What Will Your Orange County Divorce Lawyer Ask You?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.It has long been the notion that finding a good divorce lawyer is one of the hardest tasks because the impact of your decisions will be long lasting on you and your family’s life for years to come. Yet contrary to popular belief if finding a lawyer is hard then walking into the office of a divorce attorney not knowing what to expect is especially scary.  Here are some points to know about concerning what your divorce lawyer will be asking from you.

What will he/she want to know about my assets?

Assets are an integral part of the financial side of your life and in divorce cases, the financial side along with child custody are the two most fought over topics in divorce proceedings. There are certain aspects regarding your assets that your lawyer will want to know about:

·         What do they want to know about the Real Estate?

Real estate can be defined as properties such as residential property homes, rental properties and lands etc. The key things an Orange County divorce lawyer will need are:

  • The correct location of each property
  • The date of purchase for the property
  • The details of the finances that were used to but it
  • The status of the property in terms of separate property claims

·         What kind of Information do they want about Vehicles?

More often than not vehicles aren’t considered too big an assets in terms of divorces yet if the vehicles are expensive models or rare collectibles the interest in the division of vehicles may increase. The information he’ll need is:

  • Information and details about the vehicle and date of purchase
  • The price of the vehicle
  • Any separate interest claim in the vehicle

What will the Divorce lawyer want information about with respect to my income?

The incomes of both the parties are one of the chief talking points in Orange county divorce especially with regards to the spousal and child support payments being determined.

·         What information are they looking for about the income of mine and my wife’s?

Most commonly if both of your work a job, the lawyer will need the bank statements or salary slips that you receive which clearly show your monthly and annual salary. If however one of the spouse earns his living independently, then the lawyer will need all financial documents that clearly show that income and justify its source.  Any income such as rent payments from rented apartments can be classified as earnings other than a job.

Prepare Yourself For Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmAre you nervous about your upcoming divorce mediation if you and your spouse have chosen that course of action to resolve your case? Nervousness is one of the most common things for people to feel before a divorce mediation date. While divorce may not be the easiest decisions to make in life, the repercussions of such a decision are widespread. When it comes to couples who divorce, the second most important thing after the decision to divorce is to get them the best life after divorce. The key to that is effective resolution of your Orange County divorce in mediation or any other method that is chosen by the couples.

To get the best results from mediation, go in prepared. Here are a few tips that’ll help you prepare yourself for divorce mediation.

Keep A Tab On Your Emotions

Mediation is by in large all about the communications between the two spouses. When two people, who have decided to call it quits in their marriage, communicate with each other, there are bound to be heated exchanges. It is important in matters such as these that you keep your calm and not let emotions get the better of you. Mediation is about solving the issues that exist. You should refrain from letting your emotion of anger or anguish get the better of you and dictate your tongue. You should talk sensibly and practically without a glimmer of emotional vulnerability shown.

Know Your Rights

The worst thing you can do to limit the success of divorce mediation is to go into the process without prior knowledge of the law and rights you have. Before you get into a divorce, make sure you consult your situation with top law firms and good lawyers and do your due diligence in learning what the issues are and what your rights are. When you know your rights and the law, you will have a better chance of getting the most out of your divorce mediation.

Prepare a Budget

The center of most Orange county divorce mediations is money. Once the marriage is over, each of the spouses wants to have the best financial future. It is important that before you go into divorce mediation, you have a set budget of expenses in mind. This might be different in each situation. If the spouse is financially dependent, they should prepare a budget of the monthly expenses they would need as alimony. While the financially strong spouse should have an estimate of the level of costs he/she can bare in terms of alimony. Budgets will give you clear and realistic targets that will help you in reaching a solution through divorce mediation.

Hire A Lawyer For Advice (Not Participating In The Mediation)

While mediation is all about you and your spouse and the communications you have, having a lawyer behind the scenes is important.  That way, you can address any legal questions with your attorney and determine if what you are potentially agreeing to is truly in your best interests, so that you can make an informed decision.

How To Keep Yourself Strong Through Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Lawyer Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThere are seldom experiences in our life that affect us and our emotions more than divorce. Divorce is not only the separation of two people it is the ending of relation that was made with the intention of it lasting a life time. Divorce can be one of the most unbearable feelings in the world. People going through a divorce often go through non comprehendible traumas irrespective of whether they have chosen the option of an Orange County divorce or it has been forced unto them.

While we realize the pain and the agony that people tend to go through in times of a divorce. Here are a few tips to help you stay strong through your divorce proceedings.

Being Divorced in No Way Means that You are a Failure

In earlier time, pre-21st century, there was strong taboos against women who were going through or had gone through divorce. Women who were part of divorces or had been part of a divorce were looked down upon and their characters framed as scandalous and lose. Fortunately much of these taboos have died down with time though they continue to exist in some quarters. When you are going through a divorce you should remember that divorce is a common occurrence and it is not a measure of your ability nor does it define you.

