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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Could this child custody case affect Pennsylvania parents?

Pennsylvania residents may be interested to learn that judge has issued a ruling between a woman and her boyfriend in a child custody dispute of their three children. The judge ruled in favor of the boyfriend to retain physical child custody, with the mother having scheduled visitation rights. The boyfriend is the biological father of two of the children and has been the main male figure in the third child’s life since she was a few months old.

The couple previously had an agreement to equally divide custody between both of them, but the boyfriend was compelled to fight for full custody last year. In retaliation, the mother turned to social media to vent her wrath over him and the unfair treatment she felt she was receiving from the court. The judge in the dispute ordered her to curb all negative public communication because it was harmful to the children. She, in turn, filed a lawsuit against the judge, claiming he was restricting her right to free speech.

A question arose as to whether or not the court transcripts of one of the case’s hearings had been altered. A request by a local TV station for the transcripts was denied because of confidentiality regulations, but a recording played in court established there had been no alteration of the proceedings. In addition to primary custody of the children, the boyfriend also has the authority to make the final decision when it comes to the care of the children. The mother will also have to pay child support, but that will be delayed for a few years as the boyfriend owes her a significant amount of money.

It is best for all concerned when a child custody agreement can be worked out with no animosity between two parties; however, that does not always happen. Complex laws and hurt feelings can be two reasons why it is so important for Pennsylvania parents to have a binding legal contract that outlines the duties and responsibilities of each party. No matter the circumstances, the best interests of the children involved should be the foremost concern of the adults making the crucial decisions.

Source: chronicle.augusta.com, “Boyfriend gets kids over mom in custody battle“, Sandy Hodson, April 24, 2015

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