Child Custody

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The time is now to update Arizona’s outdated family law statutes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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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