Take Your Time – the Wounds May Take Time to Heal

This is one of the most important things to remember when you are going through a divorce. The wounds of divorce are likely to be deep and will take time to heal. Divorce as discussed above is one of the hardest human decisions to accept and people can take their lifetimes in trying to cope up with such changes. It is important that at this time of your life you realize that it is natural for you to become teary eyed at the thoughts of your old married life. Yet it is important for you to keep motivating yourself that these are just memories and these might take time but the wounds and these memories that bring back pain will eventually be healed and forgotten.

Find Out Your Future Finances and Dig in Deep to the Joint Finances

At the end of a divorce one of the darkest clouds that hangs over the couples is the cloud of financial uncertainty. If you are able to guarantee yourself an effective financial future, your ability to face the traumas of divorce will be given a boost. Always remember the mistakes in terms of emotions are going to heal over time but the errors in financial decisions that you do in your divorce proceedings will haunt you forever. Therefore for you to stay strong in your divorce proceedings it is important to secure your financial future by fighting for your rightful financial resources.

How Divorce Mediation Is Different From Collaborative Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmHow is divorce mediation different from collaborative divorce? This is one of the most commonly asked questions in recent times coming from people trying to decide which method to choose. A larger proportion of people who tend to ask this question are spouses trying to end their domestic partnerships. Mediation and collaborative practice are vast areas of conflict resolution that involve domestic as well as commercial areas of practice such as estate, probate, etc. Yet in this article we are going to talk about it in the context of domestic relations, more specifically, divorce.


Orange County divorce mediation is a process where the decision of the mediation is taken by the spouses themselves based on their understanding, view points, and choices. The couples tend to consider the situation at hand, and the perspective of each other in deciding such matters through divorce mediation. Is Collaborative practice the same?

Generally in divorce mediation, the process is carried out in the presence of three people in a room. The three people are the divorce mediator and the two spouses. The procedure is done between the two spouses with the mediator simply there to make sure the process is carried along in the correct direction. Divorce mediation is particularly helpful for people who are clear about their situation, their demands, and the concessions that they are ready to make. The people that take part in divorce mediation are often people who need little or no assistance from elsewhere to reach a sensible conclusion.

Mediation allows the spouses/parties a better chance to influence the resolution and the outcome. The most important person in the mediation after the two parties is the divorce mediator. The sole role of the mediator as mentioned above is to lubricate the process and to try and keep it heading into the correct direction. The role of the mediator is to manage and control the flow of the communication and discussions between the two spouses and to give them a little nudge here and there to keep them going in the right direction.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce, similar to mediation, is a voluntary process, but the primary difference is the presence of lawyers in the process and the limitation on the lawyers of not being involved in the litigation of the claim. In collaborative divorce, the lawyers are not in aid of one party, but look to understand the general perspectives of both the parties involved. Unlike mediation, collaboration is controlled by a collaborative team that contains psychological and financial experts as well as lawyers.

People who seek more support in presenting their case in terms of their Orange County divorce choose this process over litigation and divorce mediation. The collaborative team has a greater influence on the final result as compared to divorce mediators.  However, the cost of collaborative divorce can be significantly more than divorce mediation because the collaborative team each have their own fees to be paid versus one mediator.

Realistic Expectations You Should Have In Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce-mediation-attorney-Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmDivorce is the end of a relationship between two parties. People that come in for divorce have their own expectations from what divorce really is and how it is going to go along, etc. In situations like this when both the parties are unaware of the trials and tribulations that lie ahead in your divorce, it is important to not get one’s expectations too high. When it comes to Orange County divorce mediation, it is important that the parties have realistic expectations from the process to avoid ending up with disappointment. Here is list of a few realistic expectations you should have from your divorce mediation.

The Outcome and the Result Can Never Be Predicted

It might seem surprising to have this expectation in divorce mediation but it is important even in mediation. While divorce mediation involves the couple talking to each other to end the disagreements, spouses may have a set expectation of result and what they’ll get from the process before they even become a part of it. It is important for spouses to go into divorce mediation without a rigid expectation of an outcome. This might make them inflexible and ultimately harm the purpose of mediation.

You Can Expect Privacy and Confidentiality

One of the most realistic expectations to have from your divorce mediation is to expect a safe, comfort zone being provided to you. All your talks, thoughts and confidential point of views are treated as completely confidential in mediation. This means that you can expect to be at ease in your divorce mediation sessions and be open and candid on issues that you want to without fearing a breach of confidential information.

