Phoenix and Scottsdale Family Law Blog

2019 “Best Law Firms”

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on December 12, 2018

Congratulations on Deshon Laraye Pullen’s recently released 2019 “Best Law Firms” rankings!

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Tax Reform And The Impact On Spousal Support

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 30, 2018

Has the Tax Cuts and Job Acts taken the incentive away for divorcees to pay alimony? Significant elements included in the legislation include a reduction in tax rates for both individuals and businesses. The bill also increased the standard deduction and family tax credits. However, what the government gives, it also takes away. Specifically eliminated Read More

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A New Addition To The DLP PLC Family

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on July 16, 2018

Our family at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC continues to grow. We are happy to announce that attorney Dana Michaels joined our law firm on June 27. She will be working out of our Phoenix office. Please join us in welcoming Dana.

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DLP PLC Getting Green For Arthritis

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on July 9, 2018

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC continues to give back to the community with another one of our monthly charity efforts. With July being National Childhood Arthritis Awareness Month, we are proud to serve as a sponsor for the Arthritis Foundation’s Give Green Get Green Campaign.

Currently, arthritis is the number one cause of disability in America. And it is not limited to adults. Approximately 300,000 children are affected as well.

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Two New Employees Join DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on

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April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on July 5, 2018

National Child Abuse Prevention Month is an annual April observance created to raise awareness for a serious problem that shows no sign of ending. The annual commemoration started in 1983 and remains as important now as it was 35 years ago.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2015 saw 683,000 children victimized by neglect and physical abuse. Not only did that overall number grow 1.2 percent from the previous year, three key metrics involving referrals to and investigations by Child Protective Services also increased.

The statistics are alarming and should serve as a wake-up call to not only stem the growth, but also put an end to child maltreatment.

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Take Steps In The Right Direction

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on June 29, 2018

Being in the midst of the divorce process creates internal conflict. Essentially, you are driving a vehicle, trying to focus on the road ahead yet continuing to be tempted to look in the rearview mirror. Legalities that help you move forward clash with emotional matters where you find yourself rehashing the past.

While there is no template for how to handle your divorce. However, five steps can help you move in the right direction.

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Happy Father’s Day!

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on June 19, 2018

Readers may recall our post last month about Mother’s Day. It may come as no surprise that the inspiration for a holiday celebrating America’s fathers came from the invention of Mother’s Day, which became a national holiday in 1914.

However, it took a while for supporters of a version for fathers to get momentum, according to the History Channel’s website. Though 45 states recognized Mother’s Day by 1909, it was not until 1908 that the first Father’s Day celebration took place at a West Virginia church. Curiously, many people believed that children simply did not feel the same sentimental attachment for their fathers as they did for their mothers.

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Commemorating National Safety Month In June

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on June 6, 2018

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we are commemorating National Safety Month with a special offer for our clients.

For more than four decades, The National Center for Youth Law has worked to improve the lives of disadvantages children and youth. Taking the lead on various campaigns has helped to ensure that governmental systems truly provide the support young people need to thrive.

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Accolades For New Attorney Asha Vora

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Uncategorized on May 17, 2018

“I learned so much from you about law and life and I carry those lessons with me always. This A-, which turned into my first law school ‘A’ grade, would not have been possible without you. I love you, boss, and am so lucky you hired me!” – Asha Vora

At our law firm, we continue to believe that our success begins and ends with our devoted staff who we consider family. They possess an unwavering commitment to not only succeed, but also improve the lives of our clients.

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A perfect legal storm: When ‘custody’ and ‘guardianship’ clash

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on May 9, 2018

What does it mean to have custody of a child as opposed to serving as guardian for that child when he or she becomes an adult? On the face of it, this might seem like a relatively simple question to answer.

In Minnesota, these two legal terms represent what amount to competing fronts. And, just as colliding hot and cold fronts make for severe weather, these competing legal fronts create rough seas for families of divorce because of certain generalities in the law.

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The financial implications of Gray Divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on May 1, 2018

Life begins at 50. The fifties are the new forties. All are common sayings reaffirming that age is but a number. Life-changing decisions remain an option as fifty-somethings stand at the gateway of their “golden years.”

“Til death do you part,” is also a well-known, if not growingly antiquated phrase. Longtime statistics have revealed the vow to be more of an unfulfilled promise uttered during a marriage ceremony. A significant percentage wind up permanently parting from their spouse.

While the seventies and eighties saw a surge in marital dissolutions, the past two decades saw a drop in divorces. However, one category continues to grow. The rate of couples 50 and older ending their marriages have doubled since the nineties.

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The Continuing Evolution Of Co-Parenting

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on April 23, 2018

Is the current evolution of parenting time agreements ignoring the best interests of children in favor of what is best for divorcing parents?

Several states are considering laws to do away with the traditional one-parent guardianship in favor of a more flexible, co-parenting model. In 2017, Kentucky led the way by enacting a law that provides both parents a more level playing field and does away with the “one day a week/every other weekend” default prominent in many custody agreements.

Illinois hopes to join the Bluegrass State as lawmakers are considering a similar bill that would modify the language of state divorce law to recognize that “the involvement of each parent for equal time is presumptively in the children’s best interests.”

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Embryonic Personhood Now Law In Arizona

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on April 13, 2018

In February, Arizona legislators in both houses passed SB 1393 that formalized the rights of parents to secure custody of in vitro embryos as part of divorce proceedings. The embryos would be developed to birth despite any protests by ex-spouses who do not want to have children.

The bill is now law as Gov. Doug Ducey signed it on April 4.

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Celebrating A Successful National Reading Month

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on April 4, 2018

March’s National Reading Month has ended for another year. The annual event that commemorates children taking their eyes off smart phones and tablets in favor of hard-copy books, appropriately falls on the birthday month of prolific author Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.

Early in March, DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC encouraged prospective and existing clients to bring in new children’s books in exchange for a free initial consultation at our office or over the phone.

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The Dawn Of Free-Range Parenting

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on March 30, 2018

Helicopter parenting is a well-known term for a certain style of raising children. It gained prominence in the early 2000s with baby boomers and their rearing of millennial offspring. Their style of “hovering” ranged from calling kids to wake them up every morning to taking the side of their students when the dreaded call home from teachers occurred.

That approach to parenting became so commonplace that a lack of hyper-protection became cause for alarm, if not a call to law enforcement.

Helicopter parenting has met its antithesis. Free-range parenting.

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Divorce-Related Adversities Facing Arizona Children

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on March 20, 2018

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can take many forms. Traumatic events for children from birth to age 17 can range from economic hardships to the deaths of their parents.

For far too many children, the ACE that created toxic levels of stress resulted from the divorce of their mothers and fathers.

Higher ACE scores are linked to children suffering from alcohol and drug abuse, obesity and overall poor physical health, depression and suicide. Some equate the effects of divorce or other horrific incidents to children suffering physical injuries or chronic illnesses.

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Announcing Our Employee Of The Month For February 2018

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on

Already a multi-time winner of various awards, Jessica Hurley is once again receiving much-deserved recognition. She is our February 2018 Employee of the Month.

Few members of the DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC family possess the vast knowledge of the firm and its staff that Jessica enjoys. Specifically, she recognizes the need for legal teams to focus on legal work. With that in mind, she voluntarily takes on additional work and responsibilities, including projects that directly interfere with peer employees’ vital tasks.

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A Special Offer During National Reading Month

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on March 8, 2018

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

While March famously launches and leaves like two famous animals, the creatures created by Dr. Seuss serve an important role in an annual commemoration. The third month of the year represents the start of National Reading Month. The fact that it also falls on Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday is anything but a coincidence.

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Celebrate National Guide Dog Month with the DLP PLC family

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on March 4, 2018

DeShon Laraye Pullen’s commitment to the community shows in her firm’s funding of various charities. One cause in particular is close to the hearts of DeShon and the entire family at DLP PLC.

Follow Your Heart Animal Rescue where no breed is denied. The Mesa-based organization is “committed to preventing the unnecessary euthanization and abuse of abandoned and/or abused animals.”

Because May is National Guide Dog Month, DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is running a charity promotion to benefit a more than worthy cause.

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The Possible Future For Divorce Filing Fees

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on March 1, 2018

The cost of dissolving a marriage in Arizona is about to go up to save the dissolution of a troubled state pension plan.

Last week, the House Banking and Insurance Committee voted to raise all court fees in a 7-1 vote. Fees to file for divorce will jump anywhere from $2 to $18, depending on the specific services soon-to-be ex-spouses required.

The “financial peril” of the state’s public-safety pension for politicians and judges is well documented with many calling it the worst performing n the United States. Higher court fees for marital dissolutions would help fund the woefully underfunded system that provides generous retirement packages in spite of being plagued with bad investments.

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Embryonic personhood and its effect on Arizona parents

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on February 27, 2018

Many Arizona couples unable to have children strive to keep their dreams alive through vitro fertilization. Technology continues to evolve to help make biological parentage a reality. However, the odds are often against them, as many embryos do not develop.

In those cases, dreams are sometimes dashed. In other instances, nightmares take the form of divorce actions after embryos have been frozen.

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The DLP PLC Employee Of The Month For January 2018

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on February 15, 2018

As we enter the second month of 2018, we at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC want to recognize Lisa Eick as our Employee of the Month for January, an award voted on by her peers at DLP PLC. Currently, Lisa is the legal assistant for attorney Sara A. Swiren at our Scottsdale office. Staff members who Read More

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Recognizing Our 2017 Employee Of The Year/Employees Of The Month

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on January 31, 2018

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is proud to announce our Employee of the Month for December of 2017.

Congratulations to Meredith Leyton for her third designation.

Her colleagues that nominated her for her most recent award cited that she:

“Is always willing to help, even when it’s not her job.”
“Is just the bright spot in our office.”
“Doesn’t complain about anything even when she’s clearly overwhelmed.”
“Is always smiling.”

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New Additions To The DLP PLC Family

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on January 24, 2018

While 2017 has come to an end for us all, we wanted to share some new faces that joined us in 2017 and celebrated the holidays for the first time with DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC. Krystal, Lisa, Sara and Staci welcomed new additions to their families and ours! These babies celebrated their first Holiday Season and New Year!

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Spotlighting Our IT Partner

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on January 22, 2018

In the day-to-day operations of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLLC or any law firm, things can go wrong, primarily in the technology we rely on to serve our clients. The last thing that we want is to have bugs, crashes and other problems affect the work that we do for them.

A great deal of the success we enjoy comes from the collaborative relationships developed behind the scenes.

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Happy New Year From The DLP PLC Family

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on January 17, 2018

Happy 2018 from the DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC family.

As the New Year dawns, countries throughout the world enjoy their own unique celebrations. Yet, there is little truly “new” about the New Year. For thousands of years, celebrations and festivals and commemorated the annual event. Some were about a chance to imbibe and revel with loved ones while others are linked to agricultural or astronomical events.

While gathering at Times Square to sing Auld Lang Syne and kiss a loved one is a popular American tradition, celebrations that ring in the new year take different forms depending on the country you reside in.

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DLP PLC Staff Who Excelled In October And November

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Uncategorized on January 2, 2018

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is proud to announce our latest staff recognition awards: Employee of the Month and Genius of the Month.

The Employee of the Month award is for those who served as a role model that goes above and beyond. Beyond doing their own job, they help co-workers while collaborating with their own team members to resolve client issues. Simply put, they serve as a role model for their peers.

Our Genius of the Month award is designated for an employee who suggests a best practice that potentially that increases productivity and efficiency while improving the way we do business and practice law. To receive the award, the employee’s proposed best practice must be thoroughly tested and successfully implemented.

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Happy holidays from the DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC family

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on December 25, 2017

As we approach the end of another successful year, the DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC family would like to wish all of our current and prospective clients a joyous holiday season.

Regardless of the holiday our clients celebrate, we hope that they are surrounded by the love of family and friends.

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Join our growing family

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on December 16, 2017

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we continue to expand our client base. Because of our growth, we are continually looking to add to our award-winning team. To ensure that we are providing the highest levels of personalized representation, we need talented individuals to fill various roles.

For those considering careers as an attorney or paralegal at our firm, we require a comprehensive understanding of current Arizona family law. Candidates for legal assistants must have experience in that specific type of support role. We also prefer applicants who have direct experience in family law.

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Join our growing family

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we continue to expand our client base. Because of our growth, we are continually looking to add to our award-winning team. To ensure that we are providing the highest levels of personalized representation, we need talented individuals to fill various roles.

For those considering careers as an attorney or paralegal at our firm, we require a comprehensive understanding of current Arizona family law. Candidates for legal assistants must have experience in that specific type of support role. We also prefer applicants who have direct experience in family law.

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The personal and financial cost of divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on December 14, 2017

Ending a marriage is a monumental decision with significant fallout. In addition to the emotionally charged issues inherent in the martial dissolution process, money-related stress is top of mind for most couples when one household becomes two.

Simply stated, divorce carries a significant price, both personally and financially.

Little can spare soon to be exes the trauma of splitting assets following a breakup. However, proactive steps can provide a certain peace of mind in stabilizing a potentially shaky financial future.

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Man waiting for child support money to be paid back

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on November 29, 2017

Various complications often arise for parents in Arizona and elsewhere after divorce. Often, such problems concern child support, custody, visitation or other family matters. If a parent believes there has been a mistake regarding the amount of child support owed, it is best to act alongside experienced family law counsel when pursuing the matter in court.

A man in another state was known as a dedicated father who tried his best to provide for all his child’s needs. In fact, at one point, the court granted him 100 percent time-sharing with his son in light of evidence of the mother’s neglect. In a rather odd turn of events, after the child had lived with his father on a full-time basis for at least two years, the man’s driver’s license was suddenly revoked for alleged back child support payments he supposedly owed.

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Moving on, but not out of hearts and minds

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 22, 2017

It is with mixed emotions that we bid farewell to attorney colleague, Ashley B. Rahaman.

Ashley has been part of DeShon LaRaye Pullen PLC team since August 2014. She came to our ranks with a solid reputation for excellence in legal practice and has only added to it, gaining respect for her diligence and practicality.

We extend to Ashley all good wishes now and into the future. Know you are being sent with sincere hugs and kisses.

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Looking back on a successful Light The Night Walk event

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 17, 2017

For the second year, DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC participated in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual Light The Night Walk for the greater Phoenix area. At the November 11 event, Gwen’s Gladiators raised $20,732, placing our group second in the Corporate Teams category. While this year’s walk is over for this year, the fight continues Read More

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Will tax reform end deductions for alimony?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Alimony on November 16, 2017

As with any proposed federal legislation, the recently unveiled Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is complex and lengthy. Piercing that veil has already revealed that with every benefit to efforts to reform, there are drawbacks. Some taxpayers will see relief while others will carry a heavier financial burden.

Divorced couples currently negotiating alimony agreements could suffer negative effects if the current bill becomes law, regardless of who pays and who receives support.

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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC named in “Best Law Firms” list

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on November 14, 2017

On November 1, U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers announced their eighth annual “Best Law Firms” rankings. At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we are proud to announce that we have been made the list of what they describe as an “elite and extremely impressive group.”

Law offices included in the 2018 “Best Law Firms” received the coveted designation for professional excellence combined with continuously impressive ratings from both clients and peers. In addition, ranked firms must have attorneys included in The Best Lawyers in America, a list that recognizes the top four percent of practicing lawyers in the country.

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Recognizing Our Employees of The Month and Geniuses of the Month

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on November 10, 2017

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we recognize one of our staff members with an Employee of the Month award for going above and beyond. In addition to doing their job, they help others while collaborating with their own team members to resolve client problems. Simply put, they serve as a role model for others.

This month, we are proud to announce that Jessica Hurley is our Employee of the Month winner for September 2017.

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DLP PLC continuing the fight against leukemia and lymphoma

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 9, 2017

Sometimes, superheroes reside in the hearts of small children fighting big battles.

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is once again honored to participate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual Light The Night Walk for the greater Phoenix area.

For the second year in a row, Gwen’s Gladiators are preparing to do battle yet again. Our team is named after Gwen, a four-year-old, Phoenix area resident who was diagnosed with a form of leukemia called High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).

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Introducing Remington (Remi) Stone Cashion

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 2, 2017

Our family at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC continues to grow. One way is to continually find and recruit new talent to contribute to the success of our firm. The other way involves our treasured family members adding to their own family.

It wasn’t all that long ago – December of last year to be exact – that we recognized the wedding of Sara A. Swiren, a three-year member of our staff, and Nate Cashion. We at DLP PLC are now even more excited to introduce Remington (Remi) Stone Cashion, Sara and Nate’s son, born on September 13, 2017.

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New additions to the DLP family

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on October 31, 2017

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we are always looking for new talent to join our firm. Infusing skilled professionals with fresh perspectives helps us stay on the cutting-edge of the legal industry. Their continued growth as individuals and team members means that we continue to grow in the community.

Please join us in welcoming the newest family members to DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC:

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Honoring our loyal and talented staff

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on October 24, 2017

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, our lifeblood is the numerous employees whose respective tenures can be counted in years, not months or weeks. Their loyalty and hard work have brought success to our law firm and much-needed stability for our client base.

While the year is not over and we will be celebrating more anniversaries in the waning months of 2017, we want to take the time and recognize several of these dedicated and valued members of the DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC family.

