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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Can you use child support money to buy your kids gifts?

| Nov 24, 2019 | Uncategorized

When you decided to file a petition in a Pennsylvania court because you no longer wished to stay married to your spouse, you may have worried about how your decision would affect your children. Like many parents who divorce, you may also have been greatly concerned about finances. Perhaps, you plan to request child support but aren’t really sure what the laws and regulations are that govern such matters.

All you need to do is scan news headlines to find a plethora of stories about celebrities fighting over money after divorce or police arresting people who have disregarded court orders to pay child support. To avoid such problems in your own life, it pays to do your research ahead of time, so that you are aware, for instance, of what types of expenses child support can cover and whether you can prove legitimate need in court.

Both parents provide for financial needs of children

You and your spouse are both responsible and obligated to provide for your children’s needs. While you may no longer wish to be married to each other, you will always share a common bond as parents. Child support does not mean that one parent bears the full financial responsibility after divorce, only that the court can order a parent to pay child support to even the scales, so to speak, so that both parents are providing support according to their means.

Food, shelter and clothing are priorities

Child support laws vary by state; however, in no state can you use court-ordered monies for personal expenditures. This would not, however, include things such as your mortgage, rent or even utility bills because, although you personally benefit from heat, electricity and a roof over your head, these things provide safety and care for your children. Therefore, child support money can help cover such expenses.

Holidays and other special occasions

The parent whom the court has ordered to provide financial supplement for his or her children will send regular payments at regular times through regular means. Providing financial support definitely includes provisions for extracurricular activities and events, such as fees for attending a sports camp, for instance, or birthday and Christmas gifts or toys.

Education, health care and more

If one or more of your children suffers ill health, medical bills can quickly pile up, even if you have insurance. Another purpose of child support is to help meet expenses having to do with medical care as well as education. School supplies, textbooks, private school tuition or field trip expenses are reasonable and legitimate expenses to which a custodial parent may choose to apply child support.

Ask before taking action

When the court issues a child support or custody order, both you and your ex are legally obligated to fully adhere to its terms. If you need to request a change, you must navigate the appropriate process. You can’t simply ask your ex to give you more money or stop letting him or her see the kids. If you are unsure about a particular issue, it’s always best to seek support from someone well-versed in Pennsylvania family law issues.

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