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 take steps to get child custody over state agency

Pennsylvania parents may have read about those who have lost custody of their children because of drug and alcohol abuse. It can be tough for these parents to regain child custody, even after becoming sober and taking steps to improve their lives. The parents of two little girls are fighting the state for child custody after the Department of Children and Families took them away in 2014.

The state agency got involved after the father was arrested for domestic violence, spending four months in jail for his offense. He now admits his alcohol abuse caused him to become abusive to his wife. Although he never hurt his daughters, the oldest of which is now four years old, he knows he could have. The state did not place the oldest girl in the custody of her mother, as her mother made the choice to return to her husband. Instead, she was placed with a woman who had too many foster children at one time, and her inability to care for them led to the death of one child and irreparable physical and brain damage to the four-year-old girl.

The couple has taken the necessary steps to get their children back. They are in couples and individual counseling, the father attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as well as an almost year-long program for physical abusers, and he is taking medication for bipolar disorder. Their legal representative believes the agency never had plans to return the girls to their parents unless a judge rendered an order for compliance. The father feels it is an uphill battle, but one he promises to never give up.

Fighting for child custody, whether against another spouse or a state agency, cannot be done alone. Those forced into this battle need a professional who has experience in this type of legal encounter. A family law attorney familiar with the regulations set by the state of Pennsylvania will be able to guide a parent through the court system as he or she tries to maintain a family unit.

Source: telegram.com, “Obstacles, frustration vex Worcester couple in quest to regain children from DCF custody“, Elaine Thompson, Nov. 11, 2017

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