Children Used in Emotional Abuse Ploys

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law Firm

Sadly, many children are used as pawns in divorce proceedings. Emotional abuse can wreak havoc on them.

Caught up in the throes of divorce, some people don’t stop to think that they may be using their children as emotional pawns; taking their own anger and hurt out on the kids. This is a difficult position for a child to be in; emotionally and psychologically. Those who would abuse a child may find Child Protective services stepping into the picture.

A child is considered to be the victim of emotional/psychological abuse when they are subjected to acts/omissions on the part of the parents, or other responsible caretakers, that caused or could cause serious mental problems, emotional difficulties, behavioral problems or cognitive disorder. Even if there is no harm to a child’s condition or behavior, Child Protective services may still step in.

Unfortunately, there are many types of punishment divorcing parents hand out that may range from the extreme and downright bizarre to less severe actions such as rejecting the child or constantly using them as a scapegoat. The parent is considered to be guilty of emotional abuse if they are unable or unwilling to respond to their child’s needs or rejects them. They are guilty of psychological abuse if the child is witness to spousal abuse, if the child is told they can take drugs or alcohol, or if the parent(s) refuse or fail to offer proper psychological care.

Emotional and psychological abuse takes on other forms as well, such as economic power over another or dependence dominance.  In cases that involve economic power or dominance, the kids are often used to wield power over the other spouse; to control them. Instead of directing their anger at the other spouse, the child is the target of abuse in order to cause the other partner severe distress.

The abuse may take on many forms such as yelling, screaming, shouting, threatening gestures, actions or looks. No matter what it takes to frighten the other spouse, the abuser will do it and use a child for the primary target to get at the spouse. Some abusers have been known to utter threats of taking the child without their knowledge, harming the child, or even making insinuations they would commit suicide.

If you are in an abusive relationship, you do not have to live in fear. There is help available by working with a skilled and compassionate attorney who is familiar with situations like this. Domestic violence must be dealt with promptly and decisively. Do not wait to get help.

If you live in California, you need to understand that domestic violence has a direct impact on child custody disputes. If you are facing a divorce and have been accused of domestic abuse/violence, it is critically important that you do everything possible to prevent a conviction if you wish to retain custody or visitation rights with your children.

Speak to a dedicated attorney who represents men and women who have been victimized by or who have been accused of domestic violence in marriage, domestic partnerships, dating relationships and same-sex partnerships. In trying times, a strong, aggressive advocate is the best ally for individuals involved in domestic violence cases.

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.

Same Sex Marriage in California Permissible

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

Same sex marriages may take place in some U.S. states, but not others. Find out which states allow the marriage and benefits that go with it before tying the knot.

“Rather than make a major error by getting married in a state that does not recognize same sex unions, it’s wise to spend some time researching the matter. This will let you choose a state where unions like this are acceptable. Also make sure you find out if you need to be a citizen of that state as well,” said Gerald A. Maggio, an Orange County family lawyer.

Partners that want a legally recognized union and any benefits that go with it should aim to get married in New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey and Vermont. These states will allow same sex civil unions and accord them with the same legal rights and obligations as marriages.

“A handful of states also offer limited same sex civil unions, but you need to check to see if you must be a resident of that state. In many cases, the states offering civil unions, as opposed to legal marriages, insist the people involved be citizens of that state,” Maggio explained. Things are very different in California and Massachusetts, where same sex couples may get legally married, just the same way a heterosexual couple would and thus get the same legal rights.

“Be aware that California will legally marry any couple from any state, but in Massachusetts, this isn’t the case. You need to live there to get married,” Maggio outlined. When it comes down to the date, time and place, if a same sex marriage is the goal, getting hitched in California may be the best option, as if offers much greater flexibility in circumstances like this.

There are some California counties that won’t sanction same sex marriage, but these same counties also can’t perform a wedding for a heterosexual couple either, or they may face charges of discrimination. Doing due diligence on wedding locations is a smart idea. So is researching the various fees in different counties and their operating hours.

“There is no problem when it comes to the paperwork for a same sex marriage, as it’s the same as for other marriages, but for the fact the papers don’t say bride and groom, but instead, Party A and B. Bring photo ID and if there is a divorce involved in the history of one or both of the partners, bring the divorce papers. There is no requirement in California for a blood test or health check,” commented Maggio.

Same sex marriage should not be confused with domestic partnerships, something that needs to be discussed in detail with a dedicated and skilled family law attorney.

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.

TFor 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/.

