Invalidating Sections of a Prenuptial Agreement

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

prenuptial agreements Orange CountyA prenuptial agreement is a legal contract signed by spouses-to-be. It is an understanding about which assets will become a part of the marital property, who will continue to own what assets and how will the finances and assets be divided if a divorce ever occurs. A prenup generally protects the spouse with greater wealth so that they do not have to lose in the event of a divorce.

Women should always opt for a well-executed pre-nuptial agreement. A thoughtfully prepared prenup can be an excellent means of protecting your gifts or inheritances if you ever have to go through a divorce. But the truth is that prenuptial agreements can be contested and certain provisions of the agreement can be invalidated.

Grounds for invalidating a prenup

A prenuptial agreement can be declared invalid on the following grounds –

  • If it can be proved that the prenup is fraudulent. It may be possible that either of the spouses did not disclose their debts, properties and other assets completely.
  • If any party was forced to sign the agreement.
  • If the paperwork is incomplete and inaccurately done.
  • If the agreement was executed without the presence of and validation from any legal representative.
  • If the provisions are not practical.

Ways to prevent invalidation

As it is quite possible to contest and invalidate a prenup on the above mentioned grounds, it goes without saying that you need to make your prenup as foolproof as possible. Apart from that, certain other measures can be taken to prevent the invalidation of a prenuptial agreement and also protect one’s assets. These include –

  • Each spouse should have separate assets and should maintain them separately. Co-owning or having joint accounts will allow the assets to be considered as marital property.
  • Hire an asset protection trust attorney and consult with them. One way of ensuring absolute protection of your separate properties includes transferring ownership into a trust. Do it before you get married or at least before you file for a divorce.
  • Get your properties, businesses and other assets valued at the time of your marriage. Also, get them appraised.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated, so it’s important to know about the divorce process first and then about prenuptial agreement.  So download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Advice About Learning To Date Again After A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmYou have dealt with the stressful lengthy proceedings of divorce litigation, and finally achieved what you have wanted for a long time. But do you really feel that you have let bygones be bygones, and moved on? There is a constant lingering emptiness at the back of your mind that makes you feel hopeless. After receiving an enormous setback in your life, you feel devoid of any motivation, inspiration or the will to get back on track. You might even end up feeling dejected that life will never be the same again.

However, as the old adage goes, ‘Time is the biggest healer’, your scars will eventually heal up too. Your despair that drives you to think that you may never find love in your life again is actually unfounded. We are here to make you understand that a divorce is not the end of your life; in fact it marks a new beginning full of hopes and aspirations of a better life ahead.

Get in touch with your inner self

Ever thought of the idea of dating post a split with your ex? It might not sound that easy, but it surely holds the basis of a new life ahead of you. But, the first thing to do is, that you need to get back in touch with the new you, and get adjusted to being single again. Indulge in your passions, work towards self improvement, and basically start doing all the things that put a smile to your face. Before going ahead with seeking attention from the other gender, you need to get rid of all that extra baggage from your past relationship, and start afresh.

Avoid rushing things

There is always some pent up latent anger left in our hearts, even after the passage of considerable amount of time. However, if you feel angry, depressed or devoid of any happiness in life, you might want to reconsider getting into a new relationship just yet. More often than not, a new relationship, right after a breakup of a divorce, might be a result of a rebound that we are experiencing. Such a situation is harmful, both to you and your new partner, and should be avoided at all costs. Take time to rid yourself of such heavy emotions and then move on.

Join clubs and dating websites

It is always helpful to join clubs or groups for networking with single individuals, to enhance your area of research. Don’t shy away from taking help from the online dating websites, as they give you access to an enormous amount of data, and help widening your exposure to the other gender community.

Just remember that it is never too late to make a new start. All you need is a bit of effort, willingness and a positive attitude, and everything will fall into place, probably sooner than you ever thought.

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.  

Is Your Divorce Getting In The Way Of You Being A Good Parent?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThe emotional turmoil and conflicts, arising from a divorce, might leave an individual drained out of any reasoning or rationale. However, if you are a couple with kids, and are deciding upon a legal separation, you might want to rethink your entire approach, during and after your divorce. You might not realize, but your kids have been exposed to a higher degree of trauma, than both of you together. Your kid is at a tender age, and still under the process of physical as well as mental development. It is your responsibility to distinguish your personal conflicts with your spouse, for the best interests of your child, and make your divorce a calm and conducive transition for him.

Despite the fact that most of the adults are well aware of their parental responsibilities, yet they end up making grave mistakes that leave their child scarred for life. We are listing a few heedless mistakes on your part, which might be getting in the way of you being a good parent, during and after your divorce. 

