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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Parents fight to gain child custody of foster son

Many parents feel a calling to foster or adopt children. Especially in the case of adoption, child custody laws can sometimes work against two parents who want so desperately to add to their family children with whom they have already fallen in love. Pennsylvania parents who have been through this process may empathize with a family who is fighting for child custody of the 4-year-old they have fostered for two years.

The parents of nine children took the boy in their home after he was taken away from his mother. The mother has now given her consent for an open adoption of her biological son, but a problem has arisen due to the boy’s Native American heritage. Because of the Indian Child Welfare Act passed in 1978, the tribe to which a child belongs can intervene in foster or adoption situations.

The federal law was passed at a time when it was felt too many tribal children were being removed from their homes and were being placed in non-Indian households. It allows the tribal leaders to try and place the child with a biological or foster Indian family even if it is contrary to state court decrees or goes against the wishes of a birth parent. Many feel the law should be reexamined to reflect the best interests of the child. The prospective adoptive parents were granted a two week stay for their attorney to continue the fight for them.

There are many children in every state who are waiting to be adopted. Parents who have chosen to adopt must comply with applicable state and federal laws. Those parents facing adoption or child custody issues in Pennsylvania will benefit by relying upon the advice and guidance of an attorney experienced in handling these types of family law proceedings..

Source: cincinnati.com, “Family fights to keep tribe from taking child“, Shelly Schultz, Jan. 6, 2017

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