Things You Should Be Aware of In A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmThe kids and spouses may often have to experience a chain of stressful events when there is a divorce.  After all, several things change overnight ranging from parenting schedules, financial and monetary decisions and new living arrangements. It could be a tough task for the husband and the wife to understand the legalities involved in the divorce process due to a storm of emotions during such difficult times. In fact, their sentiments can even blurt their capability to arrive at sensible decisions. It is easier to get through your divorce when you are well-informed about the process even before it starts. Here are some tips to help you through your difficult time.

Do not be overconfident of winning your divorce case

There are many such people who begin their process with the thought that they will defeat their husband or wife on the court. However, in reality, there is hardly a clear dinner in any divorce. Any typical divorce includes many issues like the split of property, support and child custody. T is quite rare that spouses who are divorcing get everything they desire for. For instance, one of the spouses may get physical custody of the kids and yet get a lower amount of money as spousal support than what was originally requested.  So, there is hardly any win-win scenario.

Rather, think of the outcomes of a bitter court battle while getting divorced. Not only do you have to spend several thousands of dollars, your kids may go through great emotional torment due to the bitterness between both of you. On the other hand, after things have cooled down a bit, it is natural to forget who the winner was.

Make important decisions only after careful deliberation

During the course of a divorce, many decisions may come changing your life altogether. For instance, you may need to ascertain if you require selling your family home or not. Try to avoid making a quick and impulsive decision only for the sake of getting the case over. It is crucial to deliberate on the potential consequences before arriving at some vital choices.

Though you and your spouse are getting divorced, your children are not

Getting carried away at such a difficult time is not an unusual thing to do.  But you should refrain from saying cruel words to your husband or wife while your kids are present may have a lasting and negative effect on them.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process. 

Move Away Issues In Child Custody Cases In California Divorces

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmWhen the custodial parent relocates to a different geographical location with the child, the issues that arise are known as ‘move-away cases’. It creates a problem in following the custodial agreements which have been established by the court. In many cases, it is the non-custodial parent who suffers.

Move-away cases are difficult for non-custodial parents because that parent also has equal rights over his/her child. However, there can be many reasons why a move-away case arises. It could be the fault of the custodial parent who wants to create a deliberate distance between the child and the other parent. Or it could be the non-custodial parents fault which has “forced” the custodial parent to relocate to a different place. Move-away issues often has negative impact on the child because parental plans are made after considering different factors of which the child’s mental health is the most important. Except in cases where the non-custodial parent clearly violates the parental agreement, move-away requests can become complicated issues.

Negative impact on child

At the center of a divorce are the children and more than often, they get negatively affected by issues like move-away cases. A California court weighs its child custody decision heavily on the best interests of the children. Children need the attention of both parents when they are growing up. Move-away cases disrupt the arrangement and therefore negatively affects their psyche.

Custody relocation laws

As of now a California court does not prohibit custodial guardians from moving away to a different geographical location. However, there can be special rules which prevent the relocation of custodial parents to a different location without consent from the non-custodial parent or a court order. Custodial parents who want to move to a different location with their children must be aware that to do so, they must first file a request for order for an order allowing a move-away with the California court which will be litigated.

Conclusion

Move-away cases happen after the custodial parent seeks to relocate to a different place with the child. It sometimes affects both the child and the non-custodial parent.  Non-custodial parents should ensure that such issues are clearly mentioned in the parental plan.  Do not just move away without consent or a court order first, or you could be ordered to return your children to the other parent.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

The Effect of Adultery in California Divorce Cases

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmAre you involved in a divorce concerning adultery? If that is the case, here are some things to know as it relates to divorce in California. After all, you should ensure that you must get as per your rights irrespective of being the spouse of the adulterer or the adulterer.

There could be negligible impact on your divorce settlement

While there is no doubt that adultery is one of the biggest betrayals in any marriage, it may not make you eligible as much as you could be expecting when it is a question of divorce settlement. While you may feel that you deserve a lot due to the infidelity of your spouse during your marriage. In reality, you may often not be awarded the settlement amount that you consider is fair.

No effect on the issue of child custody

Though it may come as a big surprise for you, adultery committed by your spouse may hardly have any effect on the issue of child custody. If the court considers your adulterer spouse as a good parent, the latter could be awarded the right to the custody of your kids from the carriage or right of visitation.

Evidence is not needed in states that allow “no fault” divorce

Do you reside in a “no fault” state? If it is so, there is no need to produce any kind of evidence of adultery. This is because such states do not need any reason to divorce apart from the reason that the couple is not living as wife and husband anymore.

