Best Divorce Tips for Women

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce lawyers in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmGoing through a divorce for women can be difficult, and it is important to have some guidance in terms of what to do.  Here are a few tips they need to keep in mind when going through a divorce.

·        If you go cheap, you will get cheap

The role of lawyer in a divorce is integral. They are the ones that will act as your voice and savior in court, defending you and putting your point of view in front of the judge. While it may be tempting to save some cash and hire a “cheap” Orange County divorce lawyer, you will get what you pay for.

·        Ask the lawyer to give you a budget and a strategy for success

The budget is actually the expected cost that your divorce case would cost you. While no lawyer may be able to tell you exactly how much your divorce may cost you, they can give you a fair estimate based on what you may want to do in your case, but the bigger unknown that can have a huge impact on your case is what your spouse is going to do.  Therefore, having a strategy as to how they will go about the case is important.

·        Either settle or move to trial

There are a plethora of differences between wine and a divorce and one of them is that they don’t get better with age. There are many cases in the family court system that have been going for years now and are still nowhere near a decision. Cases can sometimes run on a snail’s pace by either party’s lawyer.

This means that your life and your ability to move on are on hold with no end on the horizon, which is not good for you emotionally and financially.  If you think your case is going around in circles, talk to your lawyer and look to settle the case with your spouse, instead of having the case linger indefinitely.

·        Don’t lie about your finances

The courts look down on people that lie in court.  Divorce cases are critical and even the slightest of bad repute could work against in a number of divorce related matters because it directly affects credibility.  The most critical matters are related to finances and the court expects you to be truthful in this regard.

Best Divorce Tips for Guys

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmGoing through a divorce is never an easy task. It involves a number of emotional and mental issues. As people that have gone through or going through a divorce will tell you, it is one process that can be as financially sapping for you as it is emotionally.

Most guys that are looking to get a divorce are often unaware of the legal complexities each and every one of their decision can cause for them. Here are a few divorce tips for guys going through or looking to go through a divorce.

·        Before you move out, Think

Some guys are peace seekers; they want to ensure that they stay away from conflict. For that once the couples have decided to divorce, they can move out to avoid unnecessary fights with the other spouse. Yet, what they don’t realize is that, doing so leaves them at the mercy of their spouse in terms of visitation and child custody matters. Staying in the house can have pros and cons and unless you and your spouse agree on it before hand, never leave the house without consulting you lawyer.

·        Go for variety

The most important person in your Orange County divorce case is your lawyer, therefore making the correct choice in that regard is important. You need to be careful as to the lawyer you choose to handle your divorce. For that it is best that you talk to at least a couple of lawyers before deciding on the best one for your case.

·        Stay away from overly-aggressive lawyers

There are some lawyers in the profession that will try and play with your emotions selling you the idea of some sort of bias existing with regards to dads and guys in the family law system. They will tell you how the case will need to be aggressively run for you to have any chance of success. If you come across such lawyers make sure you stay well away from them.  No such automatic bias exists in law.

·        Make the child the centerpiece of your case

The perception is that men are not granted custody of the children, this is false. Whether you are granted custody or not depends largely on the importance being given to the child in that spouses divorce case. You need to make sure you that your child is made the center of your Orange County divorce case. This way you will highlight your willingness and commitment to the child in front of the court.

·        Communicate with Your lawyer regularly

Your future is to be decided in your divorce case and hence it is your responsibility to stay up to date with all the happenings in court. Talk to your lawyer regularly and make sure you make it clear to them and you want to be kept updated with anything and everything going on in your case.

Getting Child Custody Being a Father

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

family law lawyers in orange county; The Maggio Law FirmWhen it comes to matters related to children in a divorce, there is a common perception that mothers are typically favored by the court.  That common perception prevalent is wrong, as family law courts work on the basis of fairness. Hence, this blog will simply lay down how fathers can win custody of their child without having to do something extra to outdo the mother.

Schedule of Work

Fathers who have full time jobs may have very little time that they can spend with their child. This can be an important consideration by the courts when deciding the child custody issue. If you want more custody of your child you need to make sure that your schedule of work is flexible and one that allows you to spend greater time with your child.

Proving the Mother as Uncooperative and Alienating

The worst thing that a parent can go through is having their child in the same city as themselves and not being allowed to meet. This is only justifiable in a case where there has been physical abuse against the child by the parent on the child.

Yet, if you are a father and you can prove to the court that the mother of the child post or during your divorce is not letting you meet the child and alienating you from the child, the courts will look to it very strongly. In such cases, the courts could award custody of the child if it is in the best interest of the child.