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The growing trend of grandparents becoming parents

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on October 3, 2017

When a grandparent takes over custody of their children’s children, the circumstances surrounding the change are usually dire. Oftentimes, the loss of their own children who were parents while they were alive forces grandparents to step up. On other occasions, an unsafe household require that grandchildren be put into a more secure and nurturing environment.

Grandparents raising their grandchildren are becoming a growing segment of the population, regardless of the reasons surrounding the change.Eleven percent of grandparents assume custody due to the death of one or both parents of their grandchildren.Forty percent of children came from households where at least one parent was suffering from substance abuse
Twenty-eight percent of children left their parents’ homes over neglect, abuse or abandonment

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The time is now to update Arizona’s outdated family law statutes

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on September 26, 2017

Updating Arizona’s laws to reflect same-sex couples’ rights to marry has been slow in coming. The language reflects a different time with references to husbands, fathers, and even gestation periods.

A recent ruling by the state’s Supreme Court gave the effort a much-needed boost.

After their 2008 marriage in California, Kimberly and Suzan McLaughlin made Arizona their home. As they began their new life, they decided to have a child through an anonymous sperm donor. Kimberly carried the child and the couple had a son in 2011. Suzan stayed at home with the baby while Kimberly resumed her career as a physician.

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A son taking the direct approach in pursuing child support

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on September 19, 2017

While children have a voice in their parents’ divorce, their “best interests” revolve around custody and visitation matters. They benefit from child support. However, strict, statutory calculations dictate the specific amount of money set aside to provide for their basic needs.

Historically, money for child support goes to the custodial parent to pay for necessities, not the children. However, a recent landmark court ruling blazed a new trail where finances necessary for post-secondary education went directly to the son of divorced parents.

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Shared parenting agreements: The continuing exception to the rule

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on September 11, 2017

While Ward Cleaver, Mike Brady and other television fathers served as role models, their specific roles involved taking a smaller role in the lives of their children. They were sole providers, choosing to work while their wives served as caregivers.

The traditional roles of fathers, particularly those that are divorced, have evolved. More and more are taking a hands-on approach to raising their children. Yet, court-ordered child custody agreements have not kept pace.

Statistics reveal that 80 percent of cases award full physical custody of children to mothers. Not accounting for orders protecting children from abusive and neglectful fathers, the decisions are very close to being one-sided

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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC Is Hiring An Attorney

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on September 7, 2017

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is seeking an attorney to join our practice. We are a full-service family law firm based in Phoenix that is dedicated to our clients’ well-being. If this sounds like an interesting job opportunity to you, read on.

We are seeking an attorney with a passion for assisting clients and delivering stellar results for them. The ideal candidate must be interested in handling contentious and emotional matters, such as child custody or division of assets. At least three years of family law litigation and trial experience is required.

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Cryo-embryos: Marital property or the result of procreation?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on September 5, 2017

Before their divorce in 2014, Mandy and Drake Brooks conceived three children through in-vitro fertilization. During the IVF process, the couple produced six additional embryos that are currently in cryo-storage.

Those embryos are a major point of contention in the Rooks’ marital dissolution. Mandy wants to preserve the embryos for possible use in the future. Her husband wants them destroyed. Their agreement with the fertility clinic explicitly states that the courts would make the decision if the spouses could not find agreement as part of their divorce.

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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC recognized as a top law firm

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on August 25, 2017

We congratulate DeShon Pullen and DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC for being included in the 2018 Edition of U.S. News – The Best Lawyers in America© in Family Law!

The 24th edition of The Best Lawyers in America includes attorneys in 140 practice areas, covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Best Lawyers® selections are based on an exhaustive peer-review survey and inclusion in this year’s publication is based on more than 7.3 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

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Is Brangelina 2 in the works?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on August 18, 2017

When Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced their split in September of 2016, their fans were shocked and stunned. Stories began to emerge of their discord that led to a divorce filing. Devotees prepared themselves for the end, going through various stages of grief.Brangelina was dead.Not so fast.

While some are saying that they remain deep in divorce talks, others are claiming that the divorce is off after not moving it forward for several months.

Continue reading Is Brangelina 2 in the works?

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Blending families and the effects on parenting plans

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on August 10, 2017

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, and Steve Harvey and Marjorie Bridges have made it work so far. On the other hand, Brangelina and the Jenners failed to fare as well under the brightest of Hollywood spotlights.

Getting life back on track is important for any divorced parent moving on following a divorce. Over time, many ex-spouses choose the track of remarrying. Those new relationships often include a new spouse with children from a previous marriage or relationship.

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Ten days in the life of Anthony Scaramucci

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on August 5, 2017

In the span of ten days, Anthony Scaramucci got a new job, immediately found himself in trouble while doing his job, and subsequently losing his job. While he was compacting in a short time what most people take an entire career to “achieve,” a personal distraction for a man who became quickly known as a distraction himself became public.

In what was already a news-filled Friday for the White House “leakers” worst enemy, a different type of leak revealed that Scaramucci’s wife was ending their marriage.

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The most famous of famous divorces

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 28, 2017

One of the most famous of “celebrity divorces” actually changed the destiny of not only a famous couple, but also a royal lineage and an entire nation. The fairy tale wedding between Prince Charles and Princess Diana ended in anything but storybook fashion amidst allegations of infidelity by both husband and wife.

As the countdown to the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death in a car accident grows closer to August 31, the spotlight is returning to her and her now grown children. The commemoration will also revisit the circumstances surrounding the high-profile royal divorce finalized one year before the infamous car accident.

Continue reading The most famous of famous divorces

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Couples who consciously uncouple

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 21, 2017

In 2014, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and musician Chris Martin announced the end of their marriage. Amidst the celebrity divorce proclamations that occurred during that time, this separation stood out because of divorce synonym that has become common parlance today.Conscious uncoupling.

The origin of a term that seems too good to be true goes beyond Paltrow’s proclamation. Relationship expert Katherine Woodward Thomas created a five-week program titled “Conscious Uncoupling,” before the Paltrow-Martin split. Her seminar promises to help divorcing couples “release the trauma of a breakup, reclaim your power, and reinvent your life.”

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Hot Convict in hot water

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 12, 2017

He is a man known by many times. Some call him, “Hot Mugshot Guy.” A conviction and subsequent incarceration for felony gun charges earned him the name “Hot Felon.”

Jeremy Meeks, the 34-year old “hot convict,” his other nom de plume, whose chiseled features went viral and saw him trade a prison cell for a runway, now finds himself in hot water. His face has graced countless photographs. Yet, one recent image in particular got the attention of not only his adoring followers, but also his wife.

Continue reading Hot Convict in hot water

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Why do celebrity marriages fail?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 6, 2017

Those who follow celebrity pairings usually do so with great passion. From the initial introduction to the lavish wedding with all the trappings, they live vicariously through the fairy-tale pairings of famous people.

Yet, as is the custom when the rich marry the famous, the past becomes prologue.

Just as fans are absorbing the news of yet another celebrity divorce announcement, another makes banner headlines. Ironically, the pace of dissolutions are making celebrities staying together more newsworthy.

The one-word question is simple. Why?

Continue reading Why do celebrity marriages fail?

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The post-Cruise life of Katie Holmes

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on July 4, 2017

A celebrity divorce is all too commonly rife with petty disputes and angry words (now tweets) that create a bitter battle played out on a public stage. For many of the rich and famous, a life that was once blissful devolved into an abyss that comes with the demise of a high-profile marriage.

For those who choose to leave not only the rancor, but also the limelight, that all-important chapter can take many forms for the well-to-do. However, few have taken the trajectory of Katie Holmes.

Continue reading The post-Cruise life of Katie Holmes

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What is causing Huma’s hesitation?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on June 30, 2017

The political and personal plight of Huma Abedin is a story with many twists and turns. Most of the credit for the ongoing drama can be credited to her estranged husband Anthony Wiener’s well-known, if not serial online amorous antics.

The former congressman’s extracurricular activities seemed to quiet down after yet another sexting scandal ended his 2013 campaign for the New York mayor’s office. Three years later, Wiener returned to salacious banner headlines revealing an intimate texting session featuring a come-hither picture of him in bed while his son slumbered at his side.

Continue reading What is causing Huma’s hesitation?

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What is causing Huma’s hesitation?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on June 23, 2017

The political and personal plight of Huma Abedin is a story with many twists and turns. Most of the credit for the ongoing drama can be credited to her estranged husband Anthony Wiener’s well-known, if not serial online amorous antics.

The former congressman’s extracurricular activities seemed to quiet down after yet another sexting scandal ended his 2013 campaign for the New York mayor’s office. Three years later, Wiener returned to salacious banner headlines revealing an intimate texting session featuring a come-hither picture of him in bed while his son slumbered at his side.

Continue reading What is causing Huma’s hesitation?

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Celebrity divorce: Timing is everything

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on June 14, 2017

Benjamin Franklin is famous for oft-quoted saying, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” The man was well known as a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.

Designated by many as, “The First American” made Franklin one of our first celebrities.

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Changes to military retirement systems and what you should know

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on June 8, 2017

Following a long-term study of the military retirement benefit, the Military Retirement Modernization Commission recommended significant changes to the retirement system. Those modifications could have a significant effect on spouses eligible for Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO).

The commission recommended changes to reduce government costs and require military members to contribute to their own retirement. The new system includes:

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Pre-divorce conversations: Necessary, yet difficult

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on June 2, 2017

Part of wedding planning should involve a couple sitting down and asking each other various questions. Discussing issues up front can help strengthen the groundwork of a pending marriage.

Divorce statistics being what they are, at least half of married couples will have to deal with the end of their marriages. During that time, the last thing they want to do is talk, with or without help from a marriage counselor.

However, getting issues out in the open before retaining legal counsel could help them move towards an amicable split or perhaps save the marriage. In the end, every effort should be made to make the relationship work before pursuing dissolution.

Continue reading Pre-divorce conversations: Necessary, yet difficult

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Two New Employees Join DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on May 16, 2017

We are proud to welcome two new employees who have joined DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

Melissa Moy – Paralegal

Melissa Moy, a native to Arizona, attended Lamson College where she earned her Associates Degree in Business Administration. After graduation, she became a licensed Arizona Insurance Agent.

In 2007, Melissa began her legal career working in the areas of Family Law, Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation. After starting her career as a legal assistant, she was able to work her way up to Office Manager and Lead Paralegal. As her passion grew to help people with their legal needs, Melissa became certified by the Supreme Court as a Certified Legal Document Preparer.

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Issues to consider during a same-sex divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on April 21, 2017

It has been almost two years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. And, as with all couples, legal marriage also comes with the right to divorce.

Although the same general divorce laws apply to same-sex couples, there are more complex issues to consider regarding legal decision-making, parenting time, and the division of property.

Continue reading Issues to consider during a same-sex divorce

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Announcing our March Employee Awards

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on April 13, 2017

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we are dedicated to celebrating the achievements of our employees. We are pleased to announce winners of our March Genius of the Month and Employee of the Month winners.

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April is National Child Abuse Prevention month

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on April 5, 2017

Since 1983, April has been National Child Abuse Prevention Month. “Building Community, Building Hope” is the theme for this year’s month-long observance.

According to www.childwelfare.gov, the 2017 theme “acknowledges the tremendous power in communities to address the problem of child abuse and neglect.”

Continue reading April is National Child Abuse Prevention month

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Tax implications of a divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on March 31, 2017

When you are going through a divorce, seemingly minor financial decisions regarding property division and support can result in tax implications – both now and in the future. It is important to consult your attorney regarding taking steps now to prevent tax penalties and future financial complications.

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Put children’s needs first in all family law matters

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on March 23, 2017

Divorce and other family law issues can be difficult for everyone, but it can be especially hard on children. It is a situation they cannot control, with the potential to change their lives and futures, so there is good reason to be concerned.

All too often, parents get so caught up in bad feelings toward each other that they forget what is most important: their children. Whether you are in a divorce or custody dispute, learn ways to ensure your children’s needs are coming first.

Continue reading Put children’s needs first in all family law matters

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Our attorneys give back to the legal community

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on March 17, 2017

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we are honored to have dedicated attorneys who volunteer their time and talents to our community. Through their work in the community our attorneys constantly strive to improve communication and strengthen the working relationship between the family law bench and bar, coordinate and promote continuing legal education, as well donate their time and legal expertise to those in need.

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Introducing Adrienne R. Jones and Nicole Pacheco

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on March 16, 2017

Please join DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC in welcoming two new members to our team: Adrienne R. Jones and Nicole Pacheco! Adrienne is an associate attorney and Nicole is our new receptionist in our Scottsdale office.

Continue reading Introducing Adrienne R. Jones and Nicole Pacheco

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Announcing Our Employee Awards for February

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on March 9, 2017

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is pleased to announce the firm’s Genius of the Month and Employee of the Month for February. 

Shirley Webb, litigation coordinator, is our Genius of the Month for February. Shirley took the initiative to contact building maintenance in our Phoenix office to schedule regular recycling pick up. We are conscious of the effect recycling has on the earth and are proud to be doing our part in our office.

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Focus on your family’s health during National Nutrition Month

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on March 1, 2017

Part of overall health and well-being is to maintain proper nutrition. March is National Nutrition Month, so it is a great time for your entire family to focus on health and fitness. You can do this through eating nourishing meals and getting regular exercise.

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Women take more positive financial steps post-divorce than men

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on February 22, 2017

After a divorce, it is important to plan your finances wisely. Your situation has most likely changed dramatically, so it it vital to account for you and your children’s needs both now and in the future.

Unfortunately, many people do not take steps to ensure a more positive financial future. And, according to a recent survey of certified public accountants (CPAs), women are more likely to up their financial planning efforts after a divorce compared to men.

Continue reading Women take more positive financial steps post-divorce than men

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Introducing Litigation Coordinator Shirley Webb

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on February 17, 2017

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is pleased to welcome Shirley Webb to the team. Shirley is working as Litigation Coordinator at our Phoenix office.

Our goal at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is to provide top-quality service and representation to each of our clients.

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Happy Valentine’s Day from DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on February 14, 2017

Once again it is Valentine’s Day, the holiday where couples celebrate love and romance.

Whether you are enjoying a romantic and fancy evening out, or a quiet, intimate night at home, Valentine’s Day is a good occasion to declare your love to your spouse or partner. And for those who are currently single, the holiday can be a time to celebrate your independence.

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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC Employees Awards Update

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on February 10, 2017

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is pleased to announce the firm’s Employees of the Month for December and January — and our Employee of the Year for 2016.

Congratulations to Lisa, Amy and Lisa for these well-deserved recognitions of their work!

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Support The American Heart Association — Get A Free Consultation

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on February 2, 2017

Once again, DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is giving back to the community by raising money for a worthy cause. This February, the firm is supporting the American Heart Association Phoenix.

Founded in 1949, the American Heart Association is a nationwide organization combating cardiovascular disease and stroke. The AHA has spent more than $3.3 billion on research into these deadly conditions.

Continue reading Support The American Heart Association — Get A Free Consultation

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Reflections On Civil Rights Day

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on January 27, 2017

We recently celebrated Civil Rights Day here in Arizona. Known as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in other states, this holiday honors the great civil rights leader and gives us a chance to reflect on the principle of equal rights for all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.

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Giving Back With DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on January 13, 2017

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC continues its commitment to the community. For the month of January we are giving back in support of local homeless shelters and food banks. Bring in a new blanket and a can of soup and receive an initial consultation with one of our attorneys for free! At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, Read More

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Introducing Alexus Hirsh and Whittney Stricker

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on January 6, 2017

Please join us in welcoming attorney, Alexus C. Hirsh, and legal assistant, Whittney Stricker, to DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC!

We are excited to have these two helping us fulfill our mission to provide our clients with exceptional representation while always maintaining the highest level of integrity, compassion, and professionalism.

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Happy New Year From DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on December 30, 2016

As we enter the final days of 2016, we at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC are reflecting on the year that just passed, and looking forward to the future.

First and foremost, we are proud of the work we did for our clients this year. It was our honor to guide clients through a difficult time in their lives, and fight for the best interests of our clients and their children. We worked hard every day to serve people going through divorce, child custody disputes or other family law matters.

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Help an Arizona family with DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on December 23, 2016

We are in the thick of the holiday season, a time for parties, family gatherings and religious observations. It’s also a time to give back to people who are going through a tough time and could use a helping hand.

For the month of December, DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC has partnered with Commerce Bank in Scottsdale to “adopt” a local family through the Save The Family organization. Save The Family supports families (often single parents with children) who have been the victims of domestic violence and are currently living in shelters. The group provides counseling and employment help, and presents for children during the holidays.

Continue reading Help an Arizona family with DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

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Seeking custody more common paternity issue nowadays

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on December 7, 2016

In past generations, it was nearly always presumed that custody of children would be awarded to their mother in a divorce. In fact, many family scenarios involved fathers who spent most of their time “at the office” and rarely interacted with their families at home. Nowadays, however, paternity issues are quite different, and many fathers in Arizona and elsewhere wish to maintain active roles in their children’s lives; in fact, some pursue full or shared custody in court.

The court makes final decisions regarding custody, visitation and support. However, most judges take parents’ comments into consideration along with several other regulating factors. For instance, ages of children, how much time each parent spent with children prior to divorce, employment status and specific needs of children are other issues that may affect the court’s ultimate ruling.

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Wedding News At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on December 2, 2016

We are excited to announce that Sara A. Swiren, one of our attorneys here at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, has recently gotten married!

