Fiduciary Duties Of Spouses Before And After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmWhen we talk about the relationship of a husband and a wife, there are a few things that are worth noting. Marriage is one of the most sacred unions, and is highly regarded in society. When it comes to spouses, the both of them carry the highest duties towards each other known by law. These are called fiduciary duties. Fiduciary relations exist in between a husband and a wife in situations where:

  • Spouses enter into a transaction with each other
  • One or both of them manage a community property
  • One or both of them control a community property

Fiduciary Relations

When it comes to fiduciary relations, the most important aspect is always being able to practice good faith and fairness. In a fiduciary relation, being unfair to the other person is also strictly prohibited. The easiest way to understand a fiduciary relation is to compare it to a business situation; the spouses are required to act in the same way as business partners act while being under a contract.

When Fiduciary Duty Applies

Fiduciary duty applies on spouses only in situations where there is a matter related to separate or community property.

Duration Of Fiduciary Duties

When it comes to fiduciary duties, it often believed that they apply on the spouses only as long as they stay in the marriage. This, however, is a misconception. Fiduciary duty applies in situations after separation as much as it does during the marriage.

Why does it apply even after a divorce? This is one question that is often asked by clients to Orange County divorce lawyers. The main reason for fiduciary duty applying even after marriage is because after the date of separation has passed, there is a process of dissolution in the marriage which means that all the property, at that particular time, needs to be safeguarded. It is only after the complete division of the assets has taken place, that the fiduciary relations between the spouses end completely.

There are also cases where some assets aren’t completely divided between the two spouses, and are kept as joint assets or property for both. In such situations, the fiduciary duty continues to be applied on the spouses for as long as the property is being shared.

How to Prepare for a Day in Orange County Family Court

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmWhen it comes to Orange County divorce cases, most of them require at least one hearing in a family court. Dreading going to court already? No need to fret, when it comes to divorce courts in California, there are only a few things that you should keep in mind to make sure you go into the court prepared.

There are a few set of rules and procedures that should be taken into account when going to any such court. The number one rule irrespective of any court you are in is to be dressed in a more formal, professional manner and to have a polite and respectful demeanor.

Always be Prepared When Entering into a Courtroom

One of the biggest mistakes you can do is go to a court room for a hearing unprepared. To avoid such a sticky situation, always make sure you are in contact with your Orange County divorce attorney. You and your attorney must go over the documents and facts of the case repeatedly before the hearing. In most cases, the court will order you to bring the documents – make sure you have copies of those documents made and kept at home so that you familiarize yourself with them before they are produced in court.

Going into a courtroom isn’t only about preparing your mind, there are lots of aspects physically that you have to prepare before being perfectly ready. Most divorce cases can be stressful, and it is in your best interest to come to the court well rested. Rest and relaxation will be the key factors in you being able to handle the stress.

Be On Time

You don’t always get what you wished for on the roads, so make sure you leave early and plan enough time for traffic before setting the time to reach the court. Once you are at the court, you’ll require some time to find the court room where your case is registered.

Beginning of the Hearing

Inside the court, your attorney will handle most of the matters and yet there will be instances when you will be called on to testify. Whenever you are called on to testify, make sure you are familiar with your attorney’s questions and are able to avoid unnecessary confusion and panic. You need to learn to keep yourself calm and composed during this time.

Tips for Dads to Avoid Spoiling the Kids Out of Guilt after a Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmWhen it comes to the toxic effects of a divorce, one of the hardest things to be effected by such a situation are the children involved in the marriage, and at times, parents tend to overcompensate for their sufferings through an extra shower of care, love, and affection. While care can be fine, at times, dads have been labeled for being too over enthusiastic in trying to make up for the child’s sufferings because of the divorce. Through their actions, they try to rid themselves of the guilt that they feel of having been responsible for the mental and emotional torment that was suffered by their child.

Here are some tips to avoid spoiling your kids out of guilt after divorce:

·        Talk To Them As Much As They Want

Talking to your kids whenever they want to talk is a sign from your side that you are always there for them.

·        Be Consistent

If you make lofty promises, try and fulfill them. However, it is better if you don’t make promises that are hard to keep. Parenting needs to consistent and if you continue to pamper the child and make fairytale promises, there will be a time when it’ll become hard for you to fulfill your commitments and that might leave your kid disappointed.

·        Small Surprises Are Also Worth A Lot

Most of the times, there are instances when you try and go overboard with the surprises and gifts and that can be acceptable on big occasions like birthdays and other achievements. Yet, what you have to understand is that your kids don’t always want the best of the world from you, sometimes it’s those little notes of appreciation that can show them you love them and care for them.

