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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Single father exercises primary child custody over his children

Child custody in Pennsylvania and nationwide is legally a two-way street. Both mothers and fathers start out with equal rights when they get involved in child custody disputes or agreed custody arrangements. Although the spotlight most often falls on the struggles and achievements of the single mother, single fathers also exist, and they sometimes step forth to exert all or most of the parenting duties over their children.

One example of that phenomenon was recently highlighted in a feature article in a major newspaper. One unmarried father is shown to be exercising custodial care almost exclusively over three of his children and partial custody rights over the fourth child. He has managed to successfully be available and involved intimately in the apparently successful social and educational development of his children.

He demonstrates by his active involvement in the lives of his children why a father’s role can be just as significant and important as the mother’s. This single father at the same time helps to care for his grandfather, who has dementia, and his grandmother. The Beacon, New York, apartment that he inhabits with his children is just steps away from the residence of his grandparents.

He tells a story of always being a big brother or the man with the helping hand, a role that he obviously craves and performs handily. He has one other goal: to go back to school and get his degree. In all of these ways, he strives to be a good role model to his children.

Additionally, despite suffering three smashed disks in a warehouse accident, he has continued working in a counselor-type position instead of collecting disability payments. At this time, he gets assistance in the form of food stamps and $910 each month from the mother of the three oldest children. Courts nationwide, including in Pennsylvania, are recognizing more and more the valuable role that the father may play in child custody situations, including in the capacity of being the primary custodian.

Source: The New York Times, “Single Father Embraces His Role With Pride“, John Otis, Jan. 15, 2015

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