Paternity of a child is not always as easy to determine as people would like. The test may become necessary even when one of the parents has no doubts. Either parent may deny their role out of fear, anger, or for many other reasons. A paternity test can prove helpful for some, but it can also add legal concerns. Learn how legal guidance can help parents go through this complicated process.

Possible Unexpected Results

The man who proves to be the father may not be the one expected. If a paternity test proves the father is not the husband, the issue could lead to complications like a divorce. It is also possible for testing to not provide an accurate response. Home testing kits rely on people performing them correctly, and not every medical office has the same quality of processing.

Parents that hire legal representatives can gain court orders for testing to take place through a facility the court trusts and accepts. The results become court-admissible, so they are useful in divorce proceedings and other hearings. The guidance of an attorney can extend beyond the paternity test so mothers know what steps they should take next.

Potential Custody Issues

Custody battles may occur once one of the parents has proof of the father’s identity. Parents who have an attorney ready before the test takes place are in a better position to protect their custodial rights. It may be beneficial to make the first step and hire an attorney so they can order the test and begin custody planning before the potential father starts the process for himself.

Planning early allows consideration for acceptable arrangements for custody. The parent can get the help they need from their attorney to create several options to present to the other parent. Early research gives a legal team the time to gather arrest records and other evidence of safety concerns that may exist for the child concerning their father or paternal grandparents.

Preparations for Support

Child support considerations can also cause single parents to consider paternity testing. Not all single parents need additional financial help, so it is not always worth the time and effort to worry about the test.  However, some can only pay the bills and cover all the expenses of raising a child with contributions from the other parent.

Legal assistance can help parents to manage child support cases as well. In Arizona, parents only pay child support if they have the ability. The court uses a self-support reserve test. The test was designed to ensure that the person paying child support will have enough money to also cover their own basic needs.

The self-support reserve means the parent must earn an income that is at least 80 percent of the current minimum wage for a full-time job. The court reviews the income at the time of the request for support and not what the parent made when the child was born.

An attorney can explain child support laws and the potential amount possible for the parent to receive in child support payments. The payments depend on the income of both parents with some considerations for children with special needs and other situations. The parent can make an informed decision about whether to pursue paternity testing and child support.

Paternity testing helps with even more than support and custody issues; it can give mothers access to family medical histories for their children. A child may become eligible for family military benefits or gain inheritance rights. At the law offices of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we can help you decide if paternity testing will benefit you and your child. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lisa Eick (Legal Assistant) at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

Currently, Lisa is the legal assistant for attorney Sara A. Swiren at our Scottsdale office. Staff members who nominated her provided numerous accolades that include:

  • Being a true team player by helping others in spite of her always-busy schedule
  • Recognizing when colleagues need help before she is asked to assist
  • Willing to stay after-hours as needed, including Friday evenings to handle billing
  • Committing to improving not only herself, but also others at the firm
  • Taking on management of the calendar as needed for all other teams

We at DLP PLC congratulate Lisa Eick on this well-deserved recognition for her hard work and dedication.

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.”

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.

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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