Having a Close Bond with Your Child

A divorce case that has the issue of child custody involved is generally a complex one. In such cases you will not be awarded custody or joint custody of the child just because you want it. Instead, for you to be able to get more custody of the child it needs to be proven to the court that you and the child have a close bond. Unless you spent time with your child during the marriage you cannot expect the court to automatically give you custody of the child.

What To Ask When Finding A Divorce Attorney

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Lawyer in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThe most important part of your divorce case is your divorce attorney. A divorce lawyer is someone who is going to be your voice in front of the judge and you need to make sure that you pick the best lawyer possible.

Are you are looking to go through an Orange County divorce? Here is a list of some question related to lawyers that you need to ask them before deciding on which lawyers to choose.

How long will my divorce case take?

Divorce cases can typically be of two types, one is simple and the other is complex. Simple cases of divorce will typically end in a shorter span of time as opposed to the more complex ones that may take longer. Any divorce lawyer that has been asked this question will typically take a look at the issues and conflicts involved in your case before deciding. Some cases may have conflicts on asset division, child custody and the amount of support to be paid. Such cases can often take longer.

How much would it cost?

The cost of divorce will largely depend on the lawyer, on the other party’s tactics, and on the complexity and amount of issues to be decided.  Yet no lawyer will be able to answer the question accurately. It is impossible to predict the precise outcome of a divorce cases. What the lawyer can tell you is whether they are going to charge you a flat rate on a per case basis or will they charge on an hourly rate. Typically they will outline the expected payments for both and you will be allowed to choose which mode of payment you are more comfortable with.

What is the best way to win the case?

This question is a detailed one, and not always one easily answered.  You are asking them about the road map that they will follow to make sure your interests are protected. Some cases will be simple and may only require straightforward agreements for separation drawn up, while others may be more complex. It is in those complex cases that the lawyers will need to have strategy and a road map for success.

How long have you been a divorce lawyer?

The family law legal community is a relatively tight knit group and most lawyers will know the judges and the law, which is obviously beneficial for your case. An experienced lawyer will often have the background that will help your case, while an inexperienced lawyer on the other hand may have considerable ability, but the fact that they are new could work against your case.

Say No to Abuse and Yes to Divorce!

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

domestic violence attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmDomestic abuse though disliked and discouraged by the society at large continues to prevail in some limited sections of society even today. In our practice, we come across a number of cases where abuse is one of the primary or even the only reason that a spouse wants to divorce their spouse. This is something that needs to be encouraged more than it is being encouraged in this day and age.

Reluctance & Feeling Helpless

The number of people who go through domestic abuse in their marriage and those that file for divorce on this basis are incomparable. Only a handful of people that should opt out of their marriages because of domestic violence actually do it. This can be attributed to the social stigma that continues to be felt in some sections with regards to a divorce, and otherwise because the abused feel helpless to do anything.

Decisions can be taken and they can be wrong. It is not a must for each and every decision taken by you to be absolutely correct. This needs to be realized. There are chances of discrepancies and if you think that a wrong decision has been made that is unable to give you what you want, you need to opt out of it.

If you have chosen to get married to someone and the marriage is resulting in abuse from your spouse, you need to come to the realization that you cannot continue to live under those conditions.

There can be many types of abuse and if you are subjected to any, you should stand for your rights and if your spouse is unable to stop such acts you should go for a divorce.

Types of Abuse

Abuse in a marriage can be categorized broadly into 3 categories at the very least.

The first is physical abuse which involves physically assaulting, beating or hurting you in any way that is not permitted by you. Physical abuse if looked down upon by the courts and can not only result in Orange county divorce proceedings, but the spouse initiating the abuse can be made subject to criminal proceedings.

The second type of abuse can be emotional or mental abuse, where maybe not your body, but your mind, is tortured. Mental and emotional abuse can take many forms and there are several ways that these can be conducted. While these are typically harder to prove, they will also count against the spouse in divorce case.

The last and most important category is child abuse. If the other parent is abusing the child in any way, you need to step up and for the best interest of your child and yourself you need to opt out of the marriage and go for an Orange County divorce. The courts look to protect children and will deal with parents involved in child abuse harshly.

If you suffer from any sort of abuse in your marriage, contact us at The Maggio Law Firm today to learn what your rights, including the filing of a restraining order, are.

