Why Divorce Is So Common Among Celebrity Couples

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmEvery marriage takes work. Just meeting and marrying someone you are in love with doesn’t automatically mean you will live happily ever after. Every married couple experiences some ups and downs in the marriage and it is how we handle the downs that decide if the marriage will work.

Celebrity marriages 

Celebrities like Hollywood A-listers might live larger than life but at the heart of it they are human too. They too have good days and bad and also have moments of vulnerability like the rest of us.

Along with high paying jobs also comes a lot of pressure which could put a strain on their personal lives. Working in a highly competitive profession, spending a lot of time away from home, and spending a lot of time with attractive costars can make celebrity marriages hard work.

Here are some of the things that can go wrong in a celebrity marriage:

  • The demands of the profession: Actors and singers often have to travel to film movies or give concerts. It is not always possible for their spouses to travel along with them especially if the spouse also has a packed travel schedule. Celebrity couples often drift apart because they barely get to spend any time togethe
  • Competitive jobs: With so many new comers to the acting and singing industry each year, celebrities have to constantly up their game to stay relevant. It is not uncommon for jealousy to set in when one spouse’s career is doing extremely well while the other is struggling. Resentment could build up in the marriage which could ultimately lead to a divorce
  • Insecurities and cheating: When a celebrity spouse is away on concert or shooting for a film there is a good chance they are spending a lot of time in close proximity with attractive costars. This could lead to the spouse who is not present developing insecurities about the relationship. In many cases these insecurities are not unfounded and affairs do actually start on set. Cheating and the constant fear of it are detrimental to a marriage.
  • Emotional and mental strain: Many celebrities are prone to depression and anxiety because of the demands of the job. Lack of sleep, no emotional support when away from home, tight schedules can all lead to emotional and mental breakdowns. What starts off as prescription medication to help cope with the strain can lead to substance abuse which could damage a marriage considerably.

Celebrities very often have to give more to their jobs than they do to their personal lives. With no time to make the marriage work combined with all the other pressures of the job it is no wonder that divorce rates are high among celebrity couples.

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.  

Signs That Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Lawyers Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThe assets owned by you typically come under various heads such as a business, your primary residence or primary home, a professional practice, cash value of your life insurance coverage, pension funds, retirement funds, shares, savings, bank accounts and other property investments. Rather than depending on the integrity of your spouse or only relying on the fair conduct of the court, it is a sensible approach to watch out for these strategies and signs to know whether your spouse is trying to hide marital assets are not.

Check out the following key aims for your spouse to hide assets during a divorce:
1. To claim that expenses are greater than they are in reality
2. Highlight that their income is lower than it is
3. Exaggerate debts to show that they are insolvent

These are the most common tactics in a divorce:
1. Transfer asset ownership of marital assets to close friends or family members and ask them to hold until the divorce is finalized
2. Hiring a conspirator for manipulating the timing of invoicing creditors or income
3. Hiding unrecorded cash secretly
4. Extract recorded cash in the sly to apply complex accounting schemes

Check out some of these most common tricks used by spouses to hide assets:

1. Making advance claim for entitlement
2. Keep complaining about high debt or lack of money to stay away from later suspicions
3. Placing money on a casino account if the person is fond of frequent gambling
4. Announcing all of a sudden that their business has failed
5. Receive settlements and accounts at a private mailing as areas or postal box
6. Try to be secretive or tight-lipped about financial matters

1. Delay in signing fresh contracts that could lead to increased income
2. Including friends or other family members on the payroll. Alternatively, pay them in lieu of their so-called consulting services that they are supposed to pay back at a later point of time
3. Pay more than what is actually due to pre-pay vendors or creditors that they refund once the divorce comes through
4. Purposely overlook reimbursing business-related expenses till the divorce is finalized

1. A spouse may sell marital assets to the friends or family members who pose as independent buyers. The profits, if any are shared once the divorce proceedings are over
2. Assets can be transferred to friends and family. Later on, once the divorce comes through, they are reversed
3. A sudden and overwhelming decline in the value of business or marital investments or assets can be declared by a spouse to minimize suspicion

1. Procure or maintain full control of the banking information, passwords and bank accounts
2. Open bank accounts in a friend or child’s name to conceal funds
3. Set up several business or personal fans accounts to transfer funds

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.  

Divorcing Parents And Understanding Parental Alienation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

family law attorney Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmWhen one parent tries to turn a child against the other parent it is called parental alienation. Parental alienation can occur in a divorce especially if there is a custody battle going on.  Sometimes one parent hopes to gain full custody of the children by poisoning their minds against the other parent and hoping the children will choose not to stay with that parent.  Behavior that amounts to parental alienation can and usually does  backfire and you could lose custody in the process if proven.

What happens during parental alienation? 

There are three sides involved in parental alienation; the alienating parent is the one who is poisoning the child’s mind, the target parent is at the receiving end, and the child or children caught in the middle. When a couple has divorced they might get joint custody of a child or one might get full custody and the other visitation rights. In a case where one parent is not happy with the arrangement and wants the other parent out of the child’s life completely he or she might resort to parental alienation.

If for example the mother who has custody doesn’t want her ex involved with her children in any way she might tell her children unpleasant things about their father. Talking about their father as irresponsible, lazy, abusive and maybe even violent could make the children not want to see their father again. It is possible that the mother is not wrong but there could be a different way to approach the situation like supervised visits or requesting that the father get rehabilitation.

The other scenario is that the mother is making up a lot of things just to turn her children against their father. But what she is doing in both cases is depriving the children of one parent and also causing them a lot of emotional distress. Constant alienating tactics could emotionally scar children for the rest of their lives.

What are the consequences? 