As a family law firm, we deeply understand the role family plays in most people’s lives. That is why we are so happy for Sara and her new husband Nate as they begin this rewarding new phase in their relationship.

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4 Unexpected Thanksgiving Traditions

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 24, 2016

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is thankful for our wonderful clients, our exceptional staff, and our ever-supportive friends and family.

Today we in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving, one of the most beloved holidays on the American calendar.

Most of us spend Thanksgiving catching up with family and friends, watching football, and stuffing ourselves with turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie

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Jules Wainstein’s child custody battle gets ugly

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on November 19, 2016

Divorce is seldom easy, as anyone in Arizona who has been through it may attest. When children are involved, emotions tend to be highly charged on both sides. Any type of communication breakdown can make matters worse, preventing swift resolution to problems regarding child custody, visitation and other parenting-related issues. When one parent accuses another of being unfit, things can get pretty ugly. Such seems to be the case for reality tv star Jules Wainstein and her estranged husband, Michael.

The latter has apparently told the court that the mother of his children has a history of drug abuse problems. Currently, the two share custody of their kids. Since divorce proceedings have gotten underway; however, they have entered a contentious battle over the issue.

Continue reading Jules Wainstein’s child custody battle gets ugly

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Some Facts For National Diabetes Month

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 18, 2016

November is National Diabetes Month. With more than 29 million Americans living with diabetes (according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it is likely that you or someone you know is dealing with this chronic, potentially fatal disease.

Diabetes is a condition that affects the insulin levels in your body. Insulin passes glucose in the blood into your body’s cells for use as an energy source. For people with diabetes, this important process does not happen as it should. Type 1 diabetes causes the body to produce insufficient insulin, while people with type 2 diabetes cannot use insulin properly.

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Reflections On Veterans Day 2016

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 11, 2016

Today is Nov. 11, the day we in the United States mark Veterans Day. Originally known as Armistice Day for being the anniversary of the day combat ended in World War I in 1918, this holiday later grew into a day to honor U.S. veterans of all wars.

Serving in the military in wartime is perhaps the greatest sacrifice one can make for one’s country. War often sends soldiers thousands of miles away from home and family, where they may encounter terrible violence and uncertainty when, or if, they will get home safely.

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Welcoming 2 New Team Members To Our Phoenix Office

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 2, 2016

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is pleased to announce two new additions to our firm’s Phoenix office. We are excited to have these two new hires joining our team and helping us fulfill our mission to serve each and every client as well as we possibly can.

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Spread the word: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on October 28, 2016

There are many causes worth fighting for, but there are few more important than the fight against breast cancer. About one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lives. To put that in perspective, that means once every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Additionally, it is the most common form of cancer in women while also being the second leading cause of death for women. Breast cancer also affects men – with it affecting 2,600 men every year – though it is much rarer.

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Staci Maret Becomes 2nd AZ Paralegal Certified by NALA in Family Law

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on October 24, 2016

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, strives to provide the highest possible level of service to our clients. That extends to our excellent paralegal staff. We are excited to announce that one of our paralegals, Staci Maret, completed the advanced family law certification program offered by NALA – The Paralegal Association, a national professional organization. She is one of just two paralegals in Arizona to achieve this, and the only one in Yavapai County!

Continue reading Staci Maret Becomes 2nd AZ Paralegal Certified by NALA in Family Law

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Employee Of The Month (October)

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on October 21, 2016

For our Employee of the Month for October, DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is recognizing a very special person: founding partner DeShon L. Pullen.

It almost goes without saying that DeShon is the reason we work so hard on behalf of our clients. As a brilliant family law attorney, she inspires everyone at the firm to do our best every day to resolve our clients’ cases favorably. Despite being very busy most of the time, DeShon is always positive, patient and approachable.

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Employee Of The Month (August and September)

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on October 7, 2016

If you have been following this blog for a while, you may be wondering who was DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC’s employee of the month for August. Today, we present the employees of the month for August and September.

We are pleased to announce that legal assistant Lisa Eick was DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC’s employee of the month for August. Jessica Hurley, another of our legal assistants, earned the honor for September.

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Client Review: I’m Glad I Had DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC On My Side

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on September 19, 2016

Everyone at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC agrees that the clients’ needs come first. Our attorneys are passionate about serving our clients, so it is always gratifying to hear when a client is pleased with how we handled his or her case.

We are especially proud of a recent review that a client posted online. The client was facing a contentious divorce, and after meeting with DeShon L. Pullen, was impressed with DeShon’s compassion and honest advice.

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Friend Of The Firm’s Article Published In Legal Magazine

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on September 16, 2016

It is always a pleasure to see a respected friend and colleague instructing fellow Arizona attorneys in the law. So we at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC were so excited to see that personal injury attorney Mark A. Raczkowski had a fascinating article published in the most recent issue of Advocate, the magazine of the Arizona Association for Justice. Besides being an excellent lawyer, Mark just so happens to be married to our own Jennifer M. Raczkowski.

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DeShon L. Pullen Named One Of The ‘Best Lawyers In America’

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on September 15, 2016

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is proud to announce that our hard work on behalf of our clients has received attention from another national publication. Our lead attorney, DeShon L. Pullen, has been named in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© as one of the top family law attorneys in the United States.

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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC recognizes Hannah Corbin as Employee of the Month

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on September 6, 2016

Our employees are the difference-makers at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC. We would like to take time out to recognize our July employee of the month, Hannah Corbin.

Hannah is recognized by peers as someone always willing to lend a hand; always pleasant; and always quick to return correspondence. We also want to celebrate another of Hannah’s qualities: her relentless drive to better herself, as evidenced by her recent acceptance to law school.

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Support Gwen’s Gladiators And Get A Free Consultation

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on August 31, 2016

The first step to resolving your family law problem is to find the right attorney to represent you. Finding the best attorney for your case can be daunting and may involve consultation with several attorneys until you find the lawyer who is right for you.

This is why DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC offers initial consultations. During our no-obligation meeting, you will meet with one of our attorneys and discuss your situation in detail. The lawyer you speak with will listen carefully before discussing possible next steps in your case.

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Saying Goodbye To Tawnia R. Wienke

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on August 18, 2016

We at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC want to take a moment to say thank you and best wishes to a departing colleague and friend. Tawnia R. Wienke, one of our attorneys, has left the firm as of Aug. 17.

We are saddened to see Tawnia go. All of us at the firm love her, and she will be missed. At the same time, we are excited for Tawnia as she pursues a new opportunity.

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Families Come In All Forms — Is Yours Protected?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Adoption & Parental Rights on August 4, 2016

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we understand that families come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no one “right” way to start one. No matter how your family came together, you need to ensure that your legal rights are protected with the help of a skilled family law attorney.

One woman’s inspiring story is an example of a nontraditional family that used the legal system to ensure the safety and security of six young sisters. The woman adopted all six girls from the same birth mother, who was unable to care for them herself.

Continue reading Families Come In All Forms — Is Yours Protected?

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Employee Of The Month (June)

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on July 22, 2016

Once again, it is time for us at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC to announce our Employee of the Month for June. As a reminder, every month our staff votes for an Employee of the Month. The winner is a member of the firm who went above and beyond for our clients during the previous month.

This time, our Employee of the Month is Lisa Moreland, our New Client Development Specialist.

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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC Will Walk To Fight Leukemia and Lymphoma

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on July 13, 2016

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we are committed to doing our part to end leukemia and lymphoma. These are types of cancer that begin in the bone marrow and lymphatic systems, respectively, and affect the blood. Though both forms of cancer are treatable in many cases, they can be fatal.

Our firm is honored to participate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual Light The Night Walk for the greater Phoenix area. This year’s walk will take place on Nov. 5. By taking pledges from supporters, our firm and other walk participants raise money for research into potentially life-saving treatments.

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Announcing DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC’s Newest Location

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on July 6, 2016

We have big news to share with our readers: DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC has opened a new office in Prescott!

Our firm’s latest location officially opened on July 1. Along with our Phoenix and Scottsdale locations, our Prescott office will serve our clients’ family law needs. We are pleased to provide a convenient place for people in the Prescott area to meet with one of our attorneys.

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Why We Set Off Fireworks On The Fourth Of July

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on July 4, 2016

Today is Independence Day in the U.S., a holiday that means several beloved traditions for most people, including us at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC. Barbeques. Parades. And, perhaps most of all, fireworks.

No other American holiday is so closely associated with displays of loud, colorful fireworks displays exploding across the night sky. What started this American tradition of celebrating its independence from England with fireworks?

Believe it or not, the idea comes from one of the Founders behind the Declaration of Independence, and he thought it up before that revolutionary document was even finished.

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Employee & Genius Of The Month (May)

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on June 8, 2016

Ashley B. Rahaman is one of our attorneys, and has been practicing law in Arizona since 2010. Among the reasons Ashley’s colleagues voted for her was for her mentorship of co-workers, her ability to handle a heavy workload, and the dedication she shows to her clients.

Staci Maret is a certified paralegal who works closely with DeShon L. Pullen. We are awarding her Genius of the Month for her work solving a problem at our firm keeping track of our employees’ continuing legal education (CLE) attendance.

Congratulations to Ashley and Staci for their awards! They are terrific examples of the type of people who work at our firm.

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Our Former Employee Talks ‘1Lofayear’ in Law School

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2016

As May draws to a close, the school year has come to an end for most law school students, including Asha Vora, DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC’s former litigation coordinator. As we discussed back in January, Asha began law school last fall, and she just completed her first year.

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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC Wishes You a Special Memorial Day

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on May 30, 2016

Since Memorial Day became a national holiday in 1971, workers and students across the U.S. have enjoyed long Memorial Day weekends. To many, the holiday has become the starting whistle signifying the much-awaited summer.

Happy Memorial Day. Right?

For those who fully understand and take a moment to really think about Memorial Day, it might sound somewhat off to hear “Happy Memorial Day.” After all, the holiday wouldn’t exist without great loss. Today our country honors the men and women who have lost their lives protecting this country and the freedoms we enjoy.

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Employee & Genius of the Month (April)

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on May 17, 2016

It’s time to recognize DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC’s Employee of the Month and Genius of the Month for April. We are pleased to announce that Stephanie Ramos is our newest Employee of the Month, while Jennifer M. Raczkowski has won Genius of the Month.

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DeShon L. Pullen named Top One Percent attorney for 2016

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Uncategorized on May 10, 2016

While our attorneys at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC care more about achieving our clients’ family law goals than anything else, it is always nice to be recognized for our hard work. Especially when that recognition comes from an organization dedicated to raising the standards of the legal profession nationwide.

We are honored to announce that our firm’s owner and founder, DeShon L. Pullen, has been added to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel’s 2016 Nation’s Top One Percent list. The list represents American lawyers who consistently elevate the standards of legal work, and set a strong example for their colleagues.

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Today is International Women’s Day

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on May 8, 2016

International Women’s Day is today, March 8.

In honor of the day, Google – as it almost always does – replaced its logo with a “doodle” that represents the subject. Today the doodle features a representation of women with various hopes and dreams – in thought bubbles, you see a microscope, books, musical notes, paintbrushes, and a computer, among other things.

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Happy Mother’s Day from Deshon Laraye Pullen PLC!

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on May 6, 2016

Every child deserves to be raised in a safe, nurturing, loving home. At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we appreciate the hard work and dedication of good parents throughout Arizona.

Since Sunday is Mother’s Day, today we will focus on all the wonderful moms in our lives.

According to Wikipedia, Mother’s Day is a relatively new holiday. Its roots go back to 1905, when a West Virginia woman’s mother died. The woman, Anna Jarvis, began campaigning to create an official American Mother’s Day holiday, which Jarvis celebrated for the first time in 1908.

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Say Hello to Shoogs!

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on April 28, 2016

Our firm’s latest hire lacks a deep knowledge of family law in Arizona. Nor can she write a legal brief, or even answer the phone. But what she lacks in traditional law firm skills, she more than makes up for in eagerness and team spirit.

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is proud to introduce Tasia “Sugar,” a Chow Chow and our official office mascot. Known affectionately as “Shoogs,” she was born on Jan. 31, so she’s still just a puppy, but she’s quickly learning on the job.

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4 DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC Attorneys Recognized by Super Lawyers

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on April 20, 2016

Once again, the hard work and dedication to our clients that everyone at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC provides has been recognized. We are honored to announce that Southwest Super Lawyers Magazine has named DeShon L. Pullen and Tawnia R. Wienke as Super Lawyers for the Southwest region for 2016. In addition, Super Lawyers listed Sara A. Swiren and Ashley B. Rahaman among its regional Rising Star attorneys for the year.

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Employee & Genius of the Month (March)

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on April 14, 2016

Building on Finance Director Kim Fletcher’s suggestion that founder DeShon L. Pullen work out of both the Phoenix and Scottsdale office locations, Legal Assistant Jessica Hurleysuggested that all employees alternate working in Phoenix and Scottsdale at least every few months – and created a rotating schedule to make it happen.

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Ashley B. Rahaman Takes On Leadership Role in the Maricopa County Bar Association

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on March 28, 2016

Our own Ashley B. Rahaman (bio) has made firm news once again. Ashley is now Chair Elect (2016) and Chair (2017) of the Family Law Section of the Maricopa County Bar Association.

At the end of 2015, the Volunteer Lawyers Program in Phoenix recognized Ashley for giving voice to the voiceless by serving as an advisor to children in family court. As we wrote then, the legal profession is largely self-regulated. Lawyers must play a role to ensure the profession’s integrity. Part of that role is serving in a pro bonocapacity to those in need.

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February Employee & Genius of the Month Awards

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on March 25, 2016

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we’re only as good as our people, as we wrote to introduce our Employee of the Month and Genius of the Month Awards. In that post, we shared the highlights of 2015 and the New Year, with a recap of every talented and hard-working Employee and Genius who help make this law firm what it is.

Now, we’re pleased to announce our February award winners: Sara A. Swiren and Kim Fletcher.

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Erin go Bragh! = Ireland Forever!

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on March 17, 2016

The Saint
St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. Also known as the Apostle of Ireland, St. Patrick lived and worked as a missionary in the 5th century. Legend has it that St. Patrick banished all snakes (serpents) from Ireland, using his staff to expel them, during a 40-day fast.

A Celebration of All Things Irish
Today, St. Patrick’s Day is both a religious and a public holiday. From the religious perspective, St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 commemorates the coming of Christianity in Ireland. From the perspective of the general public, it’s a celebration of all things Irish.

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We’re Only as Good as Our People: Introducing Our Employee and Genius of the Month Awards

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on February 26, 2016

Success gurus like to say that the people who surround you will determine how far you go in life and business. The same is true in law practice. At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we’re only as good as our people. And our people deserve to be recognized for who they are and the work they do.

That’s why we’ve created two awards: Employee of the Month and Genius of the Month.

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Presidents Day: For George Washington or for All?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on February 17, 2016

Originally, Presidents Day honored just one president – our first, George Washington, who was born on Feb. 22, 1732 (or Feb. 11 if you go by the Old Style calendar). We knew it simply as Washington’s Birthday.

As the Washington Post reports, “Washington’s Birthday” remains the official designation:

“Washington’s Birthday,” according to the government, “is observed the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States. This date is commonly called Presidents’ Day and many groups honor the legacy of past presidents on this date.”

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Romance in the Air: Valentine’s Day 2016

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on February 12, 2016

There’s romance in the air – if the arctic chill doesn’t cool things off. The weather forecast for this weekend calls for subzero temps in the Northeast and Midwest – a supposedly record-setting Valentine’s Day weekend, according to ABC News. We’re talking wind chills of 20 to 30 degrees below. But those here in Phoenix shouldn’t worry. With projected highs in the mid-80s, your Valentine’s Day looks warm and sunny.

Ah, Valentine’s Day: Love it or hate it, this billion-dollar holiday is a firmly established tradition in the hearts and minds of many Americans.

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Black History Month and the Life of Frederick Douglass

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on February 5, 2016

On Monday, Google kicked off Black History Month with a doodle of Frederick Douglass (pictured above) and a corresponding link to web results on the famous abolitionist. Born into slavery in 1818, Douglass rose to prominence as one of the most influential figures of the Civil War era, and was once nominated as the first African American vice-presidential candidate on Victoria Woodhull’s ticket (Woodhull was also the first female presidential candidate).

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Our Own Hannah Corbin Headed to Law School

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on January 21, 2016

Few people can say that their substantive legal experience goes back to a time before law school.

But Hannah Corbin is a rare case.

After graduating from the University of Southern Maine in 2012, Hannah went to work for the Family Treatment Drug Court in Lewiston, Me., where she worked directly with people facing substance abuse and whose children were in the custody of protective services. During this time, Hannah served as an integral member of the Drug Court team under the supervision and leadership of the Hon. John B. Beliveau.

To Phoenix and the Family Law Firm of Deshon Laraye Pullen, PLC

A career in law has always been Hannah’s ambition. This is largely why she moved from Maine to Arizona. In Phoenix, she found work as a legal assistant with DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, and began to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer.

In Hannah’s own words:

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Happy Birthday, Dr. King

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on January 15, 2016

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

 – Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Day this year happens on a day that Dr. King led a march for voting rights. The would-be voters weren’t actually allowed to register to vote, as per the wayward prevailing attitude of the time, but this particular Jan. 18 march was one of the many Selma to Montgomery marches that ultimately led to the historic Voting Rights Act. This Act outlawed racial discrimination in voting.

