Stepparent Adoptions in California Are Relatively Straightforward

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County stepparent adoption attorney; The Maggio Law Firm

Adopting in California is not terribly difficult, but the best advice anyone can be given is to discuss the matter with an experienced Orange County family attorney.

Adopting a stepchild in California may be a relatively simple process, although as with many things dealing with the law, each case is different. There are generally exceptions in many instances as well and it never hurts to be smart and speak to a qualified Orange County family lawyer. It’s better to know what is actually involved right up front rather than find out later about something no one thought about,” explained Gerald A. Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm in Irvine, California.

One of the first things everyone needs to consider is the responsibility of adopting another person’s child. It’s definitely a decision with long-term consequences, and not something to be rushed into on the part of the adopting step-parent or the child. For this reason, it’s often a good idea to talk to the child about the process and what it will mean for them to make sure that is what “they” want.

In most cases, there are several forms that will need to be filled out, and they are usually Adopt-200,210 and 215. An Orange County family attorney will advise which documents are needed and how they should be filled out when the adoption process is started. “The Adopt-200 is the formal adoption request that lets the judge know everything about the child being adopted and the step-parent adopting. The Adopt-210 is the formal adoption agreement between the child and adopting step-parent and it only gets signed when the judge indicates it is ok to do so,” explained Maggio.

The last form, the Adopt-215 is the actual adoption order and this will be signed by a judge if they agree to the adoption. While this may sound a bit complicated, with the assistance of a skilled Orange County family lawyer, the adoption process will go smoothly.

Gerald A. Maggio is senior partner of The Maggio Law Firm, Inc., an Orange County and Riverside Divorce and Family Law firm headquartered in Irvine, California. The Maggio Law Firm is experienced in all aspects of divorce and family law matters, including child custody, child support, spousal support, complicated high asset marital property cases, and domestic partnerships.

Gerald A. Maggio is an Orange County divorce attorney, in Irvine, California. For more information or to schedule a consultation with Orange County divorce lawyer Gerald Maggio, contact The Maggio Law Firm by calling (949) 553-0304 or visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com.

Separations Don’t Always End in Divorce

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law Firm

It’s true; separations don’t necessarily end in a divorce. Each case is different and this is why you need the wise advice of an experienced Orange County divorce attorney.

Generally speaking, a great number of people who are considering filing for divorce will opt to try a period of trial separation. While this may work, or may not, many couples feel it is worth trying given the number of years they may have spent together and if there are children involved.

Some people look at being separated as something that just “is,” an informal thing like moving in with a best buddy for “now” until things gets sorted out. This does indeed happen, but it’s not always the best way to manage the disintegrating marital situation. Put another way, it’s not always an informal deal and some couples prefer seeking legal separation under the auspices of a separation agreement drafted by an experienced Orange County divorce lawyer.

Separation agreements are typically written in such a manner that is beneficial to both parties. They are a way for the partners to separate without being legally divorced and without facing the emotionally devastating consequences of a divorce. Call it a stop gap measure to let the couple find the time to deal with their issues and either come to a resolution or decide divorce is the correct step for them.

Living apart may clarify many issues that had no chance of being resolved when both parties were living under the same roof. This way, time may heal the difficulties. In fact, the time apart may not result in divorce. Some separated spouses take the initiative to try their marriage once again.

If a couple does decide to do this, get back together after being separated, nothing has really changed. On the other hand, if they had chosen to go the divorce route, and then decided to remarry, the difficulties inherent in that kind of a situation are enormous. This is one of the reasons why talking to an Orange County divorce attorney makes sense.

If you’re faced with trying to decide whether to separate or divorce, only an attorney will be able to inform you of your rights and what would happen if you do choose to divorce. The attorney will also be able to draft a legal separation document.

You may be wondering why you need to bother with a legal separation. The answer is that its main benefit over an informal separation is that if there is no court sanctioned agreement, the spouse who left the house may be charged with desertion. The legal consequences of this if you have children are highly problematic in that you may be taken to court for abandoning the children. In some jurisdictions, you must have a legal separation agreement in place before the courts grant a full divorce. Check this with your Orange County divorce attorney before making any moves.

Remember that in situations like this, working together with your attorney is the quickest way to find a satisfactory resolution to the contentious issues you are both dealing with to get a divorce.

Gerald A. Maggio is an Orange County divorce attorney, in Irvine, California.  For more information or to schedule a consultation with Orange County divorce lawyer Gerald Maggio, contact The Maggio Law Firm by calling (949) 553-0304 or visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com.

Annulling a Marriage May Be the Best Choice in Orange County Cases

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law Firm

There are certain circumstances where it is best to annul a marriage. This is a situation that needs to be discussed with an Orange County divorce attorney.

