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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Child custody dispute may be of interest to Pennsylvania parents

Pennsylvania parents involved in child custody disputes may find a recent story interesting. The father of a child has been charged with extortion after he would not return the child to the mother unless she signed a contract he had written in order to keep the two of them from further appearances in family court. He pleaded not guilty and was released, but he was told he could not contact the mother unless they were discussing child care arrangements and that he had to adhere to court orders received in 2013 when both parents sought legal assistance with child custody matters.

The 2013 court order did not have time restrictions for visitation so when the mother went to pick up the child from the father, he told her to come back the next day. She called the police at that time and was told to call them back the next day if the father did not let her have the child. She did have to call the police again because the father told her she would not be able to get the child until she had signed a contract that he had written.

Police obtained a copy of that contract as well as the official court order. The mother’s signature was on the father’s contract but she told police she did not agree with the terms. Police notified the father that they knew about the situation and had the documents. The father’s defense was that the mother had been late in picking up the child and he thought he was doing what was best for their child.

Child custody cases can be very complex, but each state has its own rules and regulations for determining what is best for any children involved. Each parent submitting his or her own parenting plan to the court is a common first step in the court’s determination. However, parents in Pennsylvania who need a structured custody agreement may need assistance with the legal procedures involved in composing such an agreement.

Source: benningtonbanner.com, “Man accused of extortion for allegedly withholding child custody“, Keith Whitcomb Jr., Mar. 18, 2015

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