·        Make Sure Discipline Isn’t Compromised

It is one thing loving and caring for your child and quite another to turn a blind eye to all that he/she does. When it comes to children, even those who have suffered through a divorce need to be disciplined from time to time. Always be firm on matters of discipline and let the child know that you will not tolerate ill discipline and given any concessions on that.

·        Let the Kids be Kids

Your kids are kids and should be treated as such. You are the parent and neither they nor you can reverse the roles. Irrespective of the feelings you have about the other spouse, always make sure that you keep them to yourself in front of the kids. Treating the kids like kids also means making sure they stay in their limit. If you don’t care about their limits, gradually, they won’t care about their limits at all.

What To Expect On The First Day Of Your Divorce Hearing

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmIf you are going to court for a divorce case for the first time, you will have a lot of anxiety. Usually, in the first hearing in court, both the attorneys are asked to appear in the court – an event called the Calendar Call. This call is often scheduled to start at around 8:30 and is the time of the day where both attorney will come in turn and give a brief overview of their case, and in most cases, a time schedule of when they expect the case to end in due course of proceedings.

At this point, it is important to note that yours isn’t the only Orange County divorce case in the court – there are likely many others and the process will likely take more time than you expect.

Last Ditch Settlement Attempts

Your case won’t immediately start after the Calendar call. After the call, your lawyer and that of your soon-to-be-ex spouse are likely to meet in what is known in the world of law as a “Meet and Confer.” The aim of the meeting is discuss resolution of the issues that are about to be fought in court. This time of the day in the court is likely to be hectic, because your lawyer will try their level best to make sure you and the other party reaches to a conclusion before the case even starts in court.

When it comes to last ditch settlement attempts, your lawyer likely has already discussed the possibilities of settlement with you before going to court. Sometimes, there are instances when the divorce attorneys request the judge to have an informal Chambers Conference where they can talk with the judge directly in a more informal setting in the judge’s chambers which can help give the attorneys guidance on what the judge might do if a formal hearing is held.

Going to the Hearing

If the last ditch attempts to settle go in vain, ultimately, your case will go to hearing in the court. The hearing in most cases will usually be the same day in the morning or the afternoon depending on the judge’s availability.

The hearing will usually be of two types. One is an evidentiary hearing, while the other can be more of an “offer of proof” hearing. In an informal hearing, your lawyers will argue the case and offer what you and your witnesses would testify to, while an evidentiary hearing will usually require testimony from you and other witnesses, if any, in the Orange County divorce case. There will be a time when you will be required to take the witness stand, and at such times, you should make sure that you are prepared and have practiced beforehand to avoid problems with your testimony.

How To Make Sure Your Property Is Protected In Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmOrange County divorce proceedings can be complex, because these cases tend to involve aspects such as the finances and property of the spouses. Most spouses tend to dread divorce proceedings because of the uncertain future of their assets during and after the process of divorce. In this blog, we will give you steps you can follow to make sure your property stays protected all the way through your divorce.

The steps are as follows:

·        Move The Documents And Personal Records To Someplace Safe

In times of divorce, you need complete protection and the level of trust around you can seem to dwindle on most occasions. In such situations, the first thing you should do is move your personal and property papers out of your joint family home and put them in some place safe that is only accessible by you.

This step will be done to make sure your property remains protected. These papers can include your birth certificates, deeds, and titles of the property and transaction records for the property. Make sure that you have a copy of all the documents that you move. One copy of all the documents should also be provided to your spouse.

·        Make Sure you have a Catalog of the Marital Property

Making a video catalog of your marital property may seem a bizarre idea at first, but look into the reasoning and you are likely to understand. A video catalog will give you an accurate account of the marital property and it will help in distinguishing that from the inherited property and avoiding any such confusion in terms of future reference. When making a video catalogue though, there are a few things that should be taken into account:

  1. The date should be made visible when you are recording such a catalog. To make sure of the date at the start of the video, show today’s date on the TV written on some channel to make sure the data is verified.
  2. Make a thorough video and make sure that each and every asset and property from the marriage is visibly displayed to the camera.

·        Make Sure your Personal Property is Safe

Personal properties such as gifts, photos, and other valuables in personal possession are among the top targets of angry spouses. There have been cases in where spouses have tried to destroy the personal belongings of the other spouses to try and inflict mental and emotional attack on the other spouse.

