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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Mother enrolls in program in effort to regain child custody

The availability of illegal drugs is greater now than at any time in history. It is easy for an overwhelmed parent to indulge for an escape from the increasingly demanding job of raising children. However, many parents who find themselves slaves to addiction also find themselves fighting for child custody — a battle that some lose at least temporarily. Some Pennsylvania parents may empathize with a woman who is fighting a child custody battle for her four children, two of whom have yet to be born.

Mary had lost custody of her two children after testing positive for marijuana and cocaine. While she had been able to function just fine, so she thought, as an employee and a mother while in the throes of addiction, an altercation with her own mother led to a first-time encounter with child services and drug testing. Although her mother was given temporary custody of the children, Mary was not able to visit them, and her drug use worsened. She soon found out she was pregnant with twins and was determined to make the most of the second chance she had been given. She enrolled in a county-run family drug program that supports parents who are fighting to win over their addiction and regain custody of their children.

While in the program, Mary consents to random drug tests, the treatment course as well as parenting classes. She wanted to go all-in in order to have custody of all four children and entered an inpatient rehab program that lasted 45 days. There is some worry that her twins will be taken by child welfare as soon as they are born, but she is hopeful her activity in the court program, along with several clean drug tests, will prove she is ready to be the mother her babies need. She also has a court date next month where the judge will decide whether or not her two older children will be returned to her custody.

Whether it is from drug or alcohol dependency, divorce or another reason, most parents who have lost custody of their children are in a fight to get them back. It can seem like they are all alone with nowhere to turn. A Pennsylvania attorney can be of great assistance to parents when they are besieged with the legal red tape that can come with child custody cases.

Source: al.com, “For parents grappling with addiction, Family Drug Court offers a way out“, Amy Yurkanin, April 2, 2017

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