How Do I Get Temporary Orders For Child Custody, Visitation, Child Support, Spousal support, etc. In My California Divorce Case?

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

After the initial divorce paperwork has been filed with the court, either spouse may file for a “Request for Order” hearing with the court requesting a hearing to decide temporary orders for child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support and other orders while the divorce is pending. Other orders can involve temporary use of marital property, restraining orders and orders that one party pay the other party’s attorney fees and costs.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce lawyer Gerald Maggio at www.maggiolawfirm.com or call (949) 553-0304.

What is the Next Step After I Serve the Initial California Divorce Paperwork?

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law Firm

The next step after service of the Summons and Petition for Marital Dissolution and the Response thereto is for both parties to complete and exchange their own “Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure.”

Both parties in a California divorce are required to disclose detailed, accurate information to the other about their respective incomes, expenses, property (both marital and separate property) and all debts and obligations. There mutual disclosures are called the parties’ “Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure”. The formal disclosures are signed under penalty of perjury. A Final Declaration of Disclosure can be completed at approximately the time of trial or settlement in the case unless the parties mutually agree in writing to waive such final disclosure.

These Declarations of Disclosure consist of special forms required by the court, and except for proof that the parties served each other with such forms, these forms are otherwise not filed with the court. The 4 forms that generally comprise the Declaration of Disclosure are:

1. Declaration of Disclosure (Form FL-140)
2. Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150)
3. Schedule of Assets and Debts (Form FL-142)
4. Declaration of Service of Declaration of Disclosure (Form FL-141)

The purpose of such financial disclosures is to make settlement negotiations easier to proceed because of the generally clear picture of the parties’ financial situation given by such formal disclosure. Moreover, it protects the parties in the event that either spouse failed to disclose all assets.

California law requires that the disclosure documents be completed and served twice, once at the beginning of the divorce (Preliminary) and then again near the end of the case immediately prior to trial or judgment (Final). However, the parties can agree to waive service of the final Declaration of Disclosure, as long as such a waiver is in writing on the appropriate legal paperwork.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio at The Maggio Law Firm, by calling (949) 553-0304 or visiting www.Maggiolawfirm.com.

What is the Mediation Process in a California Child Custody Case?

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

In any California child custody case, including divorce and separation cases, whenever a Request for Order (RFO) hearing addressing child custody and visitation issues are filed, the Court will order that the parties attend mediation at no cost through the court’s mediation department prior to the RFO hearing date. Although the law requires that the parents participate in mediation, there is not a requirement that they reach an agreement.

Mediation is intended to reduce conflict between the parties by encouraging cooperation and assisting parents in creating their own parenting plan the meet the needs of their children with their best interests in mind.

The court mediators are generally trained professionals who have at least a Master’s Degree, have extensive experience in psychology and marital/family counseling and are trained in conflict resolution.

In mediation, the mediator meets with the parties wither together and/or individually. If there has been domestic violence between the parties, the mediation is usually held in separate sessions with each parent for safety reasons and to avoid any appearance of intimidation.

The mediator works to assist the parties in focusing on parenting arrangements that are in the best interests of their children and can put together a partial or full parenting agreement schedule (including legal custody, parenting plans, holiday and vacation schedules, transportation and other issues) depending on what the parties are able to agree upon in mediation.

Parents can sometimes resolve all of their parenting issues in mediation, sometimes only a partial agreement can be reached, and otherwise no agreement is reached. Mediators only draft agreements that are acceptable to both parties. If the mediation agreement is still agreeable to both parties at the time of the RFO hearing, in can be adopted and incorporated into a court order.

Only the parties attend mediation, with no attorneys, spouses or other family members present, although a second session can sometimes be requested so that the mediator can speak with the parties’ children, if it is believed that such feedback would be helpful in assisting the parties to develop parenting plans.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce attorney at The Maggio Law Firm, by visiting www. maggiolawfirm.com or calling (949) 553-0304.

How Are Mediations Different In An Orange County Child Custody Case Vs. A Riverside/Inland Empire Child Custody Case?

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law Firm

In Orange County, mediations are merely efforts for the parties to meet face-to-face without their attorneys to attempt to resolve such issues. Mediators in Orange County do not make recommendations to the Court of parenting plans.

However, in Riverside County and other Inland Empire Family Courts, the court mediator can make recommendations regarding child custody and visitation that the Court judge will very likely give substantial consideration to in making court orders.