High Conflict Child Custody Cases and Parallel Parenting Plans

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmCases that involve child custody in the Orange County family law courts tend to be one of the most hotly contested cases, where the emotions can sometimes take the better of both parties since the case involves their children. In child custody cases in California, the words parallel parenting plan are being used increasingly. When cases are hotly contested and have emotions running high, in such high conflict cases there is effectively little or no communication between the parents which means being able to formulate a single parenting plan is almost impossible.

Often after a divorce, the level of bitterness in the parents can increase which is usually carried on to and taken to another level in child custody cases. In such cases, where the conflict and hostility between the parents makes co-parenting impossible, parenting plans need to be used.

Situations where Co-parenting is Impossible

Here are a few instances where co-parenting can be almost impossible for parents to agree on:

  • Both the parents are at logger heads with each other and lack respect for each other
  • The emotional distress that comes with divorce has overcome them and bars them from having effective communication with each other
  • One of the parents has a level of bitterness about the other parent which makes co-parenting impossible. Bitterness can be due to a number of factors that may include the Orange County divorce, distribution of assets, or the behavior of the other spouse.

Definition of Parallel Parenting

Just like its name, parallel parenting is parenting by both parents simultaneous to each other with little or no need for either to communicate or have discussions with the other. In a parenting plan, parents are made autonomous for parenting and custodial decisions when the child is under their custody.

How a Parallel Parenting Plan Should Be?

The major difference between co-parenting and parallel parenting plans is the aspect of communication. Therefore, to eliminate the need for communication between the divorced parents, the parallel parenting plans need to be detailed.

Here are few things that a typical parallel parenting plan should clearly have outlined in it:

  • Dates that specify the starting and ending date of each custodial period for the child
  • How and where will the child be handed over to the other spouse
  • Other issues which may give rise to an undue conflict in such a case

While parallel parenting can be deemed as something that relieves the parents of communicating for the benefit of their child, it is also worth recognizing that it saves the child from witnessing constant bickering about his or her life between the parents.  However, it is always better and preferable when at all possible to co-parent than having to parallel parent.

Family, Friends, Or Your Divorce Lawyer – Who Should You Listen To?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmPeople tend to react differently to problems at different moments of time. This phenomenon is a universal observation. To make this concept easier, let’s look at an example. A child, whenever he or she feels insecure or in need of help and advice, tends to go to the parents. As children grow, so does their social circle, and with time they start going to other people for advice. In and beyond the teen years, people tend to turn more towards their friends for advice.

Yet, if you face a legal issue and come to a qualified divorce lawyer, there can sometimes occur a bit of a dichotomy for the clients. They are then at the crossroads of whose advice to pay heed to. Should they listen to their family regarding such an issue? Their friends? Or their Orange County family law attorney? This blog will give you some input as to whom to listen to when you have a legal problem in your family or personal life.

Divorce is an issue that is primarily a case of the happenings between you and your spouse with or without the interference from people on the outside. Most divorces are a mixture of a series of decisions that are taken or not taken by either spouse. Unlike other professions such as in medicine, divorce attorneys and their clients have a greater degree of consultation in their decision-making with each other.

As top Orange County divorce lawyers, we understand that the process of divorce can be painful for most, and in times of pain, the family and friends are usually the people to fall back to for support. While their support for emotional stability might be helpful, their advice in terms of decisions regarding the divorce case can be catastrophic.

Relatives of the people going through a divorce tend to have emotions charged themselves which means that their judgments and advices can be more out of some particular emotion rather than logical thinking. It is often seen that the relatives aren’t well versed in family law and may lead the spouse into making a decision that is unacceptable in court and might lead the spouse himself in trouble.

Compare the above to how divorce attorneys deal and the answer to the question raised at the very start will be clear. Lawyers treat their clients professionally, and with a professional connection with their clients, they can base their decisions on a clear-headed approach that enables them to give legally practicable advice to the client.

While the intention of the family and friends shouldn’t be doubted, it is important for people who are going through divorce that law is a profession that involves expertise, objectivity, and calm.

The Most Appropriate Time to Get Divorced

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top family lawyers Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThe decision to get divorced is one of the hardest for couples to take. Most divorces are known to leave a bitter mark on each of the spouses that are involved in the process. While the decision to get divorced is difficult enough, another decision that is equally important is the timing of the divorce. The timing of a divorce is important because of a number of factors. In this blog, we’ll look at different aspects to judge what the best time to get a divorce is.

