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.
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  5. Teleconferences Zoom meetings, and FaceTime are available in lieu of inperson meetings if requested.
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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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Are you entitled to receive alimony?

| May 29, 2019 | Uncategorized

A long-term marriage has unraveled. Both spouses contemplate their financial future and have many legitimate concerns. When a marriage lasting years or decades dissolves, courts commonly award alimony to the spouse in need. Judges do not grant alimony to short-term partners or significant others.

Interim alimony

During a divorce proceeding, one spouse may have an immediate financial shortfall. In these situations, a judge often grants “pendente lite” or “interim alimony.” Therefore, the higher-earning spouse provides monthly payments to the other spouse. When the court signs off on the divorce, the pendente lite order expires and any alimony judgement in the divorce decree goes into effect.

Need-based alimony 

In Pennsylvania and most states, the courts award alimony according to a need, not gender or other arbitrary factors. The state provides comprehensive guidelines for a divorce that you should review before initiating a proceeding.

The courts seek to prevent any hardship for a spouse and children. Judges typically do not award alimony if both spouses are similar wage earners. If one spouse earns significantly more than the other, the courts will award the appropriate amount of alimony.

Factors that impact an alimony decision

Many courts evaluate several factors to determine whether to award alimony or not. But judges will primarily assess need. Does one spouse have the capacity to provide financial support? Does the other the spouse have a legitimate financial need for alimony?

  • Length of marriage: The spouses must have invested significant time in the marriage. If the marriage lasted less than a year, the court often won’t award alimony.
  • Divorce decision: The court evaluates the reasons for the divorce. If one spouse seeks a divorce and other does not, this influences the court.
  • Employment prospects: The court determines whether the receiving spouse can obtain employment and earn a wage similar to the higher-earning partner.

Spouses dissolving a marriage often seek a defined set of standards for alimony. Pennsylvania does not have an alimony formula, but instead it has certain guidelines. The courts take a variety of factors into consideration for determining alimony and do not want to see either spouse endure financial hardship.

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