Getting Your Spouse to Work With A Motion for Vocational Examination

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce lawyer in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmIf your spouse is not working or not working to his or her full earning capacity, you can request that a vocational examination of that spouse to be conducted.  However, the parties have to agree to it or otherwise the spouse seeking to have one done needs to have the court’s permission in order to proceed with this form of discovery.

Filing A Motion to Request That Your Spouse Submit to a Vocational Evaluation

If your spouse will not voluntarily submit to a vocational examination, your attorney may file a motion to require your spouse to submit to a vocational examination.  The party seeking a vocational evaluation will need to file a motion and show good cause to have such vocational evaluation be conducted by a professional expert.  Generally, the court will grant the request for the vocational evaluation, particularly if the party that is seeking the evaluation is paying for the evaluation.  Such evaluations generally run $2,000-3,000 on average. However, the cost is generally worth it, as the findings of the vocational evaluation can be used for settlement negotiation purposes and otherwise at time of trial.

Using The Findings of Vocational Evaluations

While the court may not actually force your spouse to work, if the vocational evaluator makes a finding that your spouse has an earning capacity, the court can “impute” income for support calculation purposes. In other words, the court can assign fictional income to your spouse (or a higher income than they are presently earning) when calculating child or spousal support.

If you have concerns about your spouse’s earning potential, contact The Maggio Law Firm to discuss the issue of seeking a vocational examination of your spouse and taking the next steps to ultimately ensure that the fair amount of support is paid under the circumstances of your case.

More Common Questions About Divorce Settlements

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmWill spending a weekend with my spouse put my divorce in trouble?

Answer: The reason people file for divorce is typically because they feel that they are no longer able live their lives alongside the same person for some reason or the other. There is time during the divorce proceedings for spouses to reconcile and dismiss the case and that can definitely happen during divorce cases.  Doing so will not necessarily affect the case negatively if you do not reconcile, unless you start making negative claims about the other spouse like safety issues that do not match up with the fact that you just spent time with that person romantically.

Can you enforce an agreement that is made verbally?

Answer: You may be honest, so may be your spouse. But divorce can sometimes turn into a game of unfair advantage and manipulation; there verbal agreements don’t really count for scratch. What courts look at is your settlement agreements that are written down. So make sure you make no financial settlement outside of the settlement papers because proving it might prove to be a tough ask for you. Put all agreements in a signed writing!

Is an uncontested divorce with an agreement that is notarized worth it?

Answer: An uncontested divorce can happen, but you’ll need to list down all things from the notarized agreement in your divorce papers. If you don’t, there will be a problem, when you fill in your Orange County divorce papers for an uncontested divorce, they ask you if the agreement is complete. So any agreement that is made outside of this is not as enforceable as anything written down on this piece of paper. So if you want to avoid future problems, make sure everything is put into the divorce judgment.

Can I agree to anything outside the court order and have it enforced?

Answer: Simply put the answer to your question is NO! Beware of out of court order settlements because you may not be able to enforce them at a later date if those promises are not fulfilled. A settlement agreement is a comprehensive document and when you specify anything in it, and it is passed down as a court order it becomes enforceable. Again, put all agreements into a signed writing!

Can we have a settlement agreement not filed with the court?

Answer: Settlement agreements conducted between two spouses are not a decree unless and until they are filed with the court and the judge either order them or the court issues them. Enforcing an incomplete settlement is going to be a big problem.

Is there a need to get the services of a lawyer for a binding marital settlement agreement?

Answer:  The answer is that you should use legal counsel to draft a comprehensive and enforceable agreement.  Marital settlement agreements need to be submitted along with other divorce documents in the court and will be issued by the court as an order. This can be a tricky area as any mistake can be legally binding so the need for a lawyer is a must.

Demystifying Divorce Depositions

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmThe taking of depositions in divorce cases are not as common as one would think. This is largely due to the expense that they can incur on the party and that in most cases they are not really required. Yet, depositions can be an important part of divorce cases.

Are they helpful?

Yes, the success and failure of depositions depends on the lawyers taking part in it. An experienced and prepared lawyer has the ability to use this occasion to obtain useful information and determine the credibility of witnesses.  In other cases, however, some divorce lawyers can use these occasions to waste time and churn out money from their clients, by asking irrelevant questions.

Deposition notice and objections

There are party depositions and third party witness depositions. A third party witness is a person that is not one of the actual parties to the case, but might be a relevant witness, and must be served with a formal subpoena for their deposition.  Party depositions are usually called for by a formal notice from one spouse’s lawyer to the other. Typically the party calling the deposition can ask the other party to produce evidences on certain claims, the party will need to provide that evidence or file objections to the request.

