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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How can parental rights be terminated in Pennsylvania?

If you were to ask most in Cranberry Township what is the one job that you cannot be fired from, most might likely say “parent.” Yet that is not always the case. There are indeed scenarios where state officials may determine that you are unfit to retain parental authority over your child. Then there are also cases where you may question the fitness of your children’s other parent. In both cases, the state has established criteria that allow for parental rights to be terminated. 

Under certain circumstances, you (or your children’s other parent) might be willing to relinquish your rights voluntarily. This typically happens in cases of adoption, or where tension is so great between you and your ex-spouse that one of you may be willing to do anything to get the other out of their lives. Yet what about those cases where you (or your children’s other parent) parent may not want to give your parental authority. 

If you want to get your children’s other parent’s rights terminated, The Office of Children & Families in the Courts says that Pennsylvania law allows you to petition for such an action if, for a period of six months, they have failed to fulfill their parental duties or their actions have implied that they have given up their parental claim. The same is true if incapacity or substance abuse makes them unfit to fulfill parental responsibilities. You can also petition to end their rights if they are the presumptive (but not proven) father of your children, or they have been convicted of certain criminal offenses. 

In addition to the aforementioned reasons, the state can look to terminate your parental rights if your children have been taken away from you, and you fail to comply to the requirements imposed to get them back. 

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