Have Realistic Hopes and Expectations Regarding Child Custody

When it comes to child custody cases, the general expectation that people tend to have is to expect a “Kramer vs. Kramer)-type divorce case. In terms of divorce mediation, both the spouses are expected to talk in the presence of a mediator. It is seen more often than not that cases that involve child custody in Orange County divorce mediation lead to fruitful and mutually agreeable decisions reached between the two parties since it involves the welfare of their own children.

The Myths and Facts of California Child Custody Cases

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmCalifornia child custody cases are the subject of myths and untrue statements.  These myths and false facts are so widespread that they have started to become more of a fact in the minds of the people as opposed to the myths that they actually are. As a result,  parents make errors in parenting and other decisions related to the child, trying to keep in line with these myths.

Here, we will try and dispel these rumors once and for all.

Myth 1: Gender is an important consideration for the family law judge

The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing in the family law courts. Gender is irrelevant in the child custody decision making of a family law judge. This myth was actually made to act as an excuse for those parents, more specifically, fathers who, along with their attorneys, were unable to present their case properly and win. The fact that some parents are unable to prove the facts and make a real case out of the trial lose is due to the lack of preparation as opposed to the difference in gender.

Myth 2:  Once a child reaches the teenage years, the decision which parents he/she wants to live with is taken by them

This is not entirely a myth, but isn’t completely true either. In child custody cases, most of which are complex in nature, the child does have a role in deciding which parent to live with, but the decision does not solely lie with them. When a child is judged to be mature enough to know the ins and outs of decision, he or she will be asked by the court about their preference regarding which parent they want to live with. This preference though, is only a means to aid the judge in their decision regarding child custody and is in no way binding. The judges can refuse to acknowledge or even take it into account if they believe it is against the interest of the child themselves.

Myth 3: As long as there is no court order, the parent that has custody of the child before the trial will continue custody during the trial

In reality, while the status quo, i.e. what has been happening before the trial, is an important consideration when it comes to deciding on temporary custody, it is by no means the final word. Courts will look at the facts objectively to decide which parent gets the temporary custody for as long as the trial goes on. The most important consideration in child custody cases is the best interests of the child.

An Abusive Husband And Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmAbuse of any kind is bad and against the law, such as when husbands physically abuse their wives (and vice versa to a lesser extent).

If you add abuse to a bad marriage, the situation goes from difficult to dire. For a wife, divorcing an abusive husband can be difficult, because you don’t know how a violent man would react.  However, if the abusive husband is putting the well-being and the life of the wife and children in jeopardy, divorce may pretty much be the only solution.

Divorcing an abusive husband becomes difficult in cases where the marriage has been going on for a long time, and the husbands are the only providers of the family.

What is Abuse in Terms of Family Law?

In the context of family law, the word abuse has a broader meaning. Abuse is when someone recklessly or intentionally tries to cause or is successful in causing:

  • Sexual assault
  • Injury to any part of the body
  • Causing the person to live with a serious threat of grievous bodily harm or damage at any stage
  • Engaging in any kind of behavior that is defined in the California Family Code section 6320, which defines such behavior as, threatening, battering, striking, stalking, harassing, etc.

Divorcing an Abusive Husband

The key to divorcing a husband who has a history of frequent abuse is to act immediately and decisively. The law in California protects the spouses from any kind of abuse from their other half and you should try and use those avenues of the law to your advantage.

One of the first and most immediate actions that need to be taken is to seek an immediate restraining order in the family law court. Sometimes though, owing to the situation of the couple or any other legal issues, restraining orders might be unavailable. In such cases, you should ask your divorce lawyer to ask the court for protective orders that limit and regulate the contact between the two spouses. In addition to this point though, there is also a need for more practical steps on the side of the wife, where she needs to move out of the house or away from the abusive husband.

A Low-Down on California Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm“Automatic temporary restraining orders”…these are four words that are likely to stir up a whole host of questions in your mind regarding the meaning, application and origins of these words. While the words such as restraining and orders may give some clues as to the connection of these four words in California divorce cases, it will remain uncertain. This article intends to shed some light on what are automatic temporary restraining order.

What are they?

Automatic restraining orders are a set of 4 orders that goes into place upon the filing and service of the initial Summons (on the back of the FL-110 Summons form), which is part of initial divorce filing paperwork at the beginning of divorce cases in California.

The word “automatic” is self-explanatory in the terms that none of the spouse has to actually seek these orders. When either one of the spouse goes into the family law court and files a divorce Petition, the temporary restraining orders automatically come into effect and bind the Petitioner. When the divorce notice is served to the other spouse (the Respondent), the orders bind that spouse as well.

These are basically a few measures that are meant to protect the children and the marital property from any kind of malicious action by either spouse. These can be referred to as orders that keep the status quo intact.

What are they for?

The 4 Automatic restraining orders:

·         Make sure that the children aren’t taken out of California

These temporary restraining orders clearly instruct the father and the mother to make sure that they don’t take, send or allow their children to leave the State of California. It also asks the parents to refrain from applying for or renewing for new passports of the child unless the matter is decided by the court.

