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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Federal investigators help father enforce child custody

A parent who attempts to remove his or her child from the United States illegally, after having made a parental rights agreement, may face serious consequences. A Pennsylvania parent may desire help in enforcing a child custody order in the event that the other parent disregards the courts. A flight scheduled to leave the United States and land hours later in Beijing was recently stopped after taking off and asked to return to the terminal due to a child custody situation.

Federal authorities intervened and made the request after the Federal Bureau of Investigation was informed that a woman may be attempting to illegally remove her child from the United States without consent. Although the young child has dual citizenship in both the United States and China, the American father and Chinese native mother had a joint custody agreement in place following their divorce. Their child custody agreement requests consent from both parents before the child can be taken on an international journey.

When the plane landed, FBI personnel immediately removed the mother, child and a grandmother traveling with them. The mother was accused of attempting to commit international parental kidnapping and was detained, allowing the child to be placed safely with his American father. Reports indicate that the mother confessed to her illegal activity after being caught by authorities.

It is considered a federal offense when one parent attempts to remove a child from the United States with the intention to contest the child custody rights of the other parent. Although the United States will often make negotiation attempts to bring back children who have been abducted by a parent, it can be difficult; stopping the situation before it takes place can help protect the child. A Pennsylvania parent who suspects such behavior or has suffered their child being internationally abducted by their other guardian may seek help in investigating and halting the situation.

Source: wdsu.com, “Custody battle diverts flight”, Katia Hetter, Sept. 5, 2014

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