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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Making the right decisions about investments in a divorce

Financial problems can result in a divorce for some people in Pittsburgh, and those issues may be a part of the divorce process as well. One problem some people may encounter is they may not have been very involved in the family finances. Those individuals should make sure they know what assets each spouse has individually and what they own jointly as well as how to access them.

To protect their assets, people should understand that selling, dividing or exiting from certain investments early can incur penalties and taxes. For example, to divide a 401(k) or a 403(b), they will need to have a professional prepare a document called a qualified domestic relations order. For an IRA, it is usually necessary to have a divorce decree. The money will then need to be rolled into new IRAs to avoid taxes. When looking at the value of these assets, it is important to note whether there are penalties for early withdrawal and whether there will be a tax on distributions.

If securities are sold, there could be capital gains taxes. Another consideration is where the market is and whether it is a good time to sell. Once the divorce is final, ex-spouses may also want to remove one another as beneficiaries on accounts.

An attorney may help a person develop a strategy for going into negotiations about property division. For example, a better solution than splitting or selling all assets might be for one person to keep certain assets and the other to keep some of equal value. If one of those assets is a home, it is important that the person who keeps it is able to afford the mortgage, upkeep and taxes on a single income. The home might also need to be refinanced.

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