The Timing of Divorce and the Age of the Child

When the children tend to grow up in each phase of their life, they react to different things differently. A child that is 6 years old is likely to react differently to their parents’ divorce compared to the reaction of a 16 year old. A child at a younger age may find it difficult to cope with the sudden changes in his/her life and the constant conflicts between his/her parents. Therefore, considering the timing of divorce with respect to the child’s age is important because your children are the ones who will be the most affected by any decision you take.

The Best Time To Divorce When The Children And Spouse Need Financial Protection

Financial decisions affect nearly all decisions in one’s everyday life and it is a no-brainer that when the time comes for making one of the biggest decisions of their lives, spouses tend to look at the financial aspect before deciding when to get a divorce.

If you are the parent that supports the family financially, the issue of the timing of the divorce becomes a little less complicated. This is because when you are the earner in the family, it is assumed that you are financially stable and your soon-to-be ex is not. Here is a list of questions that you should consider before your decision:

  • Have you considered the amount of time in child custody or visitation you’d want with your child?
  • Do you have an idea of how much child support you’ll need to pay?
  • Have you considered the division of the family’s assets and the fate of your house and subsequently your residence?

For stay-at-home parents, however, this decision can be a little tricky. In such situation you need to carefully consider your and your children’s financial future. Moving out wouldn’t be the wisest option for such parents because that may mean that the state of their finances will be almost impossible to control. In most cases, the parent can consider the timing of the divorce to decide to file for divorce and yet stay in the same residence as the other parent. This is legally an option in Orange County family law.

Remember, there is no “correct” time for filling a divorce. The timing of the divorce depends on a number of circumstances and factors in your  life and the lives of your children.

What documents do I need for divorce mediation?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

top family law attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmYou may have heard that you need to prepare a mountain of paperwork in order to begin your divorce.  This probably sounds like an overwhelming task.

The good news is that divorce mediation simplifies the paperwork process.  Instead of having two attorneys who want to examine every possible document from the marriage for litigation purposes, a divorce mediator asks a series of questions to determine exactly which documents are needed to fulfill court requirements and to sort out the issues.

To begin mediation, you do not need any documents at all.  During the first session, the mediator will find out from both parties what kinds of financial and legal issues are at stake.  Then, the mediator will provide each party with a simple checklist of documents that are needed.

If you want to get a head start on gathering these documents, you can start with the last three years of tax returns as well as recent statements from bank accounts, credit cards, loans and retirement accounts.

Using Forensic Accountants in Orange County Divorce Cases

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmDivorces can sometimes be complex. The complexity of the divorce depends on a number of factors. The most important reason at the core of most Orange County divorces whether they are complex or simple is finances. The financial aspect of a divorce is most commonly at the fore of divorces with each spouse making finances their number one priority after the children in a case. The complexities of the divorce can sometimes make the use of forensic accountants almost inevitable in some situations. In this blog, we will look at the role of the forensic accountants in Orange County divorce cases.

Why Are They Called In A Divorce Case?

Orange County divorce attorneys use forensic accountants in situations where the financial matters become too technical for a lay person to be able to comprehend. This can be in situations related to valuation disagreements and tax issues.

·         To Determine Child Support

In cases where the spouses are self employed and therefore have no set salaried or monthly income, an Orange County lawyer will need detailed analysis of their incomes to be able to take out the specific and equitable child support amount. A forensic accountant can be of use not only to the Orange County lawyers in determining the exact incomes of both.

Sometimes, forensic accountants are used to protect a spouse being over calculations of his or her income by the Orange County family courts. Forensic accountants are also beneficial in being able to identify concealment or underreporting of income to avoid the hefty child support payments.

·         To Determine Spousal Support

The process of determining spousal support is similar to that of determining the child support. This means that most of the work that the forensic accountant is likely to do in child support cases is similar to his/her tasks for spousal support. A forensic accountant can be asked by the courts or the lawyers of either of the spouse to make a marital life style calculation which will help the courts get an exact bearing of the couples’ financial past.

·         Valuation of the Business

Orange County divorces that have self-employed spouses tend to have more financial intricacies than the other ones. In such a moment of time, there are several issues that can come up, one of the most important one is the valuation of the business for its correct distribution among the parties. Forensic accountants use their financial knowledge to solve such complex valuation issues allowing for fairer decisions.

·         Separate or Community Property

There are distinctions under California law between the two types of properties. One of them is the community while the other is separate property. At times, the intricacies of the financial matters can require use of forensic accountants are brought in to distinguish between the communal and separate property.