There could be benefits in issues related to alimony and settlement of property

Though there is no significant impact of adultery on divorce settlements. It can influence matters like alimony and property settlement. The reason for this is the spouse who was betrayed can use it to his/her advantage for continuing to maintain their existing lifestyle.

Court may consider expenses related to the extramarital affair

When the adulterer spouse spent a huge amount of money on his or her new partner, the spouse who was betrayed may be eligible for compensation.

Can adultery be a ground for divorce?

California does not recognize adultery as a ground for divorce.  However, there are some states where just because a spouse cheated on in the marriage does not signify that it is a ground for getting a divorce. When you do not stay in any “no fault” divorce state, the betrayed spouse should furnish evidence of the adultery committed by the other spouse before the courts to consider the same. The evidence can be a private investigator or an eyewitness who should testify in the court. When you have photographs of your spouse’s betrayal, you can produce them before the judge too.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.

Top Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Divorce Lawyer

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County family lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmAre going through a divorce proceeding and are looking frantically for a good divorce lawyer? It is important to note that you should avoid hiring the first attorney you got in touch with. Selecting the right divorce lawyer to help you in getting a speedy divorce should be a crucial divorce-related decision, which you need to make.

Be cautious

It is possible that a close acquaintance has sent you a referral to a family law attorney but you should still need to do a bit of homework before saying yes. It is important to check the qualifications of the said attorney and ensure that the person concerned has adequate experience in handling your case. There is no dearth of lawyers in the market and you will find that many of them market themselves as “divorce” or “family law” attorneys.

Questions to ask

Here are some questions you could contemplate asking a family law attorney during your first interview with him or her. All these questions will help you to ascertain if the said lawyer is apt for your divorce case or not.

  1. Is divorce part of the lawyer’s practice? How long has he been associated with practicing family law? Is he a family law specialist? Is he aware of the total number of family cases handled by him?
  2. How will launch time it approximately take to resolve your case? Will there be any specific strategy for speedy resolution of your case?
  3. How will you contact him or her in the event of an emergency? How much time does he normally take to return the clients’ phone calls? What are the events he or she regards as an emergency situation?
  4. Will there be anyone else in his or her chamber who will be also working on your case? If yes, can you meet them? What is the kind of experience they hold?
  5. What is his hourly rate? How will he or she charge you? What is his or her retainer up front? Will he charge for the time you spend with some other lawyers or with the secretaries?
  6. What costs does he or she expect to incur apart their own legal fees? For instance, the costs could be incurred for psychologists, physicians, forensic accountants and private investigators. How does he plan to charge you for such costs?
  7. What does he feel about the estimated total cost of your divorced? You should be prepared as most of the times, a divorce law attorney will be unwilling to respond to this query since the divorce cost could depend on a great extent on the level and complexity of your individual case. But, the manner in which the said lawyer replies to this query of yours will help you to know what they are expecting? An attorney who is honest may usually respond by saying that it is tough to estimate the total expenses in advance. On the other hand, a lawyer who quotes too low an amount could be just making an attempt to get a business
  8. Will the lawyer permit you to do a direct negotiation with your estranged spouse? What are the ways of keeping your divorce cost down? Can you do any such tasks that will lead to the reduction of his or her fees?

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Are The Kids Suffering In A Failed Marriage?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County child custody; The Maggio Law FirmThere are several divorcees who refer to themselves as “victims” while they were married, particularly if abuse was a reason for getting divorced from their spouses. Abuse does not only include domestic violence but it also includes a horrifying phase of dictatorship and dominance while being married. Only when there was an end to the marriage that these spouses regard themselves to be free. However, what happens when the abused now realizes that their kids are also being subject to the same sort of behavior?

Time and again, it has been seen that the courts would like to ensure that the children should be in touch with both their parents, of course for the best interests of the latter. However, there are some cases the result may be not so good since there are tales of abuse or neglect. The question is what should a suspecting parent then do?

Do not be quick to draw conclusions

If your kid shows symptoms of being neglected or being abused, it is crucial to be composed. Though, this is easier said than done since false assumptions can just aggravate the situation. Only because a spouse was abused by his or her ex-partner does not necessarily mean that the kids are being targeted now.

There are cases where a child may express unhappiness in seeking attention or to manipulate the existing situation.

Trust their gut feelings

A parent should contemplate the subtle signs that hint towards child abuse. A divorced parent should never ignore their instincts. Abused and divorced parents have already gone through abuses in the hands of their former spouses and so they have a fair idea of those symptoms. When parents separate, kids may respond differentk0ly. A divorce may not know about the kid getting nightmares all of a sudden, wetting bed or performing badly in academics may be the outcomes of being abused or separation.

