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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Amnesty for responding non-custodial parents paying child support

Pennsylvania non-custodial parents who are behind on their child support payments may want to take note of a program another state sponsored for their residents. The Child Support Offices of that state offered for the first time in 10 years amnesty to parents who were behind on their payments. They believed this would help those non-custodial parents get back on track in making an effort to provide for their children. While the program was offered statewide in August, two counties have extended the amnesty for another month.

Bench warrants previously initiated on non-custodial parents in those counties will be withdrawn if they go to a child support office to make three months of payments. If they have had a license revoked because of their nonpayment status, those licenses will be returned to them at that time. They will also be able to work with a court liaison to overcome any issues they may have with being able to make future regular monthly payments. 

Nearly 200 letters were sent to these parents urging them to take advantage of the program. Nearly half responded, and over $5,000 was collected. The bench warrants are only issued if no payments are received and court dates are missed. The offices would much rather encourage the parent provide financial support than put the parent in jail.

There is no guarantee that Pennsylvania will ever offer this type of program. However, any attempt to pay outstanding child support would be seen as favorable. Custodial parents who are having trouble collecting the support needed to provide for their children may want to seek the services of a qualified professional.

Source: grandlakenews.com, “Child support amnesty offered to parents in Delaware, Ottawa counties”, Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller, Sep. 8, 2015

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