Today, however, is Jan. 15, a few days before that march, but it is the date of Dr. King’s birth. Much has been written about the man who led the African American Civil Rights Movement and who was instrumental in broadening the scope of civil rights for all Americans.

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How to Build a Successful Law Firm? It Starts with People

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on January 13, 2016

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, not only do we invest in our own legal knowledge and education – which allows us to provide better service to our clients – but we invest in each other in terms of mentoring and support.

We’re proud of the fact that we hire smart, ambitious people, who are truly dedicated to the field of law and to client service. Two of our employees have gone on to attend law school. Most recently, it was our extremely competent litigation coordinator Asha Vora, who just finished her first semester as a “1L.”

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2016: The Promise of a New Year

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on January 4, 2016

It’s 2016. New Year’s celebrations have come and gone, but the promise of a brand new year remains as fresh as it was on New Year’s Eve, and it’s a promise that brings year-long lessons, from the ball drop in Times Square to New Year’s resolutions.

Ball Drop: 100+ Year Old Tradition
According to History.com, New Year celebrations as we know them today began roughly 4,000 years ago, in ancient Babylon, when people celebrated with a religious festival that spanned 11 days and featured a specific ritual on each of those days.

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There’s More to Love About December

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on December 22, 2015

There’s plenty to love about October (as we wrote then), but there’s more to love about December. It might be cooler, depending on where you live – it’s 51 in Phoenix at the moment – but we’ll take that over some of our 100+ degree days.

Here are some of the biggest reasons to love December (some more obvious than others):

Holidays: Of course, we have to reference the holidays, whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or one of many others this month. December is a sacred month for people who profess faith in several major world religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam.

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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC Attorney Ashley Rahaman Gives Voice to the Voiceless

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on December 17, 2015

Originally from Kansas City, Ashley Rahaman (bio) earned her law degree from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka (on a Presidential Scholarship), and developed her interest in both volunteerism and family law in her role as a Deputy Clerk. Early in her legal career as a Deputy Clerk, Ashley worked closely with juvenile court judges, researching and drafting orders for Child in Need of Care and related matters.

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Paralegal Rona Rogers Joins DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on December 14, 2015

We recently welcomed Rona Rogers to DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC. She’s new, but she isn’t new to the legal world – she began her career in 1994, where she worked as a receptionist in a law firm in Phoenix (Rona is a Phoenix native).

After two years in her role as a receptionist, Rona began working as a legal secretary, focusing almost exclusively on family law and divorce cases. She worked in the role of a legal secretary for nine years. In 2005, Rona became a family law paralegal, and now has more than a decade of experience in this role.

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Paralegal Alison Kekic Joins DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on December 10, 2015

Alison Kekic comes to DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC by way of Ohio, entering the Paralegal Studies program at Cuyahoga Community College, and thereafter earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2002 at the University of Akron.

Though she remains an Ohio sports fan, Alison prefers the sunnier climate of Arizona, and relocated here in 2013, bringing with her more than 15 years of legal experience as a paralegal.

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Attorney Shannon McShay Joins DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on December 4, 2015

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC welcomes Shannon Colleen McShay, recent ASU law graduate, to the team as a family law associate!

A graduate of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in 2015, Shannon earned her Juris Doctor with distinction, graduating in the top one-third of her class. She was also a Pedrick Scholar for academic achievement. Prior to law school, Shannon studied finance at ASU, and graduated summa cum laude

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Happy Thanksgiving from All of Us at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 26, 2015

The lawyers and staff of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!

As we did in October for Halloween, here are a few selected items to help get you in the right frame of mind for turkey and pumpkin pie.
When you get into an argument with your family about history…
We wrote about getting into the right frame of mind for turkey and pumpkin pie, but these weren’t even on the menu during the first Thanksgiving – venison, not turkey, was a featured course.

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Lots to be Thankful for in November

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 20, 2015

As November draws to a close, we hope you have the chance to relax with family and friends and enjoy Thanksgiving.

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we have much to be thankful for. Staci Maret recently passed the exam to become a Certified Paralegal. Sara Swiren was recognized by the Volunteer Lawyers Program for her pro bono service this year. And all of us continue to enjoy the privilege of representing and working for the many Arizona clients who put their trust in us to help them.

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Congrats to Our Own Staci Maret, Now a Certified Paralegal in Arizona

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 18, 2015

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we make an effort to invest in our own legal knowledge and education. This, in turn, helps us better the lives of our clients.

Becoming a Certified Paralegal is a case in point.
According to the Association of Paralegals, the Certified Paralegal exam is a voluntary professional credentialing program. In other words, taking and passing this examination is not a requirement to work as a paralegal.

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Veterans Day: 5 Must-Know Facts

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 11, 2015

Veterans Day is not Memorial Day.
Veterans Day honors all people who have served in the military, in both wartime and peacetime, whereas Memorial Day honors those who have died in battle or because of wounds sustained in battle. Veterans Day occurs on Nov. 11, whereas Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday of May.

There is no apostrophe in Veterans Day.
This may only interest the grammarians, but there is no apostrophe in Veterans Day. This is because the word “veterans” is an attributive noun – at least according to Dictionary.com. Rather than a day that “belongs” to veterans, Veterans Day is for all to honor those who served or are currently serving.

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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC’s Completely Subjective “Best Of” List (Halloween Edition)

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on October 30, 2015

Best Fact #1
Halloween goes back 2,000 years.

Best Fact #2
Americans spend an estimated $6B on costumes, candy, and related Halloween paraphernalia every year. (You read that right: Not six million, but six billion.)

Best Fact #3
The trick-or-treating we know today was much different in the past. It was called “guising,” where kids and teens would go out in costume and sing or recite poetry and tell jokes. In return, they would get food, wine, and money.

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October Marks the 28th Domestic Violence Awareness Month

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on October 21, 2015

There is no shortage of commemorative days and months (October 1, 2015, for instance, was the first official International Coffee Day). But few issues are more worthy of commemoration than the problem of domestic violence, which is said to affect nearly one in four women and one in seven men in the U.S. alone. Its signifier the purple ribbon, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, commemorating victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

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Breast Cancer Awareness, An Issue Affecting Everyone

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on October 15, 2015

Breast cancer has likely impacted you or someone close to you – a mother, grandmother, wife, sister, aunt or friend. While this disease is not wholly preventable, early breast cancer detection is critical. When breast cancer is detected early in the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 100 percent.

Because early detection tremendously benefits the outlook for patients, DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is helping to raise Breast Cancer Awareness this month. Please, use the facts and resources we assembled below to help further the cause!

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There’s Plenty To Love About October

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Uncategorized on October 8, 2015

October is one of our favorite months of the year at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC. We work very hard for our clients, so our attorneys and staff like to have fun when the opportunity presents itself. October is a time when we’re sure to fit some fun into our busy schedule.

Below, we listed some of the biggest reasons we love October in Arizona. What do you love about this time of year?

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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC Litigation Attorneys Awarded Lead Counsel Rating

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on October 1, 2015

Each Litigation Attorney At Our Firm Received The Distinction

We are thrilled to share that all five of the litigation lawyers at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC earned the Lead Counsel Rating in Family Law. Each attorney achieved this distinction because of her “profound legal experience, solid reputation and demonstrated ethics.”

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7 Tips To Help You Bounce Back After A Divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on September 25, 2015

While there is no single solution for helping you through the healing process after divorce, there are many great ideas to assist the transition into this new phase of your life. We are sharing some of our favorites, below. If there is something you found particularly helpful in bouncing back from your divorce, consider sharing it!

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‘The RIGHT Choice’ Says Former Client Of Sara Swiren

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on August 31, 2015

Our law firm keeps clients coming in by providing outstanding representation and letting our clients share their experience with friends, family and coworkers. One of Sara Swiren’s former clients recently wrote a 5-star review of her experience on Avvo. It exemplifies everything our firm strives to give our clients!

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DeShon Pullen Named Top Valley Lawyer, 2015

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on August 21, 2015

We would like to recognize DeShon Laraye Pullen for being honored as a Top Valley Lawyer for 2015. DeShon was named to Top Valley Lawyers in the August/September issues of North Valley Magazineand Valley Lifestyles Magazine.

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‘Superb Lawyer’, Says Former Client

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on August 13, 2015

Here are words recently shared by a former client of DeShon Pullen:

“DeShon is honest, extremely hardworking, and realistic about what to expect. DeShon is well regarded and connected with professionals who will further your case if needed. DeShon’s paralegal is knowledgeable and extremely competent in her role. DeShon’s legal acumen and diligence are impressive.”

– Jem

To read more reviews, visit DeShon’s Avvo page.

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‘Brilliant – The Best!’ A Client Shares Her Experience

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on August 5, 2015

A big reason our attorneys and staff work in this field is because we are passionate about helping our clients through their challenging times. It is wonderful to see relief or happiness on our clients’ faces when we guide them through the final steps of their proceeding.

Below is a review from one of Ashley Rahaman’s clients. If you would like to see other reviews, visit Ashley’s Avvo page.

“The only bright side to my divorce, after 27 years of marriage, was retaining Ashley Rahaman to represent me. For all those going through the frightening and painful process of divorce, Ashley has extensive legal knowledge as well as the ability to empathize with her clients. Also, another plus was the reasonable pricing. I interviewed a few well known lawyers before asking Ashley to represent me.”

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Arizona’s Putative Father Registry: An Important Tool For Parental Rights

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Adoption & Parental Rights on July 31, 2015

The Atlantic recently featured a story about a man’s struggle to establish parental rights to his infant daughter. The story is long, fascinating and moving; we will summarize it and discuss the legal issues involved. We also encourage you to read the full article in The Atlantic, A Father’s Struggle to Stop His Daughter’s Adoption.

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How Gwen Continues To Inspire Her ‘Gladiators’

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on July 29, 2015

A couple weeks ago, we shared in this blog that DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC will be participating in this year’s Phoenix-area Light The Night Walk on Nov. 5. As we said then, the event is put on by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The Light The Night Walk raises money for research to find life-saving treatments for these forms of cancer.

This year, our firm is walking for Gwen, the 4-year-old daughter of one of our colleagues. As part of Gwen’s Gladiators, we are committed to raising $5,000 in pledges to fight blood cancers.

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Same-Sex Divorce Will Bring Unique Issues To Arizona Courts

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 24, 2015

Last month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision solidified same-sex couples’ right to marry. Of course, the right to marry also brings the right to divorce. Research shows that the LGBT community has approximately the same divorce rate as the heterosexual population, so there will be a need for family law attorneys who understand the unique issues that sometimes arise in same-sex divorces.

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We Are Looking For A Paralegal With Family Law Experience

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on July 17, 2015

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we are hiring a new Family Law Paralegal to help meet the growing demand for our services. We need someone with at least 3 years of experience in family law. To learn more, review the qualifications below.

Please share this with anyone who you think would make a good fit!

Paralegal Position:
We are seeking a Paralegal with a minimum of 3 years family law experience. Candidate must have excellent drafting skills and solid knowledge of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure (ARFLP). Other requirements include: effective communications skills, ability to prioritize independently, strong organizational skills, working well independently and as a team player.

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‘Absolutely Incredible!’ Our Client’s Words, Not Ours

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on July 10, 2015

We would like to share the kind words of a client who recently gave DeShon Pullen a five-star rating for the service she provided him in divorce proceedings.

“Absolutely Incredible. Deshon, Jennifer and the entire staff were simply the best choice for my divorce proceedings. They were very professional but extremely personable for the needs of my case, my two boys, and myself. They truly care about their clients, they work extremely hard for you, and they are by your side personally through the entire process. Their friendly compassionate style is a breath of fresh air through any divorce, and no divorce is easy.”

-Matt

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Now Hiring: Family Law Receptionist

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on July 8, 2015

Interested In Joining The Award-Winning Team At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC?
DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is looking for a receptionist who works well independently and as a dynamic team player. The full-time position is for our Phoenix office. Read on to learn more about the position, requirements and application process.

Thank you for your interest. Please share this with anyone who you think would be a good fit!

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Three Easy Tips For A Safe 4th Of July Weekend

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on July 3, 2015

Everyone here at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC would like to wish you a safe and happy Independence Day weekend! Although the 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays, it is also one of the most dangerous.

Barbecuing, fireworks and alcohol are part of the traditional plans for this weekend, but those three things also account for a lot of the injuries during the 4th of July. Drunk driving, unsafe firework use and grill explosions/burns can quickly end the fun. Here are three tips for keeping your family safe during Independence Day.

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Supreme Court Solidifies Arizona Same-Sex Couples’ Right To Marry

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on June 30, 2015

Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling marked the end of a long quest for many Arizonans to marry their partners. Same-sex couples in Arizona gained the right to marry in October, 2014, but there were legal possibilities for the law to revert back. The new Supreme Court decision virtually eliminates that chance because it recognizes the constitutional right of all Americans to marry the person they love.

All same-sex couples are now able to legally marry anywhere in the United States. All states must now recognize the marriage of gay couples who were lawfully wed in other states prior to the ruling.

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This Is The Client Satisfaction That Drives Us

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on June 26, 2015

For those who aren’t familiar with DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we are a cohesive group of family law attorneys passionate about getting our clients the best possible outcome. Making a positive impact in clients’ lives is what matters most.

A former client recently wrote a glowing review about partnering with attorney DeShon L. Pullen. You can read it below or see it on Avvo, along with other reviews.

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Child custody: a floor installer from Apache Junction stands up

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on June 25, 2015

Every other weekend and a couple of weeks in the summer has historically been the sad lament of many Arizona fathers when it comes to child custody. But if one dad, a flooring installer from Apache Junction, has anything to say about it, the recent legislative changes in favor of shared parenting will continue to take hold.

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Free Initial Consultation With Divorce Lawyer: Limited-Time Offer

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on June 18, 2015

Through August 1, 2015, DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC will provide free consultations for divorce or another family law matter. Potential clients can receive a free initial consultation with a designated associate attorney at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC!

This is a unique and valuable opportunity that will only be available for approximately 6 weeks. Don’t delay and miss your chance! Call us at (602) 626-9552 or (800) 409-0262, or contact us online.

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Ten Years In The Making: Meet Our Selective Staff Of Attorneys

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on May 30, 2015

It is hard to believe it has been 10 years since DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC was founded! Time has moved extraordinarily fast, perhaps because our law firm has been in a constant state of growth. We have had some big changes, such as opening our second office in Scottsdale, but nothing tops the selective expansion of our staff.

From 2005 to 2015, our staff of lawyers grew from one to six. It was only a relatively short time ago that founder DeShon Pullen was the sole attorney at the firm. After providing Arizona residents with exceptional family law counsel for more than a decade, we think this is an excellent opportunity to familiarize you with our award-winning staff of attorneys.

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How Will Marriage Or Divorce Affect My Business?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Premarital Agreements on May 22, 2015

If you own a business – or plan to in the near future – it is important to know how your business interests may be impacted by marriage or divorce. Arizona is a community property state. Businesses started during marriage are considered community property. Regardless of whether the business was started before or during marriage, Read More

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What We Hear From Our Clients

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on May 13, 2015

When a client or former client shares his or her appreciation with us, it reminds us why we chose this profession and why we look forward to coming to work every morning.

One of our attorneys, Ashley B. Rahaman, recently got a glowing review from a client and we would like to share it. You can view the review on Avvo, or read it below.

“Ashley has been my attorney for the last year and a half in a family court matter. Her knowledge in this area in my option is unsurpassed. She has been extremely thorough in all matters up to this point and I would highly recommend her services to anyone dealing with a family law issue. Her background in family law has been helpful and I have dealt with prior attorneys and she has set the bar really high for what an attorney is supposed to do.”

-Former client

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We Are Now Hiring Two Positions: Legal Assistant And Paralegal

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on May 12, 2015

Interested In Joining The Award-Winning Team At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC?

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is looking to add a Legal Assistant/Legal Secretary and Paralegal to our staff at the Phoenix office. Read on to learn more about the positions, candidate qualifications and application process.

Thank you for your interest!

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Super Lawyers Honors Four Attorneys At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on May 8, 2015

Distinguished Attorneys Include DeShon Pullen, Jennifer Raczkowski, Sara Swiren and Tawnia Wienke

The 2015 edition of Southwest Super Lawyers Magazine was recently published, highlighting the outstanding performance by attorneys at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC.

The founding member of the law firm, DeShon L. Pullen, was named a 2015 Super Lawyer. Super Lawyers are determined through a rigorous multiphase selection process that includes peer evaluation, professional achievement and case outcomes. Only 5 percent of Arizona’s attorneys are given this honor.

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Some Eye-Opening Child Support Statistics

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on May 4, 2015

As a family law firm that has been around awhile, we see a lot of unique situations concerning children. We know that good parenting comes equally from mothers and fathers. We also understand that questionable behavior may come from fathers or mothers – it’s not an issue with only dads or only moms.

Occasionally, a client will cite a statistic he or she has heard to help illustrate his or her position in a situation. One example:

“I’ve heard that the percentage of moms who fail to fulfill any child support obligations is higher than dads who fail to fulfill child support.”

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Dept. Of Child Safety Policy Reversed, Same-Sex Couples Can Adopt

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on April 28, 2015

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an order last week, effectively allowing qualifying same-sex couples to adopt children presently under the care of the state.