Mediators in all California Custody cases are allowed under law to make recommendations to the Court where there are allegations of domestic violence, drug and/or alcohol abuse, and other concerns of the mediator affecting the welfare and best interests of the children. Such recommendations can include an emergency child custody evaluation, a domestic violence investigation, a full psychological child custody evaluation, or the appointment of a “minor’s counsel,” who is a private attorney appointed to represent and protect the best interests of the minor children.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce attorney by contacting The Maggio Law Firm at www.maggiolawfirm.com or by calling  (949) 553-0304.

Can I Settle With My Spouse And Avoid the Request for Order Hearing or Trial?

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

There are 2 primary options for resolving issues in your Orange County divorce case:

Stipulation (Agreement) of the Parties:
When parties are able to work together in reaching agreements for temporary orders or final settlement of their entire marital dissolution case, a “Stipulation & Order” for temporary orders or a “Marital Settlement Agreement” can be drafted by the attorney outlining the terms of such agreement which the parties and their respective counsel will sign and when filed with the court, they become official orders of the court.

Trial:
If the spouses ultimately are unable to reach a more “permanent” agreement on all custody, visitation and related issues, the parties will need to request that a trial date be set to have the judge assigned to the case decide the issues. There are not juries in family law court, so such issues are generally decided by the Judge or a Commissioner of the Family Law Court.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce lawyer Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com or calling (949) 553-0304.

How Quickly Can I Become Divorced in California?

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law Firm

California has a six-month “cooling-off” period prior to entry of a judgment in a marital dissolution case, meaning that a judgment terminating the marriage cannot be entered until at least 6 months after the date the other spouse was served with the petition for marital dissolution has passed. However, nothing happens automatically when the 6 month time period is reached, and the court does not automatically terminate the marriage after 6 months. Entry of a judgment requires either a formal Marital Settlement Agreement be entered into by the parties as part of a judgment package filed with the court, or otherwise by court orders made at trial.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, by visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com or calling (949) 553-0304.

Can I Divorce My Spouse in California Before We Have A Final Agreement or Trial?

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law Firm

Yes, you can divorce your spouse in California before you resolve all the issues in your case. Until a judgment is entered in your divorce case, you cannot legally remarry.

However, in cases where the issues are heavily contested, it it possible to seek a “Bifurcation of Marital Status” wither by agreement or court order whereby the Court separates the issue of marital status from the rest of the case, restores the parties to the status of single persons, and reserves the remaining issues for further determination. Bifurcation of marital status enables the parties to remarry while they continue to negotiate and litigate the remaining issues of their divorce.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce lawyer Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, by visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com or by calling (949) 553-0304.

When is My Orange County Divorce Final?

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law Firm

A California divorce cannot be ordered by the Court until at least 6 months after the other spouse was served with the initial Summons and Petition, i.e. a “cooling off” period that cannot be shortened or waived.

Moreover, nothing will happen after those 6 months in ending your marriage unless you and your spouse enter into a written judgment agreement or otherwise take the divorce to trial. In other words, a judgment can only happen with either an agreed-upon judgment or going to trial. Until that time, neither party can legally remarry.

In situations where the parties have not resolved all issues or one or both parties seek to be divorced in order to remarry, a party can seek a “bifurcation” of marital status, wherein the court terminates your status as a married couple but reserves jurisdiction over all other issues of the marriage until further agreement can be reached or the case goes to trial.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, by visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com or calling (949) 553-0304.

What is a California Summary Dissolution?

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

For couples who have been married for less than 5 years, have no children together, will not seek spousal support from each other, have very little property or debts together, and can mutually agree on how to divide their property and debts, a California “summary dissolution” is a simplified alternate to a regular divorce. Such couples can complete and file special forms together with the court and will not need a court hearing to finalize their divorce.

Legal Requirements:

1. The parties have been married for 5 years or less.
2. The parties have no children from their relationship.
3. Neither party owns a home of other real estate property
4. The value of all community property totals less than $25,000.
5. The combined total debt of the parties is $5000 or less.
6. The parties mutually agree to waive spousal support from the other.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, by visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com or calling (949) 553-0304.

What To Know About The Discovery Process in Orange County Divorce Cases

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law Firm

In Orange County divorces that require determination of the fair market value of marital assets, community businesses, debts, and self-employment incomes for support purposes, “discovery” requests served on one of both spouses may be necessary. Such discovery requests can require responses to general and specific questions, production or documentation of other tangible items, and depositions of the parties or third parties.

Completion of the discovery process is generally necessary before a divorce case can be set for trial and can slow down the divorce process. However, such discovery is necessary to protect the parties’ rights and ensure and fair and reasonable division of the parties’ assets and debts.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, by visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com or calling (949) 553-0304.

 
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