Making your child the messenger 

There are several parents out there who use their kids as a medium to communicate with their partner during and after a divorce. However, this is an extremely harmful practice that might expose your kid to undue distress, and have a detrimental effect on their mental health. There are hundreds of media nowadays that can be used to make a connection with your partner. You might want to spare your kid the horror of being involved in frivolous arguments and violent discussions.

Trying to criticize the acts of your ex 

You need to understand that your kid belongs to your ex as much as he belongs to you. Criticizing your ex, or calling them names, might end up harboring unwarranted confusions and negativity in the tender mind of your child. Let your child speak if he has something to say. There are a lot of individuals who are bent upon tarnishing the image of their spouse in the eyes of their kids. The act of disparaging your kid’s other parent will make him feel demeaned too.

And last but not the least, there are several of us who tend to share intricate details of the marital issues and conflicts with our older children, in a bid to get their approval. However, you need to acknowledge the fact, that a divorce was your decision, and your child does not have to witness the ugly truth about life just yet.

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.

4 Signs That Your Child Is Taking The Divorce Badly

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

family law attorney Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmEvery individual is born different and so are your children. There are several kids who end up responding more violently to emotional outbursts and traumas, as compared to the others. Similarly, there are different kinds of reactions to a divorce, which your child may exhibit, depending upon several factors such as his emotional vulnerability, upbringing and the level of exposure to the negative intricacies of your divorce. While several children grow up to have absolutely normal lives, after witnessing the divorce of a parent, many of them might end up getting scarred for life. 

While a general feeling of loneliness and a fear of abandonment is usually considered a normal response of a child to the separation of his parents, the existence of certain over the top violent reactions might indicate a deeper conflict. There are several indicators of a child’s behavior that may exhibit the fact that he is being adversely affected by a parental divorce. 

Extreme aggression 

While a little anger over their parent’s decision is considered normal, extreme bouts of aggression and violence might indicate that the child has been deeply injured, as a result of the separation. Such children might end up directing this anger towards themselves as well as the others. 

Frequent breaking of rules 

With their parents involved in their own issues and conflicts, the children end up becoming more brash and undisciplined in their everyday lives. The fact, that their own parents have broken the rules of marriage, might be the rationale behind them developing a disregard for rules and regulations at school and at home. 

Increasing isolation and sleep problems 

More often than not, the children of divorced parents develop sleeping and eating disorders, as a direct result of the negativity surrounding them. They might even become increasingly isolated and withdrawn from their friends and family, and take solace in their own company. Such children try to avoid all contacts with people who might bring up the topic of their parent’s divorce.

Alcohol or drug abuse 

At extreme levels of anxiety and mental anguish, some of the children might also end up becoming a slave to an addiction. Many teenage kids resort to drug or alcohol abuse, as a means to get distracted from the harsh and painful reality of their lives.

If your kids are exhibiting any of these signs and symptoms, they might be suffering from an extreme physiological damage, as a result of your divorce. It is now, that you might want to spend some quality time with your children and try to mend their skewed beliefs and notions about your separation.

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.  

Is Your Child Suffering From Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmIt is the children who often suffer the most in the event of a divorce of their parents. However, their torment reaches unprecedented levels, if one or both of the parents are unwilling to create a positive and congenial environment for their kids, post-divorce. There are a huge number of reported cases, in which the battle for child custody ended up taking an ugly shape. Many a times, one of the parents has been reported to brainwash the kid, and manipulate him in such a way, that he develops harsh feelings and a sense of loathing for the target parent. Such an act leads to a psychological disorder referred to as the parental alienation syndrome in the child. The root cause of such manipulative programming of the child’ psyche originates from the fact, that one or both of the parents are unable to distinguish their personal conflicts from the well being of the child.

What are the symptoms of parental alienation syndrome?

We are listing a few symptoms that might exhibit a manifestation of the parental alienation syndrome in your child, post a divorce or a legal separation.

  • The child has developed skewed notions about the target parent, and views the alienating parent as the only one having honest and positive attributes. The child starts to distinguish between the two parents as good and bad, and tends to develop feelings of hatred and disdain for the target parent.
  • Such a child doesn’t acknowledge the fact that he is being coached or manipulated by his alienating parent. Instead, he tries to project the feeling of abhorrence for the target parent, as his personal choice.
  • The child’s distorted notions often end up extending to the target parent’s family as well. He might begin refusing any kind of contact with the relatives of the target parent, even if they are congenial and warm towards him, irrespective of the separation.
  • More often than not, the ideas of loath and disrespect stem from baseless accusations. The child develops feelings of contempt and fear, as a result of a mere conditioning of their psyche, which are rarely based on any authentic personal experiences.
  • And most importantly, the loving and conducive relationship that the child shared with the target parent, prior to the alienation, has vanished into thin air without any possible rationale. The child may gradually drift away, and break all contacts with their once loved target parent.