“With 17,000 children under the state’s care, we need more adoption in Arizona, not less,” Ducey said in a statement. “That’s why I feel strongly – as I have said many times before – that all loving families should be able to serve as foster parents and adopt.”

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5 Few Important Things Blending Families Need To Discuss

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on April 17, 2015

It is important to recognize the unique challenges for blending families. Awareness of all the issues and potential stresses is an important thing for all marrying couples to have, whether or not a blended family is involved. But this post examines the special considerations that blending families should discuss before marriage – and keep revisiting thereafter.

New Roles

When families are blended, someone can become a stepparent, father, mother, brother for the first time. These roles can be uncomfortable and awkward at first. That is natural and should be acknowledged.

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Issue To Remember In Divorce: Beneficiary Designations

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on April 6, 2015

Divorce can be overwhelming, making it easy to lose sight of important issues. One issue you should not forget about is the beneficiary designations on your life insurance policies, retirement plans, bank accounts, annuities and other instruments.

Whether you are contemplating divorce, initiated the divorce proceedings or finalized them, it is crucial to be mindful of your beneficiary designations, as well as those of your spouse or ex-spouse.

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7 Special Considerations In High Net-Worth Divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on April 3, 2015

While all divorces are emotionally draining, Arizona households with high net worth have unique issues that must be addressed carefully. If your attorney does not give these issues proper consideration, your divorce may squander the financial resources of one or both parties.

If you or your spouse is a high-income earner or owns valuable assets, ensure that your lawyer carefully focuses on these aspects of your divorce.

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Women’s History Month: Female Attorneys Who Paved The Way, Pt. 2

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2015

We are closing out Women’s History Month by continuing our tribute to impactful women in the legal realm. For the first part of our series, click here.

Lyda Burton Conley became the first female Native American attorney in the U.S. (1910). Conley was not admitted to a law school, but self-taught.

Frances Allen was the first woman to serve as an assistant prosecutor (1919). She later became the first female with an Article III Appellate Judgeship.

Florence Ellinwood Allen is elected to the Ohio Supreme Court (1922), the first woman to become elected to any state’s highest court. In 1934, President Roosevelt appoints her to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Continue reading Women’s History Month: Female Attorneys Who Paved The Way, Pt. 2

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15 Jobs With Highest Divorce Rates: Do They Add Marital Stress?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on March 19, 2015

Every marriage is work, but a recent divorce study suggests that a couple’s occupations may add further stress to their relationship.

The research, published in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, identified 15 occupations with the highest divorce rates in America.

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Women’s History Month: Female Attorneys Who Paved The Way, Pt. 1

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Uncategorized on March 10, 2015

March is Women’s History Month, designed to pay tribute to generations of women whose contributions are invaluable to society and the planet. At Deshon Laraye Pullen PLC, we would like to highlight some of the brave and brilliant women in the legal realm.

These are colorful and remarkable characters! We encourage you to read about each woman, even if you have never heard of her before.

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It’s Tax Season: Some Things For Single Moms And Dads To Remember

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on February 17, 2015

If you are unmarried and have children, there are some important things for you to know awhile preparing to file your taxes. Tax considerations often blindside single parents who are recently divorced or just had their first child, so briefly reviewed some potential considerations for you during tax season.

Of course, we advocate speaking with a professional for optimal financial health. We are happy to give you recommendations on great tax and financial experts in Scottsdale and Phoenix that we have collaborated with in the past.

Here are some tips from Forbes

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How Rapper Ludacris’ Child Custody Case May Teach You A Lesson

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on February 10, 2015

Everyone has said or done something they later regret. For those of us in a child custody dispute, a regrettable action can have a harmful impact on our case. Rap artist Ludacris recently learned this lesson, but the evidence against him came from an unlikely place: the music studio.

Ludacris was in court fighting for custody of his 1-year-old daughter when the mother’s attorney unexpectedly read the rapper’s lyrics from a song named Dancin’ Dirty. The song describes a sexual encounter that begins with Ludacris pouring a girl strong drinks before provocatively dancing with her.

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Differences Between Collaborative Divorce And Mediation: Part 2

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on January 30, 2015

In collaborative divorce, each spouse and his or her attorney are trying to pull together to reach amicable agreements. This can be especially helpful when one of the spouses is a businessperson or financial expert and the other has little experience or knowledge in those areas. As we discussed in difference #3, outside specialists can also help level the playing field.

In mediation, if there is a sizable imbalance of power it is not quite as easy to fix. The mediator will do his or her best to help the parties negotiate.

Continue reading Differences Between Collaborative Divorce And Mediation: Part 2

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Differences Between Collaborative Divorce And Mediation: Part 1

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on January 23, 2015

As a law firm that provides both mediation and collaborative divorce, we are frequently asked what the differences are. The two methods are similar in many aspects, as both aims to resolve divorce issues without litigation.

We have outlined some of the differences between mediation and collaborative divorce below. Of course, we are happy to help you better understand how each may apply to your unique situation when you partner with us.

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5 Mistakes People Make On Social Media During Divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on January 17, 2015

Some people love sharing parts of their life on social media, but if you are in the divorce process you need to be extremely careful with what you put on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and other platforms.

To help you wisely choose what should remain private or go public in the social media realm, we have listed five common social media mistakes people make during their divorce.

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Study: Pain Of Breakups Is Unavoidable, But It Can Be Shortened

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on January 9, 2015

At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we are divorce attorneys – not therapists – but we understand that the pain of a divorce or separation is inseparable from the legal process. Beyond the legal work we are hired for, we care about the overall wellness of our clients and know that the right road is often not the easiest.

We summarized the findings of a Northwestern University study about the pain of breakups. We hope that it provides value to you in a difficult time.

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Government To Terminate Valuable Source Of Family Life Data

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on January 2, 2015

Ever wondered how our society knows what the marriage or divorce rates are? While surveys may provide insight into American family life, the majority of our reliable data comes from the Census Bureau.

Divorces and marriages are always filed at the local courthouse but this data is nothing more than a legal record until the Census Bureau collects and intelligently compiles it, affording us an opportunity to uncover trends and other important information. The Census Bureau is poised to soon end this task.

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NPO issues child custody grades by state; How did Arizona do?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on December 19, 2014

National Parents Organization (NPO) recently released its 2014 Shared Parenting Report Card, a national study grading each state on how well its child custody statute promotes shared parenting. After examining each child custody statute, researchers assessed its effect by measuring how many cases actually resulted in shared parenting plans.

Arizona did relatively well according to NPO’s research, one of eight states to earn a B. No state earned an A. Arizona’s neighboring states did poorly: New Mexico earned a C+, Colorado a D+ and Utah, Nevada and California were assigned a D.

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Potential landmines in high-asset divorces

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on December 12, 2014

While nearly all divorces involve the complicated process of valuing and prioritizing assets, things can get especially difficult in divorces involving high assets or business interests. When high-value assets are being counted and valued, even a seemingly-minor mistake can cost one of the parties tens or hundreds of thousands.

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Happy Holidays from DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on December 9, 2014

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What types of items does a prenuptial agreement cover?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on December 2, 2014

Prenuptial ( premarital ) agreement
Prenuptial agreements are an effective way to settle property and asset disputes before they ever arise. Unfortunately, many people do not understand what a prenuptial agreement is, leading to a negative perception about them. While prenuptial or antenuptial agreements may lack romanticism, they are comparable to insurance. They are there to provide some certainty when the unforeseeable happens.

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Happy Thanksgiving from DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC!

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 26, 2014

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The endowment effect: How psychology may affect property division

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on November 19, 2014

There are many difficult aspects of the property division process, but human psychology may be one of the biggest obstacles to resolving asset disputes. New research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln examines the role psychology often plays in property division.

One example is the “endowment effect,” which describes how a person tends to value objects more when he or she owns them. This can further complicate the valuation and division process. An outsider might see a particular asset-division proposal as equitable, but one or both parties might see it as unfair because of the endowment effect. The parties assign more value to one or more objects simply because of their ownership.

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Arizona divorces don’t have to affect parenting

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on November 7, 2014

We know that all divorces are not cordial. Some couples going through a divorce are very emotional. Parents may be angry, spiteful, guilt-laden or even clingy. But those feelings don’t have to spill over onto your children and your parenting time.

Arizona parents should keep in mind that if they want their children to be healthy and happy, they need to prevent their own emotional feelings from taking over their children’s lives. Here are some tips that parents should remember when going through a controversial divorce.

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Congrats to Our Own Sara Swiren for Her Pro Bono Service

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on November 4, 2014

The rules of professional responsibility state that lawyers should aspire to provide at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services every year. “Every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence or professional workload, should find time to participate in or otherwise support the provision of legal services to the disadvantaged” (comment to Arizona’s Rule 6.1). This is not a mandatory rule – lawyers volunteer their own time and resources to provide pro bono representation to those who really need it.

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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC opens new Scottsdale office

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Firm News on October 31, 2014

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC is excited to announce that our new Scottsdale office is open! We are providing our array of Family Law services at our new location.

Come see us at:
4110 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 140
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 524-1540

We still have our Phoenix office, too:
5333 N. 7th Street, Suite A210
Phoenix, AZ 85014
602-626-9552

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Arizona covenant marriages may be better for a lasting marriage

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on October 30, 2014

Saying “I do” when Arizona couples marry should be a solemn pledge that two people are bound together for life. Unfortunately, we all know how easily “I do” can turn into “I did but don’t anymore.” Divorce is no longer a rare occurrence between married couples but has become the norm in today’s society.

Arizona has two types of marriages in the statutes: the common marriage used by most people and the covenant marriage. A covenant marriage is meant to be a more serious commitment than a normal marriage.

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Arizona couples divorce prospect may be a 1-way agreement

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on October 22, 2014

Marriages are meant to be forever, but we all know that is not always the case. In today’s world, getting a divorce is almost as common as getting married. However, in many divorces, the two people involved don’t suddenly decide they both want a divorce. It is usually initiated by one, and the other is ready and in agreement, or not.

When only one party wants a divorce, it is not only awkward, but plain difficult to even approach the subject. How should Arizona couples handle this?

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What factors are considered when awarding spousal maintenance?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on October 17, 2014

In most cases, spousal maintenance will be awarded only if a marriage lasts for a sufficient duration and one spouse truly needs the financial help. However, it may be possible for spousal support to be ordered in marriages that were relatively brief. In Arizona, there are two questions asked when determining whether to grant support.

The first question is whether or not a spouse needs or is entitled to receive support. If so, then the next question is how much support to award. When determining how much support to grant, a court will look to see whether a spouse has the resources needed to provide for his or her needs. Extra consideration may be given to spouses who will also be custodial parents who may not be able to work due to taking care of the child.

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Separation agreements in Arizona

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on October 7, 2014

Filing for divorce is a big decision for many Arizona couples. However, before jumping straight to filing, some couples choose to test the waters by starting with a separation agreement. This type of agreement is made between two individuals who believe that it may be best to separate but are not sure about divorce. This agreement also allows the ex-couple to determine how they intend to divide their property amicably. In some cases, the agreement may provide terms for spousal maintenance, parenting time and child custody.

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Custody battle continues after biological father wins appeal

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on September 29, 2014

A custody battle in Arizona is ongoing between two foster parents and the biological father of a 9-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy. The biological father of the siblings reportedly raised the daughter until the parents separated; the mother was six-months pregnant at the time. When the boy was allegedly born exposed to methamphetamine, both children were placed into foster care with a Kingman couple in 2009.

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Arizona’s parenting plan process

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on September 25, 2014

When deciding on parenting time and future legal decisions for a minor child, the Arizona court system first allows each parent to create a parenting plan stating how they plan to handle everything. The court will then compare the parenting plans and see if the parents can agree on every aspect. The court will settle any disputes between the couple on any portions of the parenting plan, and it is the court’s goal to ensure that the accepted plan is in the best interests of the child.

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Divorce basics in Arizona

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on September 18, 2014

Arizona residents contemplating divorce may wonder what the process entails. In order to file for divorce, either the filing spouse or the respondent must be a resident in the state for 90 days. Since Arizona is a no-fault state, the divorce is sought due to irreconcilable differences that caused the breakdown of the marriage. Arizona is one of three states the recognize so-called “covenant marriages”, where the divorce process is stricter.

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Illinois billionaire files for divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on September 15, 2014

Arizona residents may interested in the story of an Illinois billionaire who filed for a divorce after 11 years of marriage over the summer. His wife was reportedly taking her children on vacation when she learned of his request. On Sept. 2, she responded by filing for custody of the couple’s children and requested permission to move out of the state.

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Illinois billionaire files for divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on

Arizona residents may interested in the story of an Illinois billionaire who filed for a divorce after 11 years of marriage over the summer. His wife was reportedly taking her children on vacation when she learned of his request. On Sept. 2, she responded by filing for custody of the couple’s children and requested permission to move out of the state.

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Arizona statutory rape victim ordered to pay child support

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on September 7, 2014

A 24-year-old Phoenix man, who reportedly had sex with a 20-year-old woman when he was 14, recently learned that he has a daughter. Even though he was legally below the consensual age, he is being pursued for back child support.

According to state law, no one under the age of 15 can legally give sexual consent. The man did not pursue charges against his now-ex at the time, not realizing that he could take action. The two of them parted company, and the young man went on to go to college and get a job as a medical assistant. He was served with papers demanding $15,000 in back child support along with interest and the child’s medical expenses.

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Overview of DCSS’ role in child support cases

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on September 2, 2014

In Arizona, a child support case can be opened by the state’s Division of Child Support Services for two reasons. If a custodial parent seeks aid from the Arizona Department of Economic Security, that parent also is obligated to seek child support from the non-custodial parent. Secondly, the custodial parent can submit an application to DCSS requesting child support from the non-custodial parent.

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Arizona court upholds gender amendment rights in divorce case

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on August 21, 2014

The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that a man who legally changed his gender from female to male was allowed to pursue a divorce from his wife. A Maricopa County Family Court judge had previously ruled that the man and his wife were engaged in a same-sex relationship. The ruling was made because the man still had female organs, which were retained because his wife was unable to have children.

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Arizona mother refuses to say where her child is

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on August 15, 2014

The mother of a 2-year-old girl was sent to Oneida County Jail in New York after refusing to tell a judge where her daughter was or who was caring for her. She was taken into custody after violating a family court act that prevented her from taking the child outside of Arizona. The woman was not allowed to do so because the girl’s father has custody of the child.

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Increasing numbers of grandparents raise grandchildren

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on August 8, 2014

Over the course of a decade, the number of grandparents assuming parenting responsibilities by caring for their grandchildren has doubled. The numbers of affected children increased from 2.4 million to nearly 5 million between 2000 and 2010.

Arizona grandparents may require assistance as they face this stage of life, especially if the situation is unexpected or contentious. In many cases, this parenting role is thrust upon grandparents due to negative issues in the lives of the biological parents, and high-conflict custody situations can be among the stresses experienced. Financial challenges can also arise as childcare responsibilities are assumed during retirement years.

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Citadel founder asks for divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Uncategorized on July 30, 2014

The founder of Citadel LLC, a company estimated to be worth $20 billion, has filed for divorce from his wife. This was a second marriage for the founder, and his wife is a former manager for a hedge fund. The two had been married for 11 years and have children under the age of 6. The four-page petition for divorce, which was filed by the founder, asks for joint custody of the children. According to the lawyers for the man, the two signed a prenuptial agreement in 2003. Citadel will likely be excluded from any property division associated with the divorce.

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Delinquent child support and social media

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on July 28, 2014

The enforcement of child support obligations is taken seriously in Arizona and around the country. Hiding income and discussing it on social media can lead to financial consequences with the courts that ordered payment arrangements. Two parents avoiding child support payments recently discovered that what they shared on social media sites was being seen by Read More

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Dividing a house during divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 16, 2014

Dividing property during a divorce is sometimes difficult, and Arizona couples who own a house together and who are divorcing should understand the issues involved. In addition to the complexities of dividing a house, individuals in the middle of a divorce should also be aware that they need to be careful when purchasing a new home for themselves prior to a legal separation or divorce. In such a circumstance, the other spouse must sign a quit claim deed relinquishing any claim on the property.

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Avoid costly mistakes in divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 10, 2014

Arizona residents might be interested in a recent article discussing some of the common mistakes that some couples make when negotiating property division. Many people have a specific goal in mind, like keeping the house or maintaining ownership of items of sentimental value. However, the article suggests that some individuals, especially those over the age of 50, should focus divorce negotiations on retirement accounts.

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Study finds link between divorce and childhood obesity in boys

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 6, 2014

Many people find the throes of divorce a particularly difficult place to be in, especially if you have children. That’s because you not only worry about your own well-being but you may be constantly wondering how a separation will affect your child as well.

As some of our Arizona readers know from doing their own research, there is a lot of literature on the Internet about the effect divorce can have on a child’s mental health. A change in family structure and emotional stresses can change how a child interacts with other people and can even affect how they behave as well. But what about their physical health? Is this something parents should also consider when it comes to divorce?

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Legal fees awarded in McCourt divorce contest

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 3, 2014

Arizona residents dealing with divorce issues may be interested in the importance of settlement language in a high-profile case. A judge has ruled that the former wife of Frank McCourt must pay his legal fees of nearly $2 million related to her contesting the couple’s 2012 divorce settlement. The former owner of the Dodgers sold the team for $2 billion in the same year that the divorce was finalized. Jamie McCourt later contested the settlement based on the claim that her ex-husband undervalued the team at the time of their divorce.