Get in touch with an expert

If the child is really being abused, it may not be a wise idea to handle the situation all alone. Rather consult those people whose expertise will be helpful. There are several divorce lawyers who also specialize in matters related to child custody. So, since the safety of the child is at stake, such parents should approach those attorneys who deal with cases related to child protection services. However, there is no such assurance that such cases will come out with proofs of abused. An experienced lawyer has the necessary expertise to channelize a case towards instant action.

However, all child-related issues may not necessarily mean abuse or neglect. Both the parents are equally responsible for upholding and working in their children’s best interests. In the case of child abuse, what matters most is to trust the gut feelings and get help before things get worse.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Timing Your Divorce Right: The Ten-Year Rule

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmUnder California law, the lower-earning spouse getting a divorce may be entitled to spousal support for a longer term if he/she has been married to their current partner for ten years or more.  If they have been married for less than ten years, spousal support is generally limited to a duration that is equal to half the length of the marriage.

Sounds a tad confusing? Let us illustrate it with the help of an example.

A and B are going through tough times and considering a divorce. A is the higher-earning spouse here, so it is A who is expected to pay alimony to B.

  • If they have been married for, say 7 years, A needs to pay alimony to B for 3.5 years (three years and six months).
  • If they have been married to each other for 11 years, A’s support obligation will not automatically terminate after half the length of the marriage.

In real life, Mel B (of Spice Girls fame) filed for divorce from producer Stephen Belafonte just short of their 10th anniversary. They would have completed ten years on June 6, 2017. She likely did this to avoid having to pay Belafonte ongoing spousal support with no specified termination date.

Actor Tom Cruise also mentioned in his divorce filing that his marriage to Nicole Kidman lasted only nine years and eleven months. It is believed that he did so for the same reason.

So if you are considering a divorce, ask yourself: How long have you been married to your present spouse?

If you expect to receive alimony, perhaps it would be a good idea to wait until your 10th wedding anniversary. That is assuming you haven’t celebrated it already. Who knows, you just might be able to put your differences aside and enjoy true marital bliss if you wait it out. You might not even want a divorce by then.

If you are the higher-earning spouse and will be expected to pay alimony, don’t wait until your 10th wedding anniversary if you are truly unhappy in your marriage and divorce seems inevitable. The sooner you get out, the better – you will end up paying lesser as support.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

How To Let People Know You Are Filing For Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmIt can be very painful to break the news of your divorce to your family and friends. However, you need to tell them at some point or the other. The toughest challenge for you will be sharing this news with your kids.

Share the news of your divorce with your family members

After you have informed your kids, you need to next confide with the remaining family members that you are planning to divorce your spouse. You should share this news with your parents first. Subsequently, you can disclose it to your siblings and other family members. Do not be in a hurry to break the news to your distant family members immediately if you do not interact with them frequently. You can always let them know later on provided your other family members have already not told them about it.

Your parents

You may go through lots of emotional turmoil while breaking the divorce news to both your parents as well as to the parents of your spouse. But you should be calm and not lose your cool. Moreover, do not share all the details and avoid blaming anyone else for your current predicament.

Rest of the family members

It could be easier for you to deal with the remaining family members since their investment and contribution to your marriage is lesser and even though they could like your spouse a lot.

Confiding in your friends

Informing your friends could be as tough as informing your family members. This is particularly true when they share a great rapport with your spouse too. So, make an attempt to be at your diplomatic best so that they do not feel they should choose a side. But, you need to be more candid with your close friends as compared to your casual friends who you are not that close to.

However, you may need to share this news with your casual friends too so that they do not ask you accidentally how your husband or wife is. After all, you do not want to begin any type of awkward situation to explain your present situation.

Informing employers and colleagues

It is always recommended not to divulge or share too many personal details at your workplace. Being discreet about your personal life is always a good idea. So, just share the minimal details about your divorce at your workplace to avoid gossips or speculations, which can harm your career.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Top Divorce Survival Tips

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThe decision to get a divorce is not an easy one even though the couple or a spouse has contemplated the pros and cons of it for many days before making a decision. Emotions like fear, uncertainty, distress, anger are very common when the divorce is filed or it has been finalized. A divorce may take a toll on the husband or the wife’s self-esteem too. Here are some important divorce survival tips to start life fresh once again.

There is hardly anyone who is ready for a divorce

Divorce is not an easy affair at all both legally as well as emotionally. In case you feel uninformed, intimidated and baffled, you need to understand that you are not the only one to go through this roller coaster ride of emotional after all there is rarely anyone who is prepared for a divorce. The exception to this is perhaps the therapists and the divorce lawyers who work with couples on the verge of getting divorced.