In a nutshell, parental alienation is that harmful act that can possibly damage the psychological health of your child for the rest of his life, and must be refrained from at all costs.

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.  

Has Our Lifestyle Increased The Divorce Rates?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmThe divorce rates in the U.S. have been on the rise for quite some time now. Studies exhibit that nearly 40 to 50% of all first marriages in the United States end up in a permanent legal separation or a divorce. However, this figure goes up to 60% when taking into account the second marriages. The history of separation has been prevalent for as long as the institution of marriage in our society. However, the divorce rates have significantly taken a huge leap in the last fifty years. There are several factors that influence our propensity to divorce our partners. The most significant one, however, is the lifestyle change that we have encountered in the past few decades. Let us see how this so-called lifestyle change has driven us towards a higher tendency to divorce our significant other.

Our independence has made us self-sufficient 

We all are trapped in the race for rapid urbanization, and as a result we have started to trust our independent lives more than our marital lives. We are a highly independent lot of people, earning six figures already and coveting for more promotions and a heftier pay packet. It is a decreased dependence on each other, which makes us prone to feeling that there is no problem or issue that we cannot solve ourselves, including the one related to our marital lives. A decline in our humility, restrains us from seeking outside help from friends and family, in dealing with our issues, and usually ends up making us a victim of a divorce. 

Our declining morals and skewed beliefs 

Nowadays people do not hesitate from seeking solace elsewhere, if they are not finding comfort within their wedlock. With a change in our mindset, we find this act of straying away from our spouse, quite justifiable, and end up damaging our relationship, sometimes even beyond repair. We have developed a distorted notion about the sacred institution of marriage, which encourages us to indulge in devastating acts of infidelity.

Marriages are viewed as indispensible

Adding onto our skewed beliefs, is the fact that now we live in a society, that views everything as disposable. If a thing doesn’t serve our purpose anymore, we tend to discard it, instead of trying to mend it. The belief is extended to marriages that are unable to give us happiness, and we end up throwing them away as well. In the world, where everyone is looking for a quick fix for their problems, we do not want to invest any time and effort in resolving our marital disagreements.

The times are changing, and so are our beliefs and ideals. However, it is time to wake and smell the coffee, and understand that our marital life is not a dispensable commodity. It is a relationship that commands respect and efforts to withstand the test of times.

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.  

Dealing with Visitation After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

family law lawyers in orange county; The Maggio Law FirmA divorce is a devastating time for both the parties involved. But, it can be even more agonizing and perplexing for the children, who find it difficult to assimilate the reality that they no more get to stay with both parents together. However, visitation is a process that maintains the much needed connectivity between the family, during and after a divorce. Despite the fact that most visitations end up becoming the source of a conflict between the parents, it is utmost essential to understand and acknowledge the fact that their children belong to both of them. They need to accept the reality and work towards making the visitation process, a positive and healthy experience for their children. We are listing a few guidelines to make your visitation process a smooth and calming experience for everyone involved.

Be positive 

The first and foremost thing is, to remain optimistic and cheery, when going to meet your kids, post a divorce. The idea is to steer clear of any negativity that you have developed for your spouse, and concentrate more on the well being on your child.

 Be punctual

Your children need to know that they are important to you, and that you will be there for them, whenever they need. It is utmost essential to be on time for your visit, since this shows how much you value the meetings with your child. Structure your visits keeping your children as the focus point and indulge in spending quality time with them.

Allow your kid to call up the other parent

You need to accept and acknowledge the fact that your spouse has an equal right to your kid, as you. Allow your child to make phone calls to the other parent, when he is with you. It is important to exhibit to your child that you are willing to go that extra mile, just for the sake of fostering the relationship between a parent and his child.

Stay away from any arguments

There might several instances during your drop off or pick up times, wherein you felt tempted to bring out the differences with your spouse, and spark off an argument. However, it is imperative to understand that visitation is a time that is specifically designed for the benefit of your kids, and not to resolve your personal issues. Seeing their parents argue can have a detrimental effect on the psyche of your child, and should be avoided at all cost.

You need to keep in mind that by working together with your spouse in dealing with the visitation process in a positive manner, you can actually save your child from getting scarred for life.

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.  

Same-Sex Couples & Child Custody Issues

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Gay marriage domestic partnership attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmSame sex parents who are headed towards a divorce or separation have the same problems, issues, and concerns as heterosexual parents.  Avoiding a custody battle that can get very complicated not only for the couple but for the children as well is advisable.  A joint decision needs to be reached on matters such as legal custody (decision making for the child), physical custody (who the child lives with), visitation rights (how often the noncustodial parent visits), and child support.