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The custody decision that was three years in the making

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on June 20, 2014

As you may already know, some child custody cases seem to drag on forever. This is usually due to everything from court delays to contentious disputes over the finer details of a custody agreement. But in some cases, arrangements can take longer than expected because parents want to make sure that the arrangement is in the best interest of the children.

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Subpoena for phone records dropped in Ugenti divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on June 9, 2014

As some of our Phoenix readers already know, on top of performing her duties as a state representative, Rep. Michelle Ugenti is also trying to make her way through the twists and turns of divorce as well. But while some things are not in dispute, such as the custody of her three children with her soon-to-be ex-husband, this is one thing that is up for debate: why is the marriage considered irretrievably broken?

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Claims of child neglect could affect two child custody cases

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on May 28, 2014

Fans of the talk show “The View” can probably think of a lot of ways to describe host Sherri Shepherd but ‘neglectful’ probably isn’t among those terms. But this exactly how her ex-husband described her in his request for full custody of the couple’s 9-year-old son. And it’s because of this scathing accusation that she could face problems with her estranged husband as well.

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If the child isn’t yours, should you have to pay child support?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on May 22, 2014

Though we may still muse about the child support plight of the fictionalized man in Kanye West’s 2005 hit “Gold Digger,” a real life case of unknown parentage left one man paying child support for 16 years before he learned that his son was not his. But despite proving this to the courts, a recent decision could have him paying child support but not to the boy’s mother.

Although this case played out in the Nebraska Supreme Court recently, the court’s decision is one that could have far-reaching consequences. That’s because it deals with a very real question that could be asked in any courtroom, including here in Arizona. The question at hand is such: should a person be forced to pay child support even after they have proven that they are not the biological parent?

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Actor Jason Patric wins custody appeal with higher court

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on May 16, 2014

As many people here in Arizona know, child custody cases can become a major source of contention. This can be especially true if the question of paternity and parental rights is at the center of the issue. But while some cases can find resolution in a state’s lower courts, some are not as simple and require the help of higher courts that may offer better guidance in the case.

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Man fights for stake in business after filing for divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on May 5, 2014

When it comes to a high-asset divorce, one of the most problematic parts of the process is property division. This is especially true if the couple owns a family business or if one spouse married into the business. That’s because, if the couple decides to separate, the worth of the business must also be separated, which can be tricky depending on when the business was started and how much the business has appreciated.

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Is mediation a better way to divorce?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on April 28, 2014

When most people think of the word ‘divorce’ they often think about lengthy litigation and a lot of arguing. And while this might be true in a lot of cases that have been shared on the Internet, some people have found a way to dissolve their marriages without all of the negatives. In these cases, people are actually finding an amicable way to divorce.

As some of our Maricopa County readers may have already realized, we’re talking about divorce mediation. Unlike in a typical divorce, mediation uses a third-party mediator that helps facilitate communication between spouses in order to come to an acceptable agreement. Whether court-referred or agreed to voluntarily, mediation usually does not hold the same blind-sided shock value that a typical divorce may have, meaning less hurt feelings and perhaps less frustration as well.

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What to know about choosing a covenant marriage: Part II

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on April 22, 2014

In last week’s blog post we brought up the topic of covenant marriages in Arizona. While we realize that some of our readers were already well aware of what covenant marriages were, we realized that there were some readers that might not have been as familiar with the topic. That’s why in this week’s post we wanted to focus on the second part of this topic: the reasons that can be cited in a covenant marriage divorce.

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Baby boomers still have higher divorce rate

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on April 18, 2014

We’ve previously discussed the divorce rate among older couples. Now, it seems like baby boomers are still driving the divorce rate higher in the United States, at least among older couples. 

A new study by the University of Minnesota found that the divorce rate has actually remained steady during the last few decades. Previously, research has hinted that the divorce rate has declined but the new study shows that it hasn’t. The researchers said when you look at the marriage rate compared to the divorce rate, the rate of divorces hasn’t changed. 

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What to know about choosing a covenant marriage: Part I

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on April 16, 2014

Did you know that prior to the 1960s, you needed to prove that your spouse had committed a grievous act that harmed the marriage before the courts would grant you a divorce? This was the case not only here in Arizona but in other states across the nation as well. But by 1985 that had changed in 49 states, including Arizona, because they had allowed for no-fault divorces.

But the idea of permitting a divorce without proving wrongdoing hasn’t sat well with some current politicians and has led at least three states to issue what are called covenant marriage licenses. Arizona is one of them. But what is a covenant marriage and what should our readers know about them?

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What to consider when filing taxes after a divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on April 11, 2014

Did you recently get divorced? Have you filed your taxes yet? While those who are new to our blog might be confused by us asking these two questions back to back, some of our more frequent readers likely realize that there is a very good reason why we have brought this up. That’s because, first-time divorcees may not realize that a divorce can have a significant impact on how you file your taxes. And it’s exactly that which we will outline in this week’s post.

The first thing that will impact how you file your taxes is when you get divorced. According to the IRS, you are considered “unmarried” for tax purposes if you obtained your final divorce decree by the last day of the tax year. But things can get complicated depending on if you are seen as divorced or legally separated by the state.

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Why do many feel so defeated after a divorce?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on March 25, 2014

If you’re like some of our readers then you’ve probably read an advice column at some point in your life in which a person has written in about their struggles during a divorce. In that short article you are offered a rare glimpse into another person’s life. And whether you’ve gone through a divorce yourself or not, you tend to empathize with what that person is going through.

For many of our readers here in Phoenix it’s not difficult to empathize with the person who writes in because our readers are usually experiencing the same struggles. But even though we know that every divorce is different, why is it that so many seem to end abruptly and in similar ways? Why is it that so many spouses are willing to throw in the towel before the divorce dust settles?

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One man’s story shows high cost of not paying child support

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on March 21, 2014

In most states across the nation, including here in Arizona, there are penalties for failing to pay child support. Here in Arizona, our courts try to give parents who are delinquent on their payments a chance to remedy this error through Accountability Courts. Unfortunately, failing to comply with orders handed down by these courts can result in arrest, much like it is in other states.

But sometimes there is a higher cost to delinquent child support payments. One particular case is highlighting this fact by showing the lengths to which some states go in order to hold parents accountable for these payments.

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Study shows premarital cohabitation not a predictor of divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on March 11, 2014

Most people across the nation, including many here in Arizona, believe that living together with your significant other prior to marriage makes you more likely to get a divorce. The reason for this belief is because of studies that have been conducted over the years that have validated it. But a new study released by the Council on Contemporary Families is suggesting something very different.

According to a professor from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, there is actually little correlation between cohabitation and divorce. What really predicts the likelihood of divorce actually has more to do with a couple’s ages. She says the older studies’ conclusion about cohabitation and divorce had been measured using the wrong variable. By changing the variable, researchers were able to see what is really going on.

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Parent coordination for child rules in divorced families

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on March 7, 2014

Arizona, as well as many other states, is finding that shared joint custody is becoming more and more popular in divorced families. Attorneys can help parents work out creative visitation schedules that give both equal time with their children. While this is good for most children, a problem can arise when parents have completely different parenting styles.

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After divorce: Ways to reinvent yourself

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on February 28, 2014

It’s over. The papers are signed, and the union is dissolved. The relationship that once may have been the joy of your life is officially over.

In Arizona, just as in every other state, divorce stories are distinct and varied. A divorce is a death of a relationship. Consider some tips by therapists that can help you reconcile your emotions and get on with your life as a single person.

Allow yourself to grieve, but do not delay the process for too long. This can result in mounting fees involving other professionals who may be instrumental in finalizing the process. Consider having a mediator, one that will allow you to be a hands-on negotiator. That places you in control.

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R. Kelly could be in jail if he misses child support hearing

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on February 21, 2014

R. Kelly, a Grammy award winning R&B singer, could be facing jail time if he doesn’t appear in court for a child support and child custody hearing. Kelly’s ex-wife has reportedly filed a motion with the court alleging that he has failed to pay child support. The total owed was not in news reports; however, his payments are currently set at $20,833 each month. That’s for the three children he and his ex-wife have together..

Kelly isn’t new to allegations like these. Last year, he was reportedly behind on his child support payments, owing over $100,000. That debt was apparently paid. However, there is allegedly a debt of several thousands of dollars due to Kelly’s legal team. In addition, there are reports that the singer owes several people who helped create his last album, “Black Panties,” which hit the Billboard chart at No. 4.

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Arizona legislature eyes limits on divorced parents’ moves

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on February 14, 2014

In Arizona, a parent who has the primary physical custody of a child basically has no restrictions on when they can simply pack up and move as far as 100 miles away, erecting a barrier to the continued involvement of the non-custodial parent in their child’s life. Doing so violates no law, and there is Read More

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Movie spotlights real life child custody issues

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on February 7, 2014

In many divorces, the single most contentious and emotional issue is who will raise the divorcing couple’s daughters and sons. This means that there is often acrimony in child custody cases, as soon to be divorced husbands and wives struggle to get the parenting arrangement they want. A spotlight has been shown on this struggle in a new film called “Romeo Missed A Payment,” which has interested viewers in states like Arizona.

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Yuma county program helps divorced parents

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on January 31, 2014

Parents who get divorced face many special challenges. Coordinating activities and establishing a parenting schedule is a new experience for many, as things were simpler in some respects when everyone lived in the same household. The marriage is over, and while there may be lingering animosities and resentments, both parents need to find ways to cooperate and work together for the good of the children. A program being offered in Yuma County, Arizona, may prove helpful to some divorced parents.

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Cherokee tribe alters child custody preference rules

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on January 17, 2014

Members of the Cherokee Nation Indian tribe have been concerned about the fate of tribal children, in some instances placed with non-members of the tribe. On one recent case, a Cherokee man thought that under the provisions of a federal law known as the Indian Child Welfare Act that he should have had a preference and protected right to have child custody of his daughter. Instead, she wound up being placed in the home of a non-Indian family and the courts upheld this.

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A primer on the treatment of stock options after divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on January 10, 2014

When going through a divorce, many couples fail to recognize the importance of property division techniques for stock options. Even though you may not think that stock options are relevant for your Arizona divorce, a qualified family attorney can help you decide whether to include stipulations about these financial resources in your divorce settlement. This is true even of those couples who do not have stock options at the time of a divorce, according to legal experts.

The sad fact is that stock options may go unnoticed during divorce settlement talks, perhaps because of their nebulous nature. A stock option is provided to an employee when a company offers their workers opportunities to purchase future company stock at extraordinarily low current prices. These options may be exercised over a long period of time – typically up to 10 years. By then, your divorce could have been long finalized, and one spouse could end up with an unfair amount of money that was not addressed during the property division stage.

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Approach finances with business attitude during divorce mediation

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on January 3, 2014

For couples in Maricopa, Arizona, who are divorcing, things may be anything but business-like. Individuals who can put emotions aside to participate in the divorce mediation process may find they are happier with the outcome, especially when it comes to financial matters. According to experts, setting aside personal bias and feelings and approaching matters with a business attitude can make things easier for everyone.

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Relocation often a troublesome divorce issue

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on December 27, 2013

Often, when a couple in Arizona is getting a divorce, many questions come up that revolve around the children, including custody, support, and visitation. Other divorce issues can include continuing to provide for the children’s health insurance, education (including saving for college), and questions surrounding religious instruction, particularly when parents are from different faiths. One troublesome area, which sometimes comes up during a divorce, and sometimes post-divorce, is when one parent wishes, or needs, to relocate to another city, state, or even country.

This is especially prevalent when one or both spouses are originally from a different hometown. Other times, relocation is the result of a job transfer or the need to move to obtain new employment after a job loss or in pursuit of a better opportunity. If the parent seeking to relocate is the custodial parent, this raises all kinds of issues of how the noncustodial parent can maintain strong ties to their children and involvement in their children’s lives, and how visitation will be handled, given the time and economic issues that surround travel.

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Collaborative divorce can enhance privacy

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on December 20, 2013

The first word that immediately springs to mind when you mention divorce is probably not collaboration or cooperation. Yet the concept of collaborative divorce is one with some attractive features and advantages, usually for both parties. There are lawyers here in Arizona well trained in it, and ready to guide clients through it.

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Father fighting for custody of daughter

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on December 13, 2013

A father is arguing that his daughter, soon to be 6 years old, was placed for adoption with the mother’s out of state relatives without his knowledge or consent. Even before the child was born, he filed papers to seek paternity. Now, he is continuing the battle to seek sole custody of the child. Many in Arizona have watched the long-term child custody battle unfold in neighboring Utah, where the child has lived with her mother’s relatives.

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Over 50 divorces increasing

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on December 6, 2013

Older couples in Arizona and nationwide are ending their marriages in greater numbers than before. Figures gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that about 25 percent of all those getting a divorce in the country in 2010 were over the age of 50. This was a significant increase from 20 years before, in 1990, when it was only about 10 percent of the divorces in the country that were drawn from that age group.

Additionally, obviously, as people age, they have gotten divorced at some point in their lives, in many instances, and many have not gotten remarried, so that a larger proportion of the older population may tend to be divorced, along with many who are widowed or widowers.

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2 daughters allowed to stay in Arizona in custody battle

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on November 29, 2013

A couple’s two daughters are currently the subject of a battle between a mother, now in Mexico, and the father, living in Arizona with the children. The most recent development in the child custody dispute involves a federal appeals court ruling that the children, at least for now, should stay with the father in Arizona. The court rejected the mother’s argument that an international convention addressing the subject of child abduction gave her an unquestionable right to have the children returned to her in Mexico.

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Divorced parents should discuss disaster plans

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on November 22, 2013

Around 50 percent of all marriages in Arizona and nationwide ultimately end in divorce. And a lot of those marriages involve children, who wind up primarily living with one parent in most cases, but who may be staying with the other for a visit at a particular time. This may result, when natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes or flood occur, in the children being in the thick of it based on the happenstance of which parent they are currently staying with. Following a divorce, when such natural disasters strike the safety, health, and very survival of children may depend on the advance disaster preparedness of the household under whose roof they happen to be sleeping at the time.

Some suggest, as a result, that divorced parents should, if possible, have a conversation about preparedness issues. When a disaster strikes in the city that both parents live in, plans should be made for which parent will take charge of picking up the children at school, and will it depend on whether the children are supposed to be staying with that parent that week. In some cases, there may be other factors to consider, such as the location and relative safety of the two residences, and whether one has a well stocked shelter, etc.

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Custody battle over kids taken to Argentina

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on November 15, 2013

Child custody battles are tough and emotionally draining, even when parents are in the same town. Imagine then the emotions and frustrations arising in an ongoing child custody fight in which the father is in the U.S. and the mother has fled to Argentina, taking her two young daughters with her. The trip to Argentina occurred over three years ago, and the two girls are now seven and four. During that time, the father says he has only seen pictures of his children but has not been able to visit with them.

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Prenuptial agreements helpful in a divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on November 8, 2013

Couples in Arizona getting a divorce who already have a prenuptial agreement in place may often find the divorce process a bit easier. A majority of divorce attorneys say that they have seen an increasing number of couples using such agreements in recent years. Given the large number of marriages that end in divorce, such preparation can be considered prudent.

There are still some things that need to be worked on prior to finalizing the divorce. You need to be prepared to show that there was full and honest disclosure of financial assets, debts and income and that the prenuptial agreement was properly executed in accordance with the law. If not, it could be set aside and you could be back to square one on issues of property division and spousal support, among other issues. One big advantage of a legal prenuptial agreement is that many of these issues can be settled in advance, avoiding surprises and unnecessary lengthy litigation.

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Advocates for children in custody cases add to expense

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on November 1, 2013

Child custody cases in Arizona and nationwide are emotional and can be drawn out. Often adding to the complexity and expense of a child custody battle is the role of a court-appointed advocate who is supposed to speak out for the independent interests of a child. Most people acknowledge that in the vast majority of cases, even those that are hotly contested, both parents sincerely have the child’s best interests at heart. However, the child’s advocate, known as a guardian ad litem (for purposes of the litigation) can speak for the child’s interests, with no duty to advocate for either parent.

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Grandmother accused of trying to frame son in custody fight

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on October 25, 2013

A Phoenix, Arizona, grandmother, trying to gain child custody of her granddaughter, has been accused of attempting to frame her son on drug charges to gain an advantage in the custody battle. Police arrested the 58-year-old grandmother, accusing her of child abuse for allegedly sending the 9-year-old girl to school one day with a container of cocaine and instructing the granddaughter to falsely state that the drugs belonged to her father.

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Delays in filing for divorce can create problems

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on October 18, 2013

Some married couples in Arizona drift apart, and may wind up being separated for a long time, living in different residences without any formalities. Some put off filing for divorce, sometimes for an extended period of time. This can lead to a variety of problems.

One such issue is that a separation that goes on for an extended period of time may provide a basis for a spouse to try to hide assets. After you have lived in another household for a while, you will have far less personal knowledge of you estranged spouse’s financial affairs. Additionally, you may have little knowledge of or control over how they are handling their finances, which may result in them dissipating what should be marital property to be divided, and incurring substantial new debts that you may be liable for.