Many people have heard the term annulment but aren’t sure precisely what it means when dealing with a marriage. Simply put, an annulment cancels a marriage, making it like it never happened in the first place. “Keep in mind that not everyone may qualify for an annulment. They must meet certain requirements referred to as a declaration of nullity,” explained Gerald A. Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm in Irvine, California.

Why not just get a divorce? While this is possible, it is not recommended in some instances. Generally speaking, there are two ways to cancel out a marriage. The most common way, divorce, happens when two adults can’t reconcile their differences. A divorce creates a record for everyone to see.
“The second way to bail out of a marriage is an annulment, meant for circumstances where the marriage was accidental or was entered into under false pretenses. Once the annulment is granted, there is no record of the marriage ever happening,” Maggio added.

One of the leading benefits of an annulment is that it is much faster than a divorce, with a waiting period of 20 days. This may be waived if both parties agree to do so. Generally speaking, if the couple involved in the annulment proceedings is amicable and agree to go this route and they qualify, then an annulment is usually the best way to proceed.

This is where things may get a bit difficult. “To qualify for an annulment, a reason must be given as to why the marriage should be null and void. A reason for annulment is referred to as a diriment impediment to the marriage,” outlined Maggio. These impediments may include not intending to remain faithful to the spouse when they get married, abducting a person to make them get married, one partner has been deceived by the other to get their consent (if the partner had known about the deceit they would not have gotten married) and insanity.

Other impediments are that the couple killed the spouse of one of them to be free to marry, the couple committed adultery, and one of couple killed the spouse of one of them to be free to marry, and not living up to the requirement of common law for marriages. “These are serious impediments and in all instances, these situations must be discussed with a skilled Orange County divorce attorney in order to start the process to have the marriage considered null and void,” said Gerald A. Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm in Irvine, California.

Gerald A. Maggio is senior partner of The Maggio Law Firm, Inc., an Orange County and Riverside Divorce and Family Law firm headquartered in Irvine, California. The Maggio Law Firm is experienced in all aspects of divorce and family law matters, including child custody, child support, spousal support, complicated high asset marital property cases, and domestic partnerships.

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

The Headaches of Divorce

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

It’s difficult enough facing a marriage breakup and then finding out your state may have different rules for divorce. Speak with an Orange County divorce attorney to know by what laws your state abides.

It’s a complex world when it comes to divorcing. It’s difficult emotionally and financially and if children are involved, it’s even more complex. Some states’ divorce laws are relatively benign and others divide property and deal with child custody differently. If you are searching for information on the Internet, be very cautious about what you read, as what happens in Nevada may be entirely different than what happens in California. When in doubt, always consult with an Orange County divorce attorney.

If you happen to live in California, either spouse is able to file a petition for divorce at a local courthouse. This does not have to be a mutually agreed upon action. Once the petition is filed, it is served on the other spouse, leaving 30 days to respond to it. If there is no response within the defined time limit, then you may file a judgment claiming whatever you want. There may be exceptions to this scenario, and for this reason it’s best to speak to an Orange County divorce lawyer. Keep in mind as well that in this article we are only discussing the “basics.” Each divorce case is different, and because of that, each one may be handled differently by your attorney.

If you do get a response from your spouse, the next step is usually a discovery of assets. Right about now, either person involved in the divorce proceedings may file an order to show cause and get temporary orders for support, attorney’s fees, visitation and child custody. If you do happen to get mutual agreement on settling all of your assets, support and child custody, a Marital Settlement agreement is filed. Approximately six months later, your divorce would be final.

In many cases, such as those where the partners are no longer speaking, reaching agreement on the wide variety of issues involved in a divorce is difficult. If you are unable to agree on all or some of the assets, custody issues and support, your Orange County divorce attorney will likely take the case to trial. At that point, it is up to the judge to make a decision on the whole case.

While this process is a difficult one, there are also many other instances along the road that may crop up that no one was expecting. These actions make proceeding with a divorce even more difficult. There have been actual instances where one spouse or the other has found themselves locked out of their home, had the bank accounts shut down, credit cards cancelled, and the other spouse attempting to hide assets. Stranger things have happened, but instances like this are situations that a skilled Orange County divorce lawyer will take in their stride.

If you’re in a difficult situation where your spouse is alienating the children, calling you names, hiding family vehicles, picking fights over nothing, and dragging up things out of your past that you’d rather not deal with and have no relevance to the divorce, you need to speak to a seasoned Orange County divorce attorney. They will let you know your rights, what is important to the divorce going through, and what you may ignore.

While it is difficult to ignore hurtful actions and words, if you have children and the marriage is past the point of no return, you need to focus on the kids and their best interests. Be prepared for your divorce in California by hiring an experienced Orange County divorce attorney to represent you. This will ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Gerald A. Maggio is an Orange County divorce attorney, in Irvine, California.  For more information or to schedule a consultation with Orange County divorce lawyer Gerald Maggio, contact The Maggio Law Firm by calling (949) 553-0304 or visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com.

 
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