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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Question on father’s paternity in child custody case

It is not usual to hear of Pennsylvania fathers who want custody of a child if he or she may not be biologically theirs. For those parents, joint child custody may be tricky if the other parent does not consent to the arrangement. That is the situation for one man who wants joint child custody, stating that the bond he has with the 1-year-old girl supersedes DNA.

The man and the baby’s mother dated on and off for four years but were not together when the mother says she got pregnant. However, the man she says is the father left her during her pregnancy and she returned to her former boyfriend. When the baby was born, the mother listed him as the father on the birth certificate as well as the acknowledgment of paternity, although she says she made sure he understood he was not the biological father. She said he told her that fact did not matter.

Now the mother claims the man has been abusive and threatening to her in the past, but there have been no domestic abuse incidents legally reported against him. Although a judge gave her physical and legal custody of the girl, he also gave the man visitation rights. The mother’s attorney filed a motion to stop the visitation and order the man to take a DNA test, which he has been unwilling to take thus far. In the meantime, the man the mother claims is the father has come back in the picture and has taken an inconclusive DNA test at home but has not petitioned the court to authenticate paternity. The man who has been the only father the little girl knows wants joint custody and would like to set up child support payments, even though the mother wants nothing more than for him to take the DNA test and leave her alone when it proves he is not the father.

It can be frustrating when neither side will budge in a child custody dispute. The right type of legal representation is of utmost importance when trying to reach an acceptable arrangement. There are attorneys in Pennsylvania who can fight to ensure a parent’s voice is heard in a court of law.


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