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Unmarried fathers have uphill battle to vindicate parental rights

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on October 11, 2013

Unwed fathers in Arizona and elsewhere historically have had an uphill battle trying to have courts recognize and enforce their rights to be in their children’s lives. Yet the lack of a wedding ceremony does not render a man any less a parent. It is important for such fathers to realize that just signing a child’s birth certificate is insufficient to fully assert their parental rights. They must file paternity actions because in the final analysis, only a court can conclusively recognize his rights as a father, despite an obligation to support the child that can arise from signing the certificate.

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College aid applications impacted by divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on October 4, 2013

One of many family law issues that couples who have children often confront following a divorce is that of applying for college financial aid. Making sure that this works out in the best way possible may even need to be factored into making intelligent, informed decisions about which parent college age children live with.

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Arizona man in custody dispute arrested

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on September 27, 2013

Divorce can turn into a stressful situation for both parties involved, including any children the couple may have together. Child custody — which usually brings child support with it — is often the most contentious part of a divorce for people who have children. When Arizona parents get divorced, child custody often becomes the primary Read More

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Study finds people living together instead of remarrying

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on September 18, 2013

The decision to end a marriage is never an easy one. The decision to remarry may be even harder to make. If you are divorced and are thinking about remarriage, you most probably will be concerned with how this decision will impact your life, your finances, the lives of any children you may have, and more.

A new analysis of federal data provided exclusively to USA Today shows the USA’s remarriage rate has dropped 40 percent over the past 20 years. The analysis was performed by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. The analysis of data comparing 2011 with 1990 shows that in 2011, just 29 of every 1,000 divorced or widowed Americans remarried, down from 50 per 1,000 in 1990; 2011 was the most recent year available for the review.

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Even celebrities worry about custody issues

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on September 12, 2013

Arizona residents and people throughout the country know exactly when celebrities get divorced or are arguing over child custody issues. It’s hard to miss the media attention that follows celebrities and Charlie Sheen is no different. Child custody is a large conflict in his divorce with Brooke Mueller and is a stumbling block that also affects many Arizona couples

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Study shows only some get depressed over divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on September 5, 2013

The decision to end a marriage is never an easy one. In fact it can be life’s most stressful event.

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Shocking number of Arizona parents don’t pay child support

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on August 30, 2013

In Arizona, both parents are responsible for the support and well-being of their children. For the non-custodial parent, that includes making regular and consistent child support payments. The child support order is an order of the court. If a non-custodial parent is late in the payment of child support that parent can be found in contempt of court.

According to Arizona’s Department of Economic Security, which mandates that single parents pursue child support to qualify for cash assistance, Arizona had 159,117 cases of unpaid child support at the end of May. The total overdue unpaid child support added up to more than $1.7 billion.

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Should marriages be wedleases?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on August 23, 2013

The decision to end a marriage is never an easy one. It is commonly known that divorce is one of life’s most stressful events, especially when children are involved. If you are thinking about a divorce you most probably will want to know how this decision will impact your life, your finances, the lives of any children you may have, and more. In Arizona, you do not have to prove someone is at fault (caused the divorce) to get a divorce.

Arizona public radio station KNAU recently broadcast a segment of the NPR public radio show Tell Me More, interviewing Florida lawyer Paul Rampell about his idea of “wedleases.” Rampell suggests that a wedlease would avoid the chaos of a divorce.

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Hip-hop star Usher keeps custody after son’s pool accident

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on August 16, 2013

Divorce can turn into a stressful situation for both parties involved, including any children the couple may have together. Divorce is an ordinary event for Arizona residents just as it is across the country. Regardless of income or societal status, divorce can be a necessity for any couple.

When Arizona parents get divorced, child custody often becomes the primary issue. Once an arrangement is reached, parents are expected to abide by it. Some circumstances, however, may warrant a change in child custody. An example of a situation that may be grounds for a child custody change recently occurred in court between hip-hop artist Usher and his ex-wife.

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Stress of home renovations may lead to divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on August 3, 2013

Renovating your home can be a stressful, complication experience, especially when couples cannot agree on what renovations to make and how much money to spend. While remodeling a home usually ends in a beautiful new space for the family to enjoy, a new survey suggests that home renovations may not always end so happily. 

A survey by Houzz, a home improvement and design website, found that home renovations projects may have a negative impact on a married couple’s relationship. The survey reported that 12 percent of spouses said they considered divorce during or after their home renovation project. 

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Prenuptial agreements can ease stress of divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Family Law on August 2, 2013

Many couples planning for their marriage may not want to think about the benefits of creating a prenuptial agreement. However, having a prenuptial agreement may be one of the best decisions you can make in the long run if your happy marriage ever turns into a contested divorce.

A prenuptial agreement allows a couple to discuss what would happen to their assets and property in the event of divorce before their relationship turns sour and it is difficult to communicate about anything in a civilized manner.

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Tips for parents moving out of the house after divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 26, 2013

Parents going through divorce face many challenges throughout the divorce process and after the divorce has been finalized. Deciding child custody arrangements and figuring out to successfully co-parent can be a complex, difficult time for many parents.

While there are several challenges parents face after divorce, one of the hardest times for many divorced couples is when one spouse moves out of the family home. This can be an emotional day for everyone so it is important for parents to understand the impact it may have on their children and take steps to make sure their children feel secure and loved during this transition.

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What happens to the house after divorce?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 18, 2013

When a couple decides to get divorced, they have to negotiate a divorce settlement to divide their assets and property. This can be a very difficult time for many couples, especially if the couple owned a home together.

It can be a complicated process determining what should happen to the house after the divorce has been finalized. It is important for couples getting divorced to understand their mortgage options before they decide what to do with the family home.

Couples should be aware that they will both remain liable for paying their mortgage, even if their divorce decree dictates that one party will be responsible for the mortgage. Unless the couple sells the property or removes one spouse’s name from the mortgage, the lender can still hold both spouses liable for any missed mortgage payments or foreclosure proceedings.

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How to answer your kid’s questions about your divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 10, 2013

Going through divorce can be complicated, especially for couples who have children. Many parents find it difficult coming to the decision to get a divorce because they don’t know how it will impact their children. Once parents do decide to get divorced, telling the children can be just as difficult.

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How to bring up divorce when your spouse doesn’t want one

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 2, 2013

Deciding to get a divorce can be very difficult, with many people struggling with their emotions when finally saying that their marriage is over. Most spouses do not have the same feelings regarding their relationship and if they should get divorced. This can make divorce more complicated, especially when one spouse wants to get a divorce and the other spouse wants to stay together.

What can spouses do when they want a divorce but fear that their significant other doesn’t want to end the marriage? There are a few ways spouses can try to approach the topic of divorce with their husband or wife but before bringing up the dreaded “D” word, there are a few issues to become familiar with to make the divorce process easier for both you and your spouse.

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Divorce tips when your spouse has a “strong” personality

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on June 24, 2013

These days, we all hear a lot about bullying in America’s schools. But as we all know, bullies aren’t just in the schoolyard; eventually, they grow up. You might even be married to one.

Not only can your partner’s high intensity play a role in causing the deterioration of your marriage, it can also create unique challenges in your divorce. Even so, the right divorce lawyer and a few simple tips can help you keep your finances and sanity intact while divorcing a domineering parter.

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Steve Nash in child support battle in Arizona

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on June 21, 2013

NBA star and former Phoenix Suns player Steve Nash recently returned to Arizona but not to play basketball. Instead, he returned to Arizona to continue his heated divorce proceedings regarding child support and whether or not his ex-wife and children will be moving to California.

Nash has previously stated many times that he does not think his ex-wife and children should move to Los Angeles, where he currently lives. This issue has turned into a child support debate because if Nash’s ex-wife and children move to California, Nash may be required to pay child support to his ex-wife under California law.

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How to prepare for the divorce settlement

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on June 13, 2013

Most people going through divorce in Arizona experience a range of emotions and how their divorce will impact their children, where they live and their finances. One way to reduce the stress divorce can cause is to understand the way divorce will impact your finances and what documents you should have in order before starting the divorce process.

The financial implications of divorce can be complex and downright confusing in some cases. That is why it is important for individuals to collect and gather their financial documents before the divorce to reduce the stress as well as save time and money in the long run.

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Arizona divorce proceedings fueled by alcohol?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on February 15, 2013

It is perhaps no secret to Arizona readers that heavy consumption of alcohol often engenders problems on the job and at home. A study that began in the mid 1980s and lasted over 15 years targeted the effects of excessive alcohol use on marriages. After reviewing the data culled from following the progress of almost 20,000 marriages, the study concluded that marriages where one spouse drank heavily were more likely to end in divorce.

At the outset of the study, couples were asked to respond to a number of questions, particularly about the consumption of alcohol as well as emotional distress. As the couples were tracked over the course of the study, those that divorced were noted. One apparent conclusion from the reported results was that heavy use of alcohol threatens marriage.

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Splitting up a family business in an Arizona divorce: What to do

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on February 8, 2013

One of the more difficult issues to resolve in an Arizona divorce proceeding is the joint ownership of a family business. In many of these instances, one of the parties spends far more time working in the business than the other. Regardless, the owners of a family business are best served by specifically addressing the ownership structure post-divorce, as well as the respective responsibilities for the continued operation of the business entity.

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Federal trial of international child custody dispute underway

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on January 30, 2013

Arizona readers may want to follow yet another international child custody dispute that is being heard by a federal court located in a northeastern state. This custody dispute dates back to 2006, when a Turkish court granted a divorce petition to the father of two children and awarded child custody to him. The mother, a United States citizen, subsequently fled the country in apparent defiance of the court order and ultimately returned to this country.

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NBA star Kobe Bryant, wife Vanessa call off divorce, reconcile

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on January 23, 2013

Arizona NBA fans may be pleased to learn that superstar Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa have called off their divorce. Both announced their reconciliation by separate postings on social media sites, Kobe opting for Facebook and Vanessa using Instagramn. The couple has faced the possibility of divorce for at least the last decade, following revelations that Kobe allegedly assaulted a woman sexually in 2003. Those accusations resulted in criminal charges that were ultimately dismissed when the woman involved did not want to participate in a trial.

Kobe and Vanessa renewed their vows during a ceremony in 2005, which reportedly cost Kobe upwards of $50,000. But the relationship appears to have remained rocky, and Vanessa instituted formal divorce proceedings in 2011. Nevertheless, the two were still spotted together, and Vanessa was a frequent visitor at Kobe’s home basketball games on the west coast.

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Arizona divorce may result in unexpected costs for both parties

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on January 14, 2013

It’s no secret that an Arizona divorce brings with it unexpected expenses. The simple fact of disentangling shared finances as the parties plan for their new lives apart can result in a number of new costs that may impact one or both individuals. Those people who plan ahead and gain an understanding of the costs involved following a divorce may be in a better position to negotiate a comprehensive settlement that is also fair to both sides.

Health insurance policies, car and house insurance premiums, as well as income tax obligations are all potentially impacted once a divorce is finalized. Retirement plans, life insurance premiums and even memberships at the local gym could also require additional payments to maintain. Family discounts that may apply when a couple is married may be inapplicable once two households are established and expenses are no longer shared.

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Child custody case returns adopted daughter to bio dad

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on January 13, 2013

The vast majority of child custody disputes involve two parents who are struggling of the care and control of their shared children. It is important to remember, however, that family courts in Arizona and across the nation see a wide range of child custody actions in any given year. One recent case demonstrates the complicated issues that can come before these courts, and the importance of following adoption policies carefully in order to avoid heartbreak.

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Arizona moves towards post-divorce joint parenting

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on January 4, 2013

Joint parenting and co-parenting are the new focus in divorce courts throughout the country. As people move away from gender stereotypes and more restrictive lifestyles, the courts are changing their approach to the legal rules and social policies around parenting after a divorce. Part of this new approach as implemented in Arizona includes a new parenting law kicked in beginning Jan. 1, 2013. The purpose of the law is to promote parents working together to provide children with more access to each parent and to discourage delay of court proceedings and dishonesty with the family courts through incentives and fines.

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Deion Sanders divorce: Battle continues over money, prenup

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on December 29, 2012

Arizona readers likely know that “Neon Deion” Sanders and his estranged wife Pilar continue to make headlines in their divorce. The former NFL great and Hall of Fame member was back in court for a child support hearing recently. Previously, a judge presiding over the divorce proceedings had set monthly child support at $10,000, even though Deion was granted temporary custody of the two boys.

For her part, Pilar is proceeding on several legal fronts. In addition to seeking enforcement of the court’s previous temporary child support order, she is reportedly seeking to have the prenuptial agreement between the couple declared invalid. Further, her attorneys indicated she was asking to have the 13 year marriage annulled and the accumulated assets declared to be community property.

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Arizona couples that divorce but keep the business in the family

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on December 21, 2012

In the 2007 Census, there was an estimate of around 3.7 million businesses operated by a husband and wife team. This is wonderful for keeping profits in the family and contributing to general agreement among decision making personnel, but what happens when filing for a divorce wasn’t in the business plan? Arizona couples that own a business together may never consider the implications of how a divorce may affect the flow of business.

Stories come from all over about once married business owners that have both successfully tried, and also failed at trying to amicably keep a business going following a divorce. Mediators and counselors agree that respect is the key concern if the business is to succeed under the same but separate management. Some relationship therapists have suggested sessions where ex-spouses learn to communicate better under the new circumstances.

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Arizona child custody aided by modern technology for parents

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on December 14, 2012

When it comes to divorce and children in Arizona, some authorities say that technology offers an opportunity to keep things on an even keel when dealing with child custody and visitation issues. When two people without children divorce, they have the luxury of avoiding contact with their ex-partner should they choose to do so. However, that is decidedly more difficult when there are minor children involved, and problems with communication can quickly lead to a further child custody dispute.

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Collaborative divorce worth considering for some Arizona families

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on December 5, 2012

From time to time, we have mentioned collaborative divorce in our posts on this blog. This type of proceeding offers a different approach to the typical approach to obtaining a divorce in Arizona. Instead of litigating every step of the way, a collaborative divorce is a multidisciplinary approach where the goal is to work together to achieve fair agreement on all outstanding issues.

While each party has an attorney, they agree to avoid court intervention. Instead, a team of professionals is arranged, depending on the particular facts and circumstances presented. That team could include financial advisors and mental health professionals. The concept of a divorce coach is utilized, both for the parties to the divorce as well as for any minor children.

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Arizona divorce: Can you get your ex-spouse’s SSI benefits?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on November 30, 2012

An Arizona divorce covers a myriad of issues, from property division to spousal maintenance and a host of other topics. One issue that arises in some divorce proceedings is the entitlement of an ex-spouse to the Social Security benefits of the other. This is an important area which should not be overlooked and could result in benefits payments from a spouse’s Social Security account over many years. However, like most governmental benefit programs, Social Security benefits come with their own rules and regulations which often cause confusion as the parties to a divorce attempt to determine how the benefits might apply to them.

The first important consideration is the length of the marriage. When a marriage lasts 10 years or longer, a possibility exists to collect Social Security under the account of an ex-spouse. The Social Security Administration requires that the marriage lasted at least 10 years, which is determined by the date of the final order of divorce. In those instances where the length of the marriage qualifies, an ex-spouse can collect up to half of their ex-spouse’s benefits. If they qualify for benefits on their own, they can only collect the difference between their benefits amount and one half of any higher benefit amount due the ex-spouse.

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Arizona divorce: Who gets access to kids’ health, school records?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on November 22, 2012

Parents filing for divorce in Arizona typically have to confront a wide range of issues when it comes to child custody. Aside from deciding how custodial responsibilities will be divided, issues such as visitation and child support must be addressed. One related topic that is sometimes overlooked in a divorce is the legal right of a parent to access medical and health records concerning their child.

One father discovered that obtaining access to his son’s medical records was no walk in the park. Early on in his divorce, the father learned that the mother had made medical decisions concerning the child without his input or consent. Specifically, she had apparently filed a do not resuscitate order with the boy’s doctor without disclosing her action to the father.

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Man arrested for owing $1.6 million in back child support

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on November 16, 2012

Whether in Arizona or another jurisdiction, it is a federal crime to leave the United States for the purpose of avoiding the payment of child support. One man from a northeastern state allegedly fled the country six years ago to skip out on child support and other marital obligations. When he recently returned, federal officials were waiting for him at the airport with an arrest warrant.

The case has made national news because it has been reported the man owes approximately $1.6 million in overdue child support payments. That sum is said to be the highest amount of outstanding child support owed throughout the country. At the time he left the country, he was reportedly making $280,000 annually as an anesthesiologist, owner of several pain management clinics and owner of a phone-card company.

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Child custody in Arizona complicated by foreign citizen parents

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on November 9, 2012

A new law being proposed in another state may be of interest to some readers in Arizona. The child custody proposal, if passed, could affect divorcing parents where one of the parties is a foreign citizen. Such couples are increasingly common in our state and across the nation.

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Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher divorce drags on with no agreement

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on November 1, 2012

Arizona readers may be aware that the announced divorce plans for Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore have dragged on for almost a year now. It was reported that, on the weekend of his sixth wedding anniversary last year, Ashton had a one night stand with another woman. In Nov. 2011, Demi announced she was pursuing a divorce. Currently, Ashton is rumored to be dating his former “That ’70s Show” co-star, Mila Kunis. All signs point to the fact that Ashton and Demi have moved on, and yet there is still no sign of any formal divorce filings.

