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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Has training made Pennsylvania child support enforcement better?

At some point in time, every parent wishes his or her child came with a parenting instruction manual. Knowing how to handle certain situations often leaves parents at a loss. One of those issues could be collecting child support.

Thousands of Pennsylvania parents rely on the knowledge of those involved in child support enforcement. As such, the state of Pennsylvania has training courses for everyone involved in the collection process, from secretaries to attorneys. The goal is to provide parents with the best assistance possible. The program is a collaboration amongst Penn State University, Child Support Enforcement and the Domestic Relations Sections of the Court of Common Pleas. Training is available that covers the basics of enforcement to specialized courses in subjects such as paternity.

A doctoral student is now reviewing 12 years’ worth of data from the Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement Training Institute in an attempt to determine the effectiveness of the program. One thing she is looking at is how counties with more training compared to counties with less training. Her findings will be given to the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement.

Parents typically do not set out not to provide for their children, but sometimes a person’s circumstances make it difficult to fulfill his or her financial obligations. There are procedures in place to allow noncustodial parents who have suffered a substantial change in financial circumstances through no fault of their own to petition the appropriate court for a formal modification of ordered payments. Moreover, custodial parents can go back to the courts for assistance in obtaining child support payments when the noncustodial parent is not paying. One of the tools parents may not realize is available to them are the child support enforcement officials whose job it is to work with parents and the courts to collect court ordered payments.

Source: psu.edu, Impact of 12 years of JASI child support enforcement training courses evaluated, No author, Jan. 6, 2014

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