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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State offers program to help in paying child support

Some non-custodial parents in Pennsylvania are unable to make the monthly, court-ordered payments to support their children. Although they may desperately want to make those child support payments each month, the reasons may vary as to why it just cannot be done. Another state has a program that helps parents in their mission to financially support the children they helped bring into the world.

Although the Parental Accountability Court has been in the state since 2008, three mid-state counties have collected over $300,000 in child support since the program began in that area in 2013. A large percentage of the participants have either been in jail or were close to incarceration for non-payment of child support. The program helps the participants with training, education and job placement in order to get their lives back on track so they can be the parents they want to be.

Since its inception, the mid-state program has had 161 parents to participate and 34 to successfully complete it. Those enrolled have 18 months to meet all requirements, part of which is to meet with the judge over the program once each month and twice each month with program personnel. Missed meetings results in time spent doing community service. Participants who do not graduate for any reason once again face jail time for missed support payments.

Most custodial parents know how crucial child support payments are when food, clothing and medical expenses need to be met. There are penalties for non-custodial parents who fail to make financial support payments. As each case is different, and because laws often change, an attorney experienced in handling family law cases in Pennsylvania can assist residents who have concerns.

Source: macon.com, “Parental Accountability Court offers help to dads who owe child support”, Amy Leigh Womack, April 21, 2017

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