The good news for you is that that there will be no dearth of helpful information and useful advice that are easily available on the net and the community where you live. However, before listening to such advice and suggestions, it is imperative to ask yourself about what should be your first step. Do not worry about what others are advising you to do first. Rather, try to figure out that knowing and intuitive voice telling you what should be your next step all about.

Do not neglect your body

Though this may sound cliché and quite obvious, many people try to overlook their fundamental requirements while they are under stress.  These basic needs include decent hours of sleep, regular exercise, healthy and balanced food. When you are physically well, it lays down the foundation for your emotional and mental well-being. Hence, male sensible decisions for your well-being in the coming months and says.

You need not give explanations to anybody

Just remember that you are not answerable to anyone and everyone’s when you start telling people around you about your divorce, they may ask you “why” so.  But most of the times, these people for not ask such questions because they are worried about your well-being. Rather they do it out of curiosity and to get more information. Another reason could be that such people are apprehensive about their own marriages. That is the reason why they want to compare their experiences versus yours.

Self-assurance is crucial

There are different kinds of losses associated with a divorce. It could be the end of a dream, a particular kind of a lifestyle, a home and a marriage. There could be loads of uncertainties and insecurities with respect to your child custody, living arrangements, and finances in the future but whenever you feel down and insecure, you need to assure yourself that you have everything you need.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Child Custody Issues For Gay Couples

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Gay marriage domestic partnership attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmSame-sex couples now enjoy most if not all of the benefits that heterosexual couples do. Marriages have now become legal for gay couples and so has adopting children. However, the question of whether gay partners can be good parents or not is not an issue.  Research has established that being good parents has nothing to do with gender.

Like every other couple, homosexual couples have their problems too and sometimes it ends up in a divorce. Divorce laws are the same for homosexual couples as it is for heterosexual couples.  But custody battles can be more complicated than other issues.

If one is the biological parent

If one of the partners is the biological parent of the child, then chances are high that custody will be granted to that parent. It is also the case for heterosexual child custody cases. It is regarded that biological parents have more right over the child than other individuals. Also, the second parent is not expected to pay anything financially to either the child or the partner. And visitation rights also differ. In most cases, the other parent is not allowed to have any visitation rights but this can be changed depending upon what the legal guardian wants.

If none of them are related to the child

If none of the partners are biologically related to the child and have gained parenthood through adoption, then the laws are the same as it is for heterosexual couples. But again, in terms of emotional attachment, it becomes either of the parents to part ways with the child. It holds true for both partners and often, it makes custody cases difficult. In California, the child’s preference is considered and custody is awarded to the parent who is more deserving.

Conclusion

Child custody issues are an important part of divorce and in some cases, it can be a complicated one. Especially when the child belongs to homosexual parents. Custody depends a lot on the biological relationship with the child. If either of the parents are related to the child, then chances are high that custody will be awarded to that parent. However, if none of them are related, then both have equal rights to get custody.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

How Is Legal Separation Different From A Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top family lawyers Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmA legal separation is a legal process that allows a couple to live separately but remain married, even though they can divide their assets and make other agreements.  The procedure for legal separation in California is very similar to that of divorce.

Agreement for separation

An agreement on separation includes terms that are quite similar to those if the concerned couple was getting a divorce. This means there will be a distribution of their marital property, agreement on child visitation and custody if applicable. Not only this, the couple opting for a legal separation will also have to come to a decision on dividing any debts that were incurred by them after they got married.

Ideally, the above-mentioned terms should be binding in case the couple wants to get divorced. Moreover, both parties should hire their individual attorneys for negotiating all the details of the agreement on their legal separation. In case the spouses eventually make up their mind to go one step ahead and file for a divorce, it has been observed that the judge usually keeps the same terms as both the parties agreed to them earlier.

Differences between a legal separation and a divorce

Check out some of the following key differences between a divorce and a legal separation.

Name

While the spouse continues with the legal married name in the case of a separation, a wife may revert back to her maiden name after the divorce comes throughout the divorce be.

Child support

The conditions related to child support are ascertained when the legal separation takes place. When a couple decides to go for a divorce after being legally separated, ideally, the same terms are followed that were mentioned in the document for legal separation.

Marital status

A couple is still married even though there is a legal separation going on. But when the divorce is finalized, the marriage ends.

Child visits

Visitation rights of the child are decided when the legal separation takes place. If a divorce comes through after the legal separation, most of the times, the same terms are followed as mentioned in the document of their legal separation.

Alimony

The terms for alimony are ascertained during the legal separation. The conditions are typically kept same if the divorce gets finalized in the future.

Split of marital property

The couple agrees to the terms while going for a legal separation. When they do decide to finally divorce, the sane conditions that are mentioned in the document for legal separation are followed. 

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

 
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