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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Do the Pennsylvania courts ever award one parent sole custody?

Every family has its own unique dynamic, and the Pennsylvania family courts will usually consider a family’s needs when setting terms for custody in a parental divorce. Shared custody between parents is a common outcome, as the courts want to make decisions that uphold the best interests of the children.

In most cases, the best interests of a child will mean getting to spend time with both parents after the divorce. As someone seeking a divorce, you may not be that enthusiastic about seeing your ex, but you may recognize how important their presence is for your children.

However, you may also worry about them causing harm to your children through abuse or neglect. Is it possible for a parent to seek sole custody during a Pennsylvania divorce?

Do you have a justification for your request?

In most cases, the courts frown on parents who would intentionally cut children off from a source of support just because of issues in the parental relationship. They want to see parents working together for the benefit of the children. Just asking for sole custody because you don’t want to spend time with your children isn’t likely to succeed.

However, if your spouse has health issues, including mental health problems, that prevent them from caring for the children, if they have a history of being abusive or neglectful or if they are in a very dangerous or unstable living situation, the courts may agree that shared custody isn’t the right decision right now.

You can possibly get full custody if your ex doesn’t ask for parenting time

One of the more common reasons that one parent is able to secure sole custody in a divorce might surprise you. It is more common than many people think for one parent to not ask for shared custody or parenting time in a divorce.

In that situation, even if there isn’t evidence of parental wrongdoing or safety issues, the courts may choose to give you sole custody of the children. In most other situations, shared custody is likely. Getting good help early in the divorce process can help you better understand how this process works and what the best approach to various issues might be in your situation.

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