If both of you are legal parents

Same sex couples can be legal parents if –

  • Both jointly adopted the child.
  • The child was born into a marriage or civil union or registered domestic partnership.
  • The non-biological or non-adoptive parent adopts the child.

In a situation where both parents have equal legal rights, child-related issues are handled as it would be for ‘straight’ divorces. A judge would decide the outcome of the issues related to the custody of the child based on a number of factors.

If only one of you is the legal parent

If only one parent is the legal parent then the second parent’s rights, in all probability, will not get enough recognition by the court. The first parent or the legal parent gets the right to decide on most of the issues related to their child or children.

The sole parent has the right and power to curtail visitation rights of the second parent. The legal parent, by default, becomes the legal and physical custodian of the child or children involved. The second parent, in all likelihood, will have to pay child support as demanded by the legal parent.

The second parent can always file for partial custody and more lenient visitation rights. It should always be kept in mind, that where the law does not give equal preference to both the parents, it is always a very good idea to go for mediation and not go through the court system.

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.

Survival Strategies for Coping with a Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmAfter a tumultuous marriage and a devastating divorce, most of the people find themselves stuck in a perpetual loop of self-loathing and depression. The painful fights, the never ending disagreements and the exhausting court proceedings may leave you scarred for the rest of your life. However, one must not forget that separation is a part of life and it does not imply that their life has ended. There is a life post-divorce, which is full of possibilities and hopes of resurrecting your old self and building a new you. Read on for a few strategies that might help you survive the trauma of a devastating divorce.

Allow yourself to grieve your loss

Grief is the nature’s way to handle the pressure of a loss. The sorrow inside your heart makes its way to the outside through every drop of tear you shed. Divorce involves a loss of companionship, emotional support, and even shared hopes and dreams. The agony of losing someone may wreak havoc to both your mental and physical health. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to drain out all the pain and negativity from your body by allowing yourself to grieve your loss.

Seek outside support from friends and family

When in distress, most of us tend to isolate ourselves and ruminate over our failures and losses. However, staying alone and constantly revisiting old times and related sorrow, would eventually make us more depressed and wound up in the memories of our dark past. Seeking support of your loved ones is critical to the healing of your injured soul. You may reach out to people who would actually listen to you and offer you positive advice. In case you find it difficult to open up with your own family, you may seek outside help of professional counselors or psychologists, who would help you in dealing with your mental crisis.

Take care of yourself and indulge in activities that make you happy

A divorce marks a huge life changing event in your life that divides your life into the ‘before’ and ‘after’ phases. The enormous levels of stress involved in a divorce might leave you devoid of any desire to live or take care of yourself. However, this is the time that both your body and mind demand more attention and care than ever before. Take plenty of rest and try to limit all the other sources of stress in your life. Indulge in hobbies that you might have given up for a long time now. Read a motivational book, go for leisurely walks in the park, join a new baking class or indulge in gardening.

The most important thing to understand here is that life doesn’t end with a divorce, it merely takes a detour.

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.

Factors Associated With A Higher Risk Of Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmThe concept of divorce has been prevalent in the society for as long as the tradition of marriage. Nearly half of the marriages, ending in a divorce or a separation of some kind, make them akin to a gamble. However, that does not imply that we should give up on our belief in this sacred institution. If we are aware of the factors that might lead our marriage to a divorce, we might just be able to avoid it.

The declining importance of marriage in today’s society

We are living in an age where we have become used to of disposing off the things that do not work anymore. We have begun treating our relationships in a similar fashion. People today are always looking for a quick fix for their problems. If these problems happen to be arising from a relationship with our spouse, we are willing to dispose them off from our lives too. The value of nuptial vows has long gone down the drain. If there are issues within wedlock, people are more prone to discarding their marriage and moving on to the next one, rather than rolling up their sleeves and working towards a solution.

Divorce of a parent

Studies indicate that if your parents ended up divorced, you might be at a higher risk of divorcing your spouse too. The psychology and upbringing of a single-parent child is often held accountable for this behavioral trait in him. If at a tender age, you witnessed the endless fights of your parents, which eventually lead to a separation, you might grow up fearful and insecure of the longevity of your own marital bond.

People are unwilling to be at the losing side of a fight

With the growing independence of both men and women in today’s world, it is becoming more and more difficult to settle marital differences and disagreements, peacefully. People are unable to understand that they cannot dominate all the situations in life. There will be times when, either of the parties will have to give up the control to their better half and not crib about it. However, most us nowadays are lead by the ‘my way or the highway’ ideology, and are hesitant to yield control of a situation to our spouse.

The increasing divorce rates indicate a loss of basic trust and compromise in the marriages of today. However, with a little work and support of both the parties, the marital bond could be made to last forever.

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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