As stated above, a subpoena will be issued by the court. This subpoena will highlight what the witness needs to do, it could usually ask them to produce evidences of any claims they have made in the divorce case.

What to expect during a divorce deposition

If you have requested the deposition, it will be your lawyer that will be asking the questions from the other party or the witness. Typically one needs to be present during this time by their lawyer to keep an eye on proceedings. You can help them judge whether your spouse is lying or not.

On the other hand, if you have been called in for a deposition, you should know that you will have to sit back and answer a number of questions thrown your way. There are often breaks in depositions such as ones for lunch, etc. A court reporter is also present in the depositions which could either take place in the lawyer’s office or a conference room. The person giving the depositions is made to swear that one oath that they are telling the truth.

Rules of Divorce Depositions

Orange County divorce depositions are usually governed by a set of rules. These rules will typically need to be followed by the parties involved. They are:

  • The truth must be told in a deposition and failure to do so could result in charges of felony
  • Answering a question is accepting that you understood it, if you are unable to understand a question say it
  • Wait for the question to come before answering
  • Avoid talking when the other person is talking and breaking into conversations

New Study Finds Kids Could Benefit from Joint Custody Arrangement in Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

family law attorney Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThere has been considerable debate about the type of custody arrangement that works best for the children of divorcing parents. According to a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, kids fare better when they are able to split their time between both of their divorced parents.

Current thinking prioritizes stability when it comes to the healthy development of children. However, the study’s findings challenge assumptions that kids in shared custody arrangements experience more stress due to the social upheaval and unpredictability that comes with constantly moving between two homes.  One interpretation of the study is that living with both parents part time also tends to double the number of social circles and resources a child is exposed to, which can help reduce stress.

Researcher Malin Bergström of the Centre for Health Equity Studies in Stockholm, Sweden, and her colleagues examined national data from around 150,000 students ranging in age from 12 to 15. They studied their psychosomatic health issues, including sleep problems, concentration difficulties, headaches, loss of appetite and feelings of tenseness or sadness. Sixty-nine percent of the students lived in nuclear families, while 19 percent divided their time living with both parents and around 13 percent lived with one parent.

The results showed that children in nuclear families reported the fewest symptoms of stress. However, surprisingly, those who lived with both of their divorced parents in two homes reported significantly fewer health problems than kids who lived in a stable home with only one parent after their divorce. The overall findings indicate that stability in the relationships children have with their parents outweighs stability in housing.

So what does this mean?  It could be that children may be more impacted by the conflict between parents rather than the actual parental separation. When parents effectively manage their conflict, the results can be hugely gratifying and can result in a co-parenting strategy that works well for everyone.

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Giada De Laurentiis Divorce Highlights Importance of Prenuptial Agreements

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmFood Network celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis must give up half her assets earned while married to ex-husband Todd Thompson as the divorced couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement when they married in 2003.

The couple’s divorce was finalized on September 3, 2015 after 11 years of marriage. The net worth of De Laurentiis is estimated at around $20 million, while her fashion designer ex-husband is reportedly worth $15 million. When De Laurentiis, 44, first married Thompson, her career was still in its early stages. During their marriage, De Laurentiis opened a restaurant and hosted several television shows on Food Network. She also wrote a number of cookbooks and launched a kitchenware line.

Many couples fail to anticipate their financial growth and success when they get married. A prenuptial agreement can help protect significant assets, along with giving each spouse control over how their money matters are handled in the event their relationship ends.  A prenuptial agreement allows the couple to determine before the wedding how their assets and money will be divided in case they divorce. Per California family law if divorcing spouses do not have a prenuptial agreement, their community property is distributed equally between them. Community property is defined as the assets and income each partner acquires during a marriage.

As the higher-earning spouse, De Laurentiis will share with Thompson 50 percent of the profits from every cookbook she published during their marriage and half of the unpaid advances to upcoming cookbooks. They will also equally divide their various bank accounts worth more than $2 million. Had they signed a prenuptial agreement, De Laurentiis would have been able to protect much of her estate.

De Laurentiis and Thompson have chosen to share joint custody of their 7-year-old daughter. As both parties have the means to continue their current lifestyles, spousal support will not be awarded in this case.

Rather than indicating lack of trust, a prenuptial agreement can help to reduce unnecessary conflict between spouses regarding asset distribution in case of a split, which can adversely affect the children that are part of the marriage.  A prenup is not just applicable to millionaires. It is a useful financial planning tool for anyone looking to protect their assets.

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