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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Grandparents granted temporary legal custody of children

When the relationship between two Pennsylvania parents dissolves, legal custody of the children is an issue that must be faced. Most often the arrangement is between the parents, but sometimes other family members are granted legal custody by the court. A recent case saw the court granting temporary legal guardianship of two children to their grandparents.

The grandparents began petitioning the court for custody three years ago, after their daughter admitted she and her ex-boyfriend would use crack cocaine when they were around the children. They would also make a practice of keeping the children home from school. The boyfriend had custody of the children because the mother believed he was better off financially to care for them. Her parents say she presently does not have much contact with her children.

The Department of Children and Families earlier in the year stated they had no problem with the father having custody of the two children. Soon after, however, he was arrested and it was discovered he was wanted in several counties in the state on multiple offenses. The grandparents will need to appear in court again in three months for a hearing where the temporary order will be extended or the judge will grant permanent full custody either to the father or to the grandparents.

As in any child custody case that comes before the court, the best interests of the child guide the decision made by the judge. For grandparents in Pennsylvania who are looking to gain legal custody of their grandchildren, the laws are very specific and may change often. A qualified professional may be needed by grandparents when seeking temporary or permanent guardianship.

Source: bostonglobe.com, “In reversal by state, grandparents get custody of 2 kids“, Astead W. Herndon, Dec. 14, 2015


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