Grandparent Rights are Relevant in California Child Custody Cases

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

Grandparents are entitled to have quality time with their grandchildren, even if their son or daughter is getting a divorce.

Grandparent rights are not to intrude on the parents rights, as they still have authority over their kids’ lives. If a spouse is trying to prevent or ignores a request for grandparent to be involved, grandparents should seek legal counsel to understand and fight for their options. Oftentimes, a child custody attorney can push to include grandparent visitation rights in the overall child custody agreement.

Unfortunately, in some circumstances the birth parents are unfit to take care of their children, thus leaving grandparents to raise the kids. Parents who are incarcerated, have mental health problems, abuse drugs or alcohol, deceased, or have abused, neglected or abandoned a child will not be given the right to take care of their child. Throughout California, close to seven percent of all children are living with their grandparents.

Grandparents as caregivers are divided into two categories. Custodial grandparents have legal custody and provide daily care, security, and decision making for the kids. Usually the child’s birth parents are so unfit to take care of the children that this is the best way for the child to succeed. A court must grant guardianship to the grandparent.

This process starts with a petition the grandparent will file in court for Guardian Ad Litem. All individuals must receive notice of this petition, so that if one parent is willing to renew their care for the child, they have the opportunity to do so. The only way to go around this is if the guardian can prove that the parent is unfit and contests the guardianship. Grandparent guardianship can be terminated when a parent shows the court they are ready, willing and able to care for the child again and files appropriate motions to do so.

The second category of grandparents, known more as caregivers, helps with daily care but does not have legal custody of the grandkids even though they are living with them. The kid’s parent can live in the home, but the grandparent is in charge of giving an emotionally and financially stable home environment. These types of grandparents assist kids when the parents are out of town, deployed with the military, or absent for longer periods of time. Power of Attorney documents should be drafted and notarized so that the grandparent will be allowed to get the child medical care, make certain education and school decisions, and apply for California assistance programs.

In Orange County, Irvine child custody attorney Gerald Maggio has helped uphold the best interests of children and the rights of grandparents for visitation and guardianship. The Maggio Law Firm is experienced in all child custody matters and will strive to achieve fast and fair results through understanding, tenacity, and professionalism.

Gerald A. Maggio is an Orange County divorce attorney, in Irvine, California. To learn more about Orange Country divorce lawyer, Gerald A. Maggio, visit or call (949) 553-0304.

Divorce Proceedings Can Go On Even with a Missing Spouse

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmRiverside, Calif. – The Chicago Tribune recently published an article highlighting the importance of both parents being involved in a child’s life during a divorce. Katherine Conger, a human development professor at the University of California at Davis, emphasized that parents should not argue or get physical in front of their children. “Parents should keep focused on the best interests of their children, regardless of their feelings about the soon-to-be ex-spouse,” she said. “Reassure your children that they had nothing to do with the divorce.”

But what about if a spouse is missing? Many individuals are unable to locate their spouse, whether the spouse is abandoning them, trying to avoid child support or have been separated for some time and does not have current contact info. An experienced family law attorney can still help a parent get a divorce and start the next chapter in life. The attorney will assist in the few extra steps that are needed since the reachable parent cannot easily serve the missing parent with divorce papers.

“The courts will want to know that a parent has made every effort to find the missing spouse,” said Gerald Maggio, Riverside County family law attorney at The Maggio Law Firm. “Our law firm will guide you through the investigation to find your spouse or seek a default divorce judgment.”

In California, the court will want to know that an individual has tried contacting the missing spouse’s friends and relatives to see if they have any insight into their whereabouts. Also, do an Internet search, check telephone listings and any social network sites. Look into tax records, voter registration records and the department of motor vehicles to see if any information comes up.

Otherwise, if an individual is unsuccessful in truly locating his or her spouse, California courts will allow the divorce papers to be served by publishing them. An affidavit for divorce by publication is completed, then the divorce complaint and affidavit are signed in front of a notary public. Both of these documents will then be filed with the county clerk at the courthose. From there, a lawyer will assist in sending relevant legal notices to the local newspaper where the spouse was last thought to be residing. The newspaper publication must run one time a week for four weeks to give the missing spouse time to respond.

If there is no response by the end of the publication cycle, a family law attorney can help their client obtain a motion for a default divorce judgment. The final divorce proceedings will establish what the court agrees to for the best interests of the children and client as the primary caregiver.

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

Legal Counsel Needed in Divorces After 20 or More Years of Togetherness

Posted by: Gerald Maggio

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

An increase in marriages ending after 20 to 40 years is making news headlines and being dubbed “gray divorce”.

Many psychologists are attributing divorces after long-term marriages to the kids leaving home for college or life on their own, and a spouse who has felt trapped or unhappy finally has the drive to begin a new life. The ease and perception of divorce is also far better for couples now than it was decades ago.

With collaborative divorces, mediation and experienced divorce attorneys more accessible to couples, divorce doesn’t have such a bad stigma or price tag anymore. There are many asset and financial matters that need to be addressed in divorces after a long-term marriage, so this is where a results-oriented divorce lawyer is critical and can go over every facet that must be divided.

Gray divorces usually involve lots of marital property and assets, including real estate, vacation properties, bank accounts, retirement plans, pensions, and other assets. Without legal counsel, the divorce can be a messy, financial nightmare. A huge factor is that one spouse usually has a short period of time to make up for any difference in the division of assets before retirement.

As people in California and the U.S. lead longer and more active lives, U.S. Census statistics are showing older, married couples have only a 54 percent chance of reaching a 30th wedding anniversary. Couples married before 1965 fared better, but every marriage year after that shows lesser chances of staying married. Spouses tend to have raised children and kept their finances in order, but the marital relationship took a backseat.

With gray divorce, couples are finding that they stand to be happier pursuing different goals and starting new relationships. Women are far less dependent on their spouses for income and can afford to start a new chapter on their own. “Each person has to decide whether they can deal with the flawed, not just sparkly parts of their spouse,” says Christine Carter, doctor, author of Raising Happiness and columnist at the Huffington Post. If the flaws are a deal breaker and obstacle, divorce might be the only route to resolution.

Every divorce has its unique challenges and financial considerations, so no matter the years of marriage, expert legal counsel will ensure each spouse has peace of mind for the future. In California, Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio is known for helping clients go through their options, protect their interests, and seek the most favorable divorce outcome. The Maggio Law Firm combines years of legal expertise in divorce law with compassionate guidance.

Gerald A. Maggio is an Orange County divorce attorney, in Irvine, California. To learn more about Orange Country divorce lawyer, Gerald A. Maggio, visit or call (949) 553-0304.

No Legal Advice Intended: This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. Full disclaimer.