·         Stop the parties from selling or disposing of community or separate property during the divorce

The order clearly tells both of the spouses that they are not allowed to in any way, transfer, encumber, conceal, dispose or hypothecate the property in any way regardless of whether it is real, personal, quasi community, community or separate until the court has ordered and allowed them on the matter.

·         Restrain some insurance-related actions

The courts are clear in making the spouses know of their inability under the law to cash, cancel, borrow or transfer or even change the beneficiary of any insurance policy or coverage unless the matter is not brought under the courts consideration and the court doesn’t act on it.  It also prevents a party from cancelling medical and other types of insurance coverage during the divorce.

Reasons Divorcing Spouses Lie On Income Declaration Forms And Tips To Prove It

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Lawyers Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmDivorce cases are one of the hotly contested cases in family law courts. The level of competitiveness and the will to win in each of the spouse means there is no love lost between the two of them and neither of them is willing to let the other have the upper hand in proceedings. Sometimes though, this will to win can consume either of the spouses to such a level that they start to make use of deceit to try and come out on top.

One of the most common types of deceits in a number of Orange County divorce cases is to lie on income and expense declaration forms by spouses. Income and expense declaration forms are an important tool used by the judges to try and do justice to the family law case at hand.  Here are some reasons why spouses lie about their income and the tips to prove it once such a lie has been told.

Is The Income Declaration Form Important?

An income and declaration form is a mandatory form in family law courts which is often used in divorce cases to bring the financial resources of each of the spouse to the fore. The importance of an income declaration form can be gauged from the fact that it is considered the foundation of the financial side of things in a family law case. More often than not, this form is the in initial impression of the spouse on the Judge, all the more reason its importance cannot be emphasized enough.

Reason Why Spouses Lie On Income Declaration Forms

Spouses lie on their income and declaration form due to many misguided assumptions. When a spouse starts to believe either of the assumptions given here, he/she will start lying. One of the leading reasons for all this is the bitterness, sense of betrayal, and an unending will to win and destroy the other party. The primary reasons spouses lie are:

  • They assume that the other spouse has little time or financial capability to try and dig into the real truth of the matter.
  • They assume that the volume of cases that come before judge and the large amount of people lying in their income statement means the judge won’t care about it.
  • The lack of fear with regards to the punishment that can be and would be inflicted upon them in case their lie is found out.
  • The risk of lying is less than the benefits that can be reaped form it overall.

Tips To Prove It

  • Use your lawyer to conduct discovery in your case. Discovery are formal requests for information and documentation and it is likely to have your spouse provide the financial documents of his/her finances and assets in addition to having to fill out complex and detailed forms.

Legal Landscape Divorce Tips for Guys

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmDivorce is one of the hardest times in a person’s life. A divorce simply put is a decision that changes your life, your routines and your acquaintances. Divorces can be one of the most complexes, sad and even sadistic cases in the family law courts. Yet for guys divorce more often than not can be even harder than for a woman because they aren’t as expressive about it as women perhaps are.

To make sure that guys aren’t left alone to face the wrath of divorce, here are a few tips for guys to help them get through the divorce proceedings and the divorce with relative ease.

Don’t Move out Immediately, Think about it Carefully

In life there are nice guys, who want to have peace all around them even in situations where there is actually very little of it. Such guys are likely to have the desire to leave their homes to try and give their soon-to-be-former spouses peace. While doing so though, they without realizing it leave the fate of their child’s custody and visitation at the mercy of their mother only. Only when you have considered such facts about moving out should you make your decision.

Be Careful of the Lawyer You Choose

This is one of the most important tips.  As much as you may hate your wife and want to drag her to the cleaners, hiring an aggressive, fiery, lawyer is not necessarily the answer. The work of a lawyer is to be calm, collected, calculated and reasonable. If you are looking to have the best chance of getting something from your divorce case make sure you get a lawyer that has a clear plan, focus and strategy and not just a loud voice and a fiery tone.

If You Want Cheap, You Are Very Well Going to Get Cheap

There are loads of times in your life where the opportunity for saving money must have arrived and gone begging. Saving money off your lawyers’ fees or divorce proceedings costs is definitely not the thing you should be saving money on. While saving money may be a healthy habit, in the legal world if you go looking for cheap lawyers in terms of costs you are likely to get what you paid for, like anything else in life.

Keep Your Lawyer on Speed Dial

When you are going through a divorce, it is important that you have clear, open and constant communication with your Orange County divorce attorney. A clear and frequent communication means that you will be delving into the affairs of your case and are likely to be up to speed with all the developments. This is important to avoid complacency in your lawyer and to keep you focused on your divorce proceedings.