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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Many tax situations change after a Pennsylvania divorce

Many married couples in Pennsylvania file joint federal and state tax returns. Both spouses share equally in tax deductions and credits, such as claiming the children as dependents and deducting the interest from a mortgage on the family home. After a divorce, some of those tax savings often disappear for one or both spouses, depending on the circumstances.

Many couples assume that because they were still married for part of a year, they may file their tax returns jointly. However, if a couple was divorced by Dec. 31 of any given year, the parties are considered to have not been married for the whole year. For tax filing purposes, it does not matter whether the divorce was final on Jan. 1 or Dec. 31 of the same year.

If one party keeps the marital home and continues to make mortgage payments, he or she can claim the mortgage interest on the home. If the party not keeping the house was “bought out” by the other party, he or she may be required to pay taxes on that amount. If the house is sold, each party is responsible for any taxes due on his or her portion of the proceeds.

Other popular tax considerations in a Pennsylvania divorce are claiming the children as dependents and the fact that alimony is considered income — and is, therefore, taxable — but child support is not. When negotiating a divorce settlement, understanding the tax implications could help the parties make decisions regarding the division of certain assets and any payments due from one party to the other. After considering all of the pros and cons, what may have seemed like the right choice may not be in the party’s best interest.

Source: Reuters, “What’s even worse than a divorce? For some, it’s the taxes“, Lauren Young, April 10, 2014

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