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 does domestic violence impact a child custody case?

Domestic violence has become an epidemic in the United States. Every year more than 3 million children are forced to witness one of their parents being physically or verbally abused by the other. Often domestic violence becomes the primary reason why a relationship comes to an end.

When a relationship ends and children are involved, things become very complicated. One of the first issues that a couple has to deal with is child custody. If domestic violence is a part of that equation, then there are even more complications.

The court is charged with deciding what’s in the best interest of the child in cases like this. It’s their responsibility to determine what will keep the child safest and protect their physical and mental well-being.

There are several factors that a court must consider when dealing with domestic violence. Courts must decide whether domestic violence was directed at the child or had a significant impact on them. Pittsburgh family law judges must also determine whether there’s any present risk of domestic violence or if it’s an isolated event that took place in the past.

The court may also have to ascertain how frequently domestic violence occurred and whether any criminal charges stemmed from those instances. A judge may want to review police reports and/or physical evidence of the alleged abuse to more properly assess the situation.

Allegations of domestic violence can greatly impact a parent’s visitation and custodial rights.

An abusive parent may have their visitation rights temporarily or indefinitely revoked. They may lose their ability to have their child come to their house for overnight visits. An abusive mom or dad may be subject to taking anger management classes or have to attend domestic violence counseling before they can regain visitation or custody. If a restraining order has been issued against the accuser, then it may make it even more difficult for them to spend time with their child.

Domestic violence is a serious issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you have been previously abused by your child’s other parent, then you may be motivated to do whatever it takes to keep them away from your son or daughter. An attorney here in Cranberry Township can advise you of what rights you have to do just that here in Pennsylvania.

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