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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The advantages of mediation in a PA divorce

Mediation can be a beneficial alternative to traditional court litigation for couples who are filing for divorce.

Going through the divorce process in Pennsylvania can be extremely stressful and overwhelming. Not only are there topics, such as property division and child custody to discuss, but a number of couples may harbor strong emotions toward one another. This can make the divorce process extremely difficult for everyone involved. Mediation can offer strong advantages to couples who are filing for legal separation or divorce.

What is mediation?

Divorce mediation takes the negotiations process outside the courtroom. Couples meet in a non-confrontational atmosphere to discuss the details of their divorce settlement. The mediation session is conducted by a third-party mediator, who is available to answer any legal questions the couple may have. The mediator also ensures that all topics are covered and organized in the divorce decree. Couples can either meet face to face, or stay in separate rooms while the mediator goes back and forth. Attorneys are not required to attend the mediation appointment. However, many people choose to bring legal representation with them to help make decisions that would be in their best interest.

Benefits of mediation

Mediation is not for everyone. Yet, it can offer significant benefits to couples who come prepared to reach an agreement with the terms of the divorce. According to the American Bar Association, advantages to mediation over court litigation include the following:

  • Less expensive: There are no court costs.
  • Flexibility: Couples are able to set appointments around their schedule rather than wait for a court date.
  • Customize the settlement: Couples can negotiate the terms of their own settlement rather than accept the terms entered in by the court.
  • Limited stress: Mediation is a laid back process, which often generates less stress than a courtroom battle.
  • Quick: Most settlements can be reached within one or two mediation sessions.

Couples who go through mediation are often able to maintain a better relationship once the divorce is finalized than they would have if they had gone through court. This is ideal for parents or business partners who must continue to work with one another on a daily basis.

Organizing your settlement

Keep in mind that the terms that are entered into the final divorce settlement are binding, and they will play a significant role in how you live your life. If you are just entering into the divorce process or have been struggling with a divorce for some time, it may be helpful to contact a family attorney to help with your case. A Pennsylvania lawyer may be able to assist you in making tough decisions during this emotional time.