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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Can divorce mediation be saved with a simple apology?

When the idea of ending a Pennsylvania marriage belongs only to one spouse, the feelings of resentment, anger and hurt felt by the other party can influence how the divorce proceedings progress. Attempting to settle the couple’s issues using divorce mediation may be impossible in this situation. Only when the couple is able to reach an even temporary truce does the possibility of an amicable split arise.

The individual who feels wronged in the divorce may want to go to court simply to have the chance — right or wrong — to tell his or her side of the story. Additionally, hurt can grow into anger, causing an individual to seek retribution. When that happens, the person attempts to drag out the proceedings and argues with the other spouse at every turn.

Amazingly, a simple, heartfelt apology may be able to bring things back into focus for the other party. Acknowledging that the decision to divorce profoundly hurt the other partner could begin the healing process for both spouses. It may not cure everything, but it could provide the other party with a catharsis that cools anger and the quest for retribution, which would eventually cause more harm to the entire family than the divorce itself.

Divorce mediation is about a Pennsylvania couple resolving their marital issues together. When the parties are at opposite ends of the spectrum, a peaceful resolution may be impossible. Apologizing for one’s role in the end of the marriage could give the other spouse something desperately needed — the acknowledgement that the divorce is not all his or her fault and that the other party knows that. Once the healing process has begun, further settlement discussions could lead the way to a post-divorce relationship free from harsh feelings and accusations.

Source: The Huffington Post, The Power of an Apology in Divorce, Betsy Ross, LICSW CGP, Feb. 12, 2014

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