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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Considerations in dividing retirement accounts in a divorce

Many Pennsylvania residents have some sort of retirement account through their employers, such as a 401(k). Not surprisingly, at least a portion of such an account may be considered marital property in the event of a divorce. Determining what portion of the account is actually considered divisible may not be as easy as a simple math problem.

For example, an employee’s retirement account is valued at $50,000 on the day the couple was married and $250,000 at the time of the divorce. The portion of the account considered a marital asset may not automatically be $200,000. A difference exists between the amount of contributions made to the account during the marriage and the dividends that the initial $50,000 earned through investments during the marriage.

When a retirement account earns money through investments, the growth is considered to be passive. In the scenario above, it is possible that the initial $50,000 earned another $50,000 from market changes. That could mean that the marital portion of the asset may only be $150,000. The other spouse could then be entitled to $75,000 instead of $100,000.

When it comes to dividing retirement accounts in a Pennsylvania divorce, numerous issues need to be considered, such as in this example. Unless the party whose retirement account is being divided agrees to an equal split regardless of how much the account has increased in value, the other spouse may not be entitled to additional monies. It may be advisable to enlist the services of a financial consultant in order to obtain a proper valuation of the marital portion of the account.

Source: The Huffington Post, Three Costly Divorce Settlement Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, Christian Denmon, Jan. 21, 2014


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