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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When your ex won’t pay their support: What you can (and cannot) do

Fall is just around the corner and your child has suddenly grown out of their jeans and shoes — again. You need every penny of the child support that their other parent owes. That makes it doubly infuriating when they offer you half-hearted excuses for why they aren’t paying.

You may be tempted to retaliate in the only way you know how: cutting off their visitation to their child. After all, why should they have all of the privileges of being a parent without any of the responsibility, right?

Wrong. Child support and visitation are two completely different issues. As much as they may seem directly related, that isn’t the view of the court. While your actions may be understandable, they’re not legally permissible — and you can end up in serious trouble.

So what can you do instead? Here in Pennsylvania, the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) has control over child support payments, so that’s the place you can turn. BCSE can take a number of steps to make your ex pay up, including:

  • Suspending their driver’s license or professional license
  • Suspending their occupational licenses
  • Suspending recreational license (like hunting and fishing)
  • Putting liens against their property
  • Garnishing their wages, bank accounts or workers’ comp payments
  • Seizing their tax returns
  • Publicly shaming them as a delinquent parent
  • Asking the court to hold them in civil contempt and impose jail time and fines

If you’re a custodial parent who is owed child support, you don’t have to try to handle the situation alone (and you shouldn’t). Don’t endanger your own legal position in an attempt to make your ex comply with the order. Talk to an attorney instead.

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