax ramifications, but there may be additional requirements to follow in order to avoid being taxed while the other spouse gets the benefits. It may take some research to be sure the tax implications associated with these assets are handled in a manner that makes any transfers as even-handed as possible.

It is easy to forget the tax implications that can accompany complex property division. Most Pennsylvania couples are just trying to get through the process as smoothly and quickly as they can. Even though tax issues may not come up for months, they are an important part of the negotiations of a divorce settlement to ensure both parties are able to walk away feeling they were treated fairly and equitably.

Source: marketwatch.com, What’s even worse than divorce? The taxes, Bill Bischoff, Dec. 3, 2013

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