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 court decisions not always a given

Pennsylvania mothers may be interested to learn of a recent demonstration that was held in front of a courthouse in a neighboring state. Women were protesting in an attempt to make others aware of a problem fairly recurrent in child custody judgements in the area. Many people may think that judges always rule for the mother in a child custody hearing, but these women say that guess would be wrong.

The protest group is from a shelter for battered women. While there are no official numbers, they want the surrounding public to know that the number of fathers who are given custody of their children is growing. In many cases that would be a good thing.  However, the concern comes for fathers who are alleged abusers and molesters.

A spokesperson for the group says that these husbands and fathers have the money to hire lawyers who can present a case compelling enough that the judge will rule in their favor, despite any past history the men may have. Many of the mothers are dependent upon their husbands financially and do not have the fiscal resources to fight back. An official from the Superior Court’s Family Division advised women who find themselves in that type of situation to seek legal counsel through the legal aid department and to speak to a county-provided counselor in situations of domestic abuse.

The court in Pennsylvania looks at many factors, including past abusive history, to determine the best interest of the child. Although the court prefers the parents to come to a decision on their own, the judge will become involved if they cannot reach an agreement. Parents may want to contact someone who has a thorough knowledge of family law if they require counsel in reaching a satisfactory child custody resolution.

Source: northjersey.com, “Women rally outside Passaic court for fairness in child-custody battles”, Richard Cowen, May 6, 2016

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