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 issues at the center of courthouse rally

Fathers in Pennsylvania who are living apart from their children may be interested in a rally recently conducted by a few concerned fathers on the steps of a courthouse in another state. These men are trying to do their part to change some state-level regulations on child custody and the access they are given to their children on a regular basis. Even though there have been new laws passed pertaining to child custody issues, these men feel they still have to fight for equal time with their children.

As the divorce rate rose in the early 90s, divorced fathers were not perceived by the courts as the caregivers the children needed. The legal system reflected that, with more agencies created to assist the mothers who were left alone to raise the children. Many fathers feel that they are missing out on so much not having frequent interaction with their children, and they want the court to recognize that they are just as capable of providing the needed care as the mothers. According to a report, around 30 percent of children in this country do not currently live with their fathers.

One man interviewed said he would prefer custody matters to be decided by a jury of his peers as opposed to a judge. In one Illinois county, the judges tend to be younger and support the untraditional approach of shared custody with visitation time and parental responsibilities being equally divided between the two parents. One source claims that the divorce rate is declining, which will eventually decrease the numbers of children who will be separated from their fathers.

There are many statistics from different sources that describe the life of a number of children who grow up without a father in the home. Physical, mental and emotional abuse, teen pregnancy, and a life of crime are just some of the consequences children in a broken home may experience without the guidance of a loving, available father. Pennsylvania fathers in the midst of a child custody dispute may want to speak to a professional when exploring their options.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Divorced fathers rally for greater custody rights“, Megan Jones, June 17, 2016

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