When a Divorce Isn’t a Divorce

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmWhen divorce doesn’t seem like a viable economic solution to marital problems many are opting for a new approach. Say hello to the new “non-divorce.”

“There is certainly more than one way to end a failed marriage, although traditionally speaking, it has been to go to a divorce lawyer and get a divorce through the courts. After that, each person went on their separate way, only dealing with their ex-spouse if children were at issue,” recounted Gerald A. Maggio, an Orange County divorce lawyer. Of course, if there were no children involved, the couple just took the spoils of the divorce and went on to other relationships.

These days, it’s becoming more and more common for those who want to divorce, but can’t swing it economically, to go for a “non-divorce” divorce. While this may sound a bit counterintuitive, it does seem to be a solution of sorts for some couples.

“In essence, a non-divorce is an accord between the two spouses who are agreeing to keep their marriage intact, but making it a point to recognize the relationship they once had has failed. In other words, they want to feel like they are divorced, still live together, and not get a “legal” divorce. I should add, they have no intentions of reconciling either,” added Maggio.

The couple furthermore doesn’t want to hire a lawyer, file any papers, discuss custody or support issues, see their children any less or take the risk of losing half of their financial assets. “The net result of this approach is that while still legally married, they are acting as roommates who share child care. Living like this also preserves the marital estate, in their minds,” Maggio outlined.

Aside from some of the psychological fall out this type of living arrangement may have for couples, there are also legal ramifications that they are not taking into consideration. “The most important point here is that if the couple does finally decide to call it quits according to the ‘law’ and wants to get a divorce, there is no date of separation,” said Maggio. The date of separation is important when it comes to family law and divorce proceedings because it marks the death of the community of the marriage.

“From the date of separation, the law states that are no community assets or debts. It then becomes a spouse’s separate property and/or debts, and they start to accrue, much like they did prior to marriage. It also means that the spouse will be entitled to half of your property and you in turn, will be liable for half your spouse’s debt,” Maggio explained.

Put another way, if two people living in the same house, acting as if they are married, but they are each managing their finances separately and there is no full disclosure, this adversely affects the situation. “How? Your spouse is still entitled to all the benefits you had when you were ‘happily’ married and living together as man and wife, as opposed to living together as roommates, and that may mean rights to health insurance, the family residence and any gifts from wills or trusts,” indicated Maggio.

This whole new non-divorce area is fraught with other legal landmines that are best discussed with a competent divorce attorney before anyone should attempt to try living like this.

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/.

California Stalking Illegal

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

Stalking is one of the most frightening behaviors a person may experience. One out of every twelve women and one out of every forty-five men will be stalked at least once during their lives.

Stalking in the 21st century isn’t just what we have come to associate as being the “typical” stalker-like behavior. Now, thanks to the advent of the Internet, there is also a category of stalker referred to as cyber stalkers. It too is illegal, and it is a great deal more difficult to catch and prosecute an online stalker.

The typical definition of a stalker refers to a person who wants to force a relationship on a victim. In most instances, the relationship is not wanted, which is usually the trigger for the stalking behavior; actions that include vandalizing the victim’s property, threatening or harassing the victim, obsessive messaging either by cell phone or online, or obsessive phone calling at all hours of the day and night. Some stalkers define their modus operandi by delivering certain types of gifts that they know will upset their target.

Stalking is one of the most gut-wrenching experiences any man or woman will ever go through. The feeling of fear, loss of control of their lives, the physical stress and anxiety, and the emotional rollercoaster many victims ride while being stalked takes a significant toll on their health and mental well-being. Victims may experience extreme fatigue, depression, intense fear, anger, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, overwhelming helplessness, and yo-yo weight problems.

In some instances, stalkers don’t realize what they are doing; don’t understand that they are doing something wrong. Their perception is that they are doing something that other person should like and don’t comprehend why their advances are met with such violent reactions. Put another way, they are ignorant as to how their actions affect others. Nonetheless, stalking in California is still illegal. In fact, California was the first state to make stalking a criminal act in 1990.

The rest of the states now have similar laws in place to deal with stalkers, however each state also approaches the definition of a criminal act differently. For instance, some states call stalking illegal only if the stalker endangers or threatens the victim. There are also 13 states that charge the first count of stalking as a misdemeanor and subsequent charges as felonies. It’s best to ask a qualified attorney what laws are applicable to stalkers in your state. Shockingly, every year, there are approximately 2 million felony and 4 million misdemeanor stalking charges.

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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