Family Law

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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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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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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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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Announcing Our Employee Of The Month For February 2018

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

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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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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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.

Continue reading Join our growing family

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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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.

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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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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.”

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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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