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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Coping financially with divorce at an older age

The Pew Research Center reports that divorce among older people has doubled since the 1990s, and for people age 65 and older, rates are three times as high. At the same time, divorce among younger people is on the decline. This means that older people in Pittsburgh may be more likely to get a divorce than their younger counterparts, and this can leave them with certain financial challenges.

One of the major ones is dealing with retirement. Couples usually plan with the assumption that their retirement savings will support them in one household, but divorce means dividing those savings, including IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement accounts. Couples may also own a home. They can sell this and split the proceeds, or one person may keep it. However, the person who keeps it should make sure that this is an affordable choice.

Alimony and Social Security payments may help some people after divorce. While alimony may be temporary among younger couples, for older couples who have been in long marriages, it could be permanent. Lower-earning individuals may also be able to draw Social Security benefits on a higher-earning ex-spouse’s record. The individual must remain unmarried and must be at least 62, and the marriage must have lasted for at least 10 years.

While going to court is necessary in some divorces, many couples prefer to try to come to an agreement using an alternative dispute resolution method, such as mediation, first. This can be cheaper, less time-consuming and less stressful than going to litigation, and it gives the couple the opportunity to come to a creative agreement on property division that suits their individual situation. An attorney may be able to assist with these negotiations, which might be less adversarial than going to court as it focuses on finding a mutually satisfying solution.

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