The Place of Children in Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

Many parents choose mediation over litigation because it eases the stress their children might feel during a divorce. Involving children in mediation proceedings will help parents ensure that their children’s interests are being protected.

When parents decide to get a divorce, all of their decisions will have consequences for their children. All parents want to protect their children from the pain and suffering that can stem from a divorce, but the involvement of children is often necessary in divorce proceedings. Today, more and more parents are turning to this option rather than risking the negative impact litigation might have on their children. In fact, many parents choose to pursue mediation precisely because they have the common goal of doing what is best for their children.

Through the mediation process, parents will be able to establish a parenting plan that will work best for all members of the family. While it is the adults in the relationship that will make decisions during mediation, the input of children can be valuable and is something that parents should consider when making these plans.

If parents have made the decision to consider their children’s input during mediation, then this may require an interview. The mediator may choose to interview the child himself, or a child therapist may conduct the interview instead. These interviews can be difficult, though, because children may not want to speak about their parents’ divorce to a stranger, they may not want to disappoint one parent, or they may have been coached to give certain answers. In such cases, a child therapist may be used to conduct an interview, as he or she will be highly qualified to deal with the children’s emotional issues.

Sometimes, a mediator may believe that an interview is not necessary and may simply ask parents about their impressions of their children’s wants. This actually focuses parents on their children and encourages them to consider their children’s needs. Once this has been discussed, the mediator will then try to incorporate what the parents have communicated into the mediation decisions.

By including their children’s interests in their divorce mediation proceedings, parents will ensure that the mediation process goes smoothly. Mediation will ensure a better outcome will be achieved for the entire family and will help family members lay the foundation for a more cooperative future.

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

What You Need To Understand About Community Property and Personal Injury Settlements in California

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

Although California is a community property state, the courts have special rules regarding settlements from personal injury cases. Personal injury settlements may or may not be considered community property, depending on when the injury occurred.

If you are considering a divorce, you may be wondering if your spouse’s personal injury award will be considered separate property or community property. In California, any reward that is the result of a personal injury settlement may or may not be characterized as community property.

Whether or not a personal injury settlement is classified as community property depends on when the cause of action occurred, not when the proceeds were received by the injured spouse.

The proceeds of a personal injury settlement are characterized as community property, if the cause arose during the course of the marriage, and before separation. If the cause of action occurred outside of this time frame, the proceeds of the settlement are considered separate property of the injured spouse under California Family Code 760 and 761. If the damages from a personal injury settlement were commingled with other community property funds, then it may be difficult to trace the source property and, as a result, the funds may all be considered community property.

Normally, the court will award the damages to the spouse who suffered the injury, unless there are special circumstances to be considered. Factors that the court may consider include the financial needs of each party, economic conditions, costs incurred by the non-injured spouse if he or she cared for the injured spouse, the time that has elapsed since the injured party recovered the damages, as well as any other factors relating to the case. In the event that the court considers these issues, damages will be assigned to the parties in a manner that the court finds to be just. Ultimately, though, the court will award at least one-half of the damages to the injured spouse when the damages are characterized as community property under California law.

If you are contemplating filing for divorce in California and are concerned about how a personal injury settlement will be divided, make sure you hire an expert divorce lawyer who can provide you with all of the details about community property.

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

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