Some observers of celebrity breakups are asking what the delay is all about. There is no outward indication that the couple is considering reconciliation. Rather, some say the snag has to do with money. In view of the fact that Ashton made a reported $24 million last year, money may well be at the root of it all. Understandably, any high asset divorce negotiation involves a number of delicate financial matters. In the case of Ashton and Demi, there is no mention that a prenuptial agreement exists.

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Arizona divorce: planning for it before the wedding makes sense

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2012

A nationally known educator and author recently addressed the topic of divorce on public radio. We have all heard the statistics in Arizona that about half of all marriages are said to end in divorce. Indeed, it is estimated that 10 percent of marriages will end before the fifth anniversary. About 25 percent will face divorce before the tenth anniversary. With such significant numbers, some suggestions about how to approach the possibility that it may happen may be helpful.

The educator noted that many couples do not want to talk about divorce at the beginning of their marriage because it can sometimes seem self-defeating to many. However, that may be the best time to address financial issues. She observed that those couples who are able to communicate about these issues from a cooperative standpoint may be able to fashion an agreement that protects both parties in the event a divorce does result. It may help to consider a prenuptial agreement much in the way one might plan to make a last will.

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Arizona divorce: “til death do us part,” or a 20-year contract?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on October 18, 2012

The traditional marriage vow of “til death do us part” seems to be in need of an upgrade. The Arizona marriage that many believed would be a lifetime union has often turned out to last no much beyond lunchtime. The simple fact of the matter is that about half of all marriages result in a divorce. Many of those end within the first seven years. The question that some are asking across the country is what, if anything, should we do about it?

Prenuptial agreements have filled the void for many. These contracts, which are negotiated and signed before the wedding takes place, can cover everything from expectations during the marriage to property division and other financial commitments if a divorce subsequently appears on the horizon. Still other people have belatedly recognized the benefits of a prenup, causing them to accomplish pretty much the same thing by executing a postnuptial agreement. This contract is signed after the wedding, sometimes even in contemplation of an impending divorce

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What happens when a parent lies to get child support?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on October 8, 2012

When the parents of a minor child separate or divorce in Arizona, child support typically becomes part of the equation for the non-custodial parent. An interesting case from another state has raised important issues concerning the obligation to pay child support. It addresses situations where a parent fraudulently induces the other to pay child support under circumstances where none is required.

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Frank and Jamie McCourt back in divorce court after Dodgers sale

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on October 1, 2012

It may be no surprise to Arizona readers that the seemingly never-ending divorce between former MLB owner Frank McCourt and his ex-wife, Jamie McCourt, is headed back to court. The west coast divorce was all signed, sealed and delivered. Jamie is now alleging fraud or mistake and wants the divorce proceedings reopened. She claims that the property division was ultimately unfair because Frank sold his share in the Dodgers for far more than the estimated value of the team that was used during divorce negotiations.

According to Jamie, her ex-husband represented during their divorce negotiations that the Dodgers’ franchise was worth less than $300 million. She claims that she agreed to a $131 million payout to settle their two year long litigation, based on the valuation figures represented by Frank. Once the divorce was final, McCourt is said to have later sold the MLB team for a reported $2.15 billion, from which McCourt purportedly netted about $1.7 billion.

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Arizona divorce: Don’t forget about the tax consequences

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on September 26, 2012

Benjamin Franklin is usually credited with being the first to note that death and taxes are the only things certain in life. A cynic might add divorce to the equation, though the most often cited statistics indicate that just about half of all marriages result in divorce. While an Arizona divorce may not be a foregone conclusion, what is certain is that it will trigger some tax ramifications. Those negotiating a final settlement of their marital dissolution would do well to consider the potential impact on tax obligations going forward.

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Grandparents’ rights: The growing national debate continues

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Grand Parents Rights on September 18, 2012

Grandparents’ rights are an issue of growing importance here in Arizona and across the country. Whether married or not, when parents separate or divorce the grandparents of any children involved often feel disenfranchised. Courts and legislatures have attempted to address the issue of grandparents’ rights for years, and a recent case stretching between two states underscores the fact that the debate continues.

The controlling law is based upon a U.S. Supreme Court decision that recognized certain constitutional rights of parents to raise their own children. Despite that, one state near Arizona has had a grandparents’ rights statute on the books for at just about 20 years. A recent case pitting a mother against her own parents in another state has caused some to propose a new law seeking to restore the legal rights of parents. Others, however, claim the current law already accomplishes that.

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Arizona divorce: More couples signing postnuptial agreements

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on September 13, 2012

We often hear about contracts signed between two people preparing to get married in Arizona. Called prenuptial agreements, these contracts envision what is to happen in the event the parties later decide to divorce. And with some estimates indicating that just about half of all marriages end in divorce, the notion of a prenuptial agreement has become more commonplace in our society.

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Child custody litigation: sexy costumes in pageants for tots bad?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on September 4, 2012

An interesting child custody proceeding was set to go to trial in late August. Arizona readers may know about the dispute, which pits a beauty pageant-loving mother against an ex-con father. The mother has her young daughter participating in child beauty pageants and was featured last year on the popular reality TV show “Toddlers & Tiaras.” The father objects to what he refers to as the sexualizing of his young daughter and has requested that he be granted child custody. But he has a criminal record that includes a felony conviction, and is said to have been convicted on a number of occasions for DUI and endangering the welfare of a child.

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Arizona divorce and drinking: Which sex imbibes more?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on August 29, 2012

Men drink more alcohol than women, which is perhaps not all that startling a statistic. But a recent study compared the alcohol use of men and women during marriage and after divorce. One conclusion is that men drink less when they are married while women drink more than their single counterparts.

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Divorce in record time for Evelyn Lozada, NFL star Chad Johnson

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on August 21, 2012

The decision to divorce in Arizona and elsewhere is often a painstaking one made over months, if not years. While the absence of minor children might make it easier, even in those circumstances it takes most people a good while to be certain of what it is that they wish to do. Kim Kardashian raised eyebrows last year when she decided to divorce NBA star Kris Humphries after a marriage of a little more than two months. For entirely different reasons, reality TV star Evelyn Lozada quickly decided to call it quits with NFL star Chad Johnson (formerly known as Chad Ochocinco) after only 41 days.

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A 1964 divorce turns into a 2012 wedding

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on August 15, 2012

We have spent a fair amount of time on this blog focusing on the issues presented for an Arizona couple contemplating divorce. While there are financial and emotional considerations that permeate the process, one obvious result of a divorce is being free to pursue other relationships and perhaps even another marriage. Occasionally, a couple that was previously divorced decides to tie the knot all over again, and that may give rise to additional legal considerations. It was recently reported that a couple who divorced some 48 years ago have decided to try all over again, to the delight of their three remaining adult “kids.”

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Life insurance issues can be tricky during divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on August 6, 2012

When Arizona spouses begin divorce proceedings, there is a seemingly endless list of topics which must be negotiated. Even when the divorce is not contested and both parties work together to reach a mutually agreeable end to their marriage, it is still important to ensure that all details are ironed out before the divorce is finalized. One issue that is often overlooked is term life insurance.

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Arizona divorce: Think you know everything there is to know?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on August 1, 2012

While it is always better to try and save your marriage before it ends, not everyone is able to accomplish that. There are a variety of reasons that some Arizona couples will choose to end their marriage in divorce. Nonetheless, for anyone that is considering divorce, they would do well to know a few of the most common fallacies about the practice.

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What Arizona parents should consider when filing for divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 25, 2012

Anytime a marriage is dissolved, there is simply more at stake than who gets the house, the car or the family pet. Divorce is a family affair, having as much or sometimes more of an effect on the children than on the parents. Arizona parents that are considering filing for divorce should take special note of child custody conditions with special attention to the age of any children.

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Arizona grandparents’ rights: how to stay involved with grandkids

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Grand Parents Rights on July 16, 2012

A relatively new movement is gathering steam in Arizona and elsewhere. More and more grandparents are seeking visitation rights and more with grandchildren and, in jurisdictions where they seemingly have no protection, are spearheading drives to change the law.

Grandparents’ rights have come about as the marriages of their sons or daughters have failed. In some situations, their offspring have moved back home; in others, grandparents have become involved in child custody proceedings, seeking to maintain the bond they have formed with their grandchildren.

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Child custody wars: Holmes seeks divorce, wants to protect child

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on July 12, 2012

The mother of all child custody battles appears to be taking shape out east. As most Arizona readers already know, on June 28 actress Katie Holmes embarked on her own ‘Mission Impossible’ by filing for divorce from actor Tom Cruise. The divorce action cites irreconcilable differences, which may be a colossal understatement if the buzz about a brewing child custody dispute is true.

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Baby boomer divorce rate rises across the country

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on July 2, 2012

Baby boomers have always seemed to march to their own drummer and that often-cited point appears to have been proved again, this time on the subject of divorce. At a time when marital dissolutions in Arizona and across the country appear to have leveled off, the over-50 crowd is confronting divorce on record levels. Over 20 years ago in 1990, just one in 10 couples over the age of 50 chose divorce. As recently as 2009, that figure was one in four couples.

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International child support enforcement gets a projected boost

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on June 18, 2012

When an Arizona mother and father of a young child decide to separate, whether they are married or not, child custody and child support issues come to the forefront. The news media is full of stories reporting efforts to enforce child support orders throughout our state. Regularly, arrests and contempt proceedings in our courts occur in an attempt to get recalcitrant non-custodial parents to pay past-due obligations. But when a non-custodial parent moves out of the country, collection attempts typically become a horse of a different color.

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‘Divorce Hotel’ — the next stop for reality television?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on June 11, 2012

Reality television has covered just about every facet of human relationships, including bachelors and bachelorettes seeking spouses in a season-long pursuit for a final red rose. Now another reality TV idea has surfaced, floated by an international entrepreneur. While it has not yet hit Arizona, the idea of a divorce hotel is certainly gathering publicity all across America as well as other countries.

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Child support: Basketball’s Dennis Rodman fouls out

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on June 7, 2012

Arizona readers know Dennis Rodman as a former NBA star and Hall of Famer who maintains a lifestyle that many would consider flamboyant. But it turns out, in some respects, he’s just like many of the rest of us. He got married, had kids, and later got divorced. Along with that divorce came child support and spousal maintenance payments, sometimes as much as $50,000 monthly for child support alone. And therein lies the rub.

It turns out that Rodman, just like a lot of other noncustodial parents, could no longer keep up the gargantuan child support payments. Some will point out, and perhaps correctly, that he seems to have continued to maintain his gregarious way of life, including his sometimes multicolored hair. But he has also been fighting with his ex-wife since their 2004 divorce over support issues.

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Grandparents’ rights: kinship care fights for legislative change

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Grand Parents Rights on May 28, 2012

Kinship care is a term coined to describe grandparents who are raising one or more grandchildren in their homes. There are a lot of them, and they are becoming more vocal in demanding legislative action to support their cause. It certainly appears that there is good reason, because statistics document that upwards of nine percent of all children will live with an extended family member for at least three continuous months before their 18th birthday.

Some 2.7 million children across our country have lived with grandparents, another extended family member or close family friends, and that alone is an increase of about 18 percent in just the last decade. Be that as it may, grandparents’ rights still have a ways to go in Arizona and elsewhere as the group fights for visitation and the right to raise their children’s offspring when circumstances warrant.

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Spousal maintenance: more women paying, more men collecting

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Alimony on May 22, 2012

More and more women in Arizona and across the country are discovering that when the bloom is off the rose in their marriage, the result might be that they, as opposed to their husband, may end up obligated to pay child support and even alimony. Such is the nature of progress and changing times.

It’s not that the laws are being applied differently but rather that women have climbed up the ladder to the point where many out-earn their husbands. And that simple fact could translate into a court order to pay spousal maintenance if the parties choose to divorce.

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Religious upbringing is often an issue in child custody

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on May 16, 2012

A mother was recently sentenced to jail for allowing her son to be baptized without his father’s prior consent. The parties addressed child custody in their divorce through a joint agreement referred to as their “Permanent Parenting Plan.” The wording in the agreement was very specific in explaining how both parents must work out agreements concerning their child’s religious upbringing or otherwise resort to a mediator. Divorced parents in Arizona may find themselves surrounded by similar circumstances if they are not careful to adhere to the terms laid out in a divorce decree.

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Failure to pay child support leads to a Scottsdale arrest

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on May 8, 2012

A Scottsdale business man was arrested on April 27 and ordered to jail until he can come up with $6,000 toward his child support arrears. According to court records, the total amount for what he owes in child support payments in Arizona is likely to reach $30,000. He was taken into custody inside a Maricopa County courtroom in Mesa.

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Child support: More than $1.7 billion owed in Arizona

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on April 30, 2012

Non-custodial parents in Arizona are $1.7 billion in debt for child support arrears. Recent investigations discovered flaws in Arizona’s system for collecting child support from non-custodial parents. The head of the state agency with the daunting task of helping custodial parents collect unpaid child support admits the process is not working up to its potential. There are approximately 144,000 cases in Arizona with delinquent or unpaid child support.

One custodial mother has been fighting in court to collect child support with no good fortune since 2007. The process is slow. In this case, the non-custodial father claims that he cannot pay what he does not have. Many non-custodial parents experiencing job loss have abandoned the will to pay or get caught up on what they owe their children.

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Former MLB player claims alimony on taxes, gets the hook from IRS

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Alimony on April 24, 2012

Arizona folks who have been a part of a divorce that includes spousal maintenance know that in some instances the payments can result in an income tax deduction. The alimonypaid to an ex-spouse is one of the deductions that many look forward to each year, after 12 months of paying for spousal support. However, there are instances when a deduction is not permissible.

Arizona readers may be interested to hear about former MLB player Dave LaPoint, who was the subject of a U.S. Tax Court case recently after his attempts to deduct some of his alimony payments to his ex-wife were rejected by the IRS. The deductions were made in 2002 and 2004. The court ruled against LaPoint, holding that the deductions were not valid as made.

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Arizona child custody changes can result from relocation

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on April 19, 2012

A child custody court order is often a part of a final Arizona divorce agreement when minor children are involved. This document sets out the days that a child lives with each parent. Many times the child custody agreement requires that both parents live in the same state.

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Government study provides updated marriage, divorce statistics

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on April 10, 2012

How many first marriages survive? Divorce is not uncommon no matter whether you live in Phoenix or Scottsdale or any place in the country. The truth of the matter is that divorceis more common now than it was a decade ago. In fact, couples in Phoenix that have just recently gotten married for the first time or plan to have their first nuptials in the near future may be interested to know that a new study documents that nearly half of all first marriages end within the first 20 years.

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Child custody bill affecting military members moves through House

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on April 4, 2012

Service members in Arizona may be interested in a piece of legislation currently making its way through the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation would strengthen the child custody rights of members of the military. So far, 63 members of the House Armed Services Committee have endorsed the bill.

In child custody disputes, a family law judge in Arizona and elsewhere will often take into account several factors in deciding what is in the best interests of the child. Currently, one of the factors a judge may use is active-duty deployment. For example, if a service member is about to be deployed overseas, then that could impact their child custody hearing negatively.

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What are grandparents’ rights and how can they be protected?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Grand Parents Rights on March 26, 2012

In battles of child custody and visitation rights, one almost always thinks of the mother and father of the child involved. In these cases, grandparents’ rights concerning their grandchildren are heavily overlooked and often compromised despite the positive influence they may have on the child’s life.

Unfortunately, there are no nationally mandated rules regarding these rights for grandparents in Arizona or elsewhere, though some states have made small steps in this direction.

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Child support ordered for twins conceived after divorce

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on March 19, 2012

An order to pay child support is most often one that can last for many years and is typically due each month. These payments can be a major negotiating hurdle in many Arizona divorces and separations. Often the parent with whom the child resides primarily will receive child support payments from their former spouse.

Arizona residents may be interested to learn about a recent case where a man was held to be responsible for child support payments for children that were conceived after the relationship with his ex-spouse ended. The young twins were born using a donated egg. Prior to the end of their relationship, the couple had arranged to be placed on a waiting list for donated eggs. After separation, the eggs became available, and the father agreed to allow in-vitro to be used for conception.

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Paternity and child custody: Equal rights for fathers in Arizona?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Custody on March 14, 2012

A somewhat controversial bill is currently making its way through the Arizona legislature. It addresses child custody in circumstances where a child is born out of wedlock and seeks to change current law which gives a mother full legal custody until paternity is legally established.

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Gila County is nation’s leader in child support collection

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on February 28, 2012

Phoenix and Scottsdale readers may be surprised to learn that our neighboring county leads the entire country in child support enforcement and collection. Over the past two years, more than $10 million has been collected by the child support division of the Gila County attorney. The county is just one of four Arizona counties that handle their own child support collections, whereas all the others make use of the office of the state attorney general. However, on at least one occasion, the state attorney general’s office transferred one of its difficult collection matters to Gila County for help in finding a missing parent. Within a month, caseworkers had not only found the individual but obtained a court order, served the legal papers and successfully arranged for the parent to appear in court.

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Computers, email accounts under attack in some divorce disputes

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on February 24, 2012

On wedding day, we say “’till death do us part” – but over the course of your marriage there can be extenuating circumstances. Your marriage may ebb and flow, and in some cases it may end. Divorce is an emotional time, a period where you will reflect on your life and eventually move on to greater things.

However, divorce can cause much anger, especially when your former spouse takes vindictive or illegal action in an effort to hurt your divorce case. One such action is seeing a rise in popularity and it is causing many headaches in the realm of divorce law.

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