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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Foster parents run into legal roadblocks with child custody case

Child custody laws are mandated to help ensure the best interests for the children. Who can take the best care of the child in question is one of the main questions the court has to answer when deciding a child custody placement. Pennsylvania parents in the process of adoption may be interested in a case between two foster parents and the Choctaw Indian Nation.

The foster parents have had a 6-year-old girl in their care for over four years, with the last two-and-a-half spent trying to formally adopt her. Because she is 1.5 percent Native American, belonging to the Choctaw tribe, a federal law known as the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA)  requires she be raised by parents who are also Native American. A report on the case did not state why the girl is no longer with her biological parents or how she came to live in her foster home.

The Choctaw Nation intends to put the girl in the care of extended family in Utah but the tribe has stated it wants what is best for her. The ICWA was enacted in part to keep Indian families together. The last judicial stay the foster parents had has now expired, and arrangements were made to retrieve the child from the foster parents and deliver her to the Utah family.

Child custody cases comparable to this one can be tough on most everyone. The court will have much information to examine before deciding where a particular child should live. Pennsylvania parents who are looking to adopt but who are running into legal restraints may want advice from an attorney familiar with the laws related to the family dynamic.

Source: theblaze.com, “6-Year-Old Could Be Legally Ripped Away From White Foster Parents Because of Race – Here Are the Details of the Bizarre Case”, Billy Hallowell, March 21, 2016

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