If it can be proven that the alienating parent is emotionally damaging the child or children it is quite possible that Child Protective Services could remove the child from his or her custody. Alienating a former spouse simply to eliminate them from your life completely could cost you losing your kids altogether. Parental alienation can be considered a form of child abuse and the parent responsible might lose all contact with their child or children as a result of it.

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

How To Take Good Financial Decisions During A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmAs a married couple you might have enjoyed a certain sense of financial security. Whether you were being supported by your spouse or you had two incomes coming in, it is always easier when you have someone to share the responsibility with. Going through a divorce could affect your financial situation in unexpected ways and if you are not prepared for them life could get very difficult.

Here are a few ways you can make good financial decisions to help you during a divorce:

  1. Mutual consent and shared lawyer fees: At the very start of your divorce you could find yourself shelling out a lot by way of legal fees. If you can talk to your spouse and you can both agree on a mutual consent divorce you could even hire one lawyer between both of you. A single lawyer who represents both your interests also means that you can split the cost between you two, or you should consider using a divorce mediator to work out the issues in your divorce.  Mutual consent could also avoid lengthy court proceedings which will reduce overall costs.
  1. Asset division: According to California law any property or other assets bought during marriage are considered community property and should be divided equally between partners. If you decide that you want to keep the house you might have to pay your ex for their share in the house which might not be economically feasible to you. You might want to look at the option of selling the house and dividing the amount equally between both of you.
  1. Child support: If children are involved you should consider your options for child support. If one parent has full custody an agreement should be worked out where the other parent provides financial support for the children. Even in cases of shared custody and co-parenting and arrangement can be made where the parent who earns more could help the other parent out financially.
  1. Get insurance: If you are receiving child support and alimony from your former spouse you are at possible risk of them not being able to pay you at any point. Your ex could lose their job or suffer and injury which might prevent them from working for a while making it difficult for them to pay you. You could have an agreement that requires your ex to be insured against such incidents so that they can continue with the payments.

There are many areas you might overlook while getting a divorce which could place a large financial burden on you in the long run. It might help to hire a professional to assess the situation and give you sound financial advice before you make any decisions.

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

How To Make Your Custody & Visitation Proposal

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county child custody attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmWhen getting a divorce where children are involved it is extremely important to have a custody agreement that is best for the child. Whether you decide to have shared custody or one parent has primary custody and the other visitation rights, a consistency should be maintained.

When making your custody and visitation proposal, here are a few points that you should consider:

  1. Time spent with each parent: It is not always possible or even realistic for children to spend the exact amount of time with each parent every week. The schedule needs to be planned carefully so that both parents get sufficient quality time with the kids while not disrupting the regular school and extracurricular activity schedule. Drops and pickups should be considered while making the schedule. If the schedule causes one parent to get a little more time with the kids it would help immensely if the other parent let it go without holding a grudge. The best interest of the children needs to be the priority. 
  1. School breaks and vacations: When children are on a school break their schedules can be adjusted so that time away from school is shared between both parents. An understanding needs to be made that if one parent is taking the kids on a vacation the other parent needs to be informed a few days or weeks in advance. The visitation time lost during the vacation should be adjusted either before or after the vacation. Plans can also be drawn up where each parent takes turns to take the children on holiday. 
  1. Birthdays and other occasions: As far as possible parents should try and work things out so that they are both present for birthdays, sports events, graduations and so on. It is important for children to have both parents be part of their big moments so parents should try and bury their differences and be civil to each other when being there for their children. There should also be guidelines in place for what needs to be done if a child or parent is ill and the schedule gets disrupted. 
  1. Legal requirements: The different states in the US have their own set of requirements for visitation proposals. You will need to consult with your lawyer to make sure that you are meeting all the criteria so that your proposal gets accepted by the authorities.

In California, a preference is given to shared custody and if one parent wants full custody they need to present a good case of how it benefits the children. The courts also require the full schedule of how the children’s time is divided between school, home and each parent before they approve the visitation proposal.

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.  

Steps to Take While Preparing for Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIn case you and your spouse can come to an amicable settlement on all issues minus the litigation, your divorce invariably become less costly and easier. However, if that cannot be accomplished, you need to ensure that you hire an experienced divorce attorney who is willing as well as capable of litigating your case in a court.

A major goal of any divorce process is to ensure that there is an equitable division of both assets and debts accumulated during a marriage. To make sure that you receive your deserved share, it is vital to know what is owed as well as what is owned by you. Thus, it is a 2-step process.

Ascertain what you own

There are some marital assets about which there are no doubts at all. It is obvious that any vehicles and financial accounts and the marital house are assets, which should be distributed equitably between the two concerned parties. However, there are some assets that may not be so obvious and can include items such as pension plans, belongings or inheritances that were accumulated or acquired during the course of a marriage, and artwork.

It makes sense to list down all the possible assets. Collect all relevant documentation related to all the assets along with details like where and when the assets were bought, their current values, and if they were purchased jointly or individually. It is imperative for you to keep a copy of recent appraisals of your real estates. Show all the documentation to your lawyer. However, you should maintain a separate copy for your convenience.

Ascertain what you owe

While ascertaining what you need to pay, it is immaterial who has taken the debt. Any marital debt will be divided on the basis of which party is financially more settled to be able to pay off the debts. It does not matter the debt is in whose name. The simplest technique to ascertain a marital debt is to fetch your credit report’s copy. All your existing debts are typically outlined in that report. After determining the details of debts that exist, you should procure statements on all those accounts where the due balance is reflecting. While your attorney should have this information, you should also have a copy of them for filing purpose.

Set up your own credit

In case you do not have any credit only in your name, it is high time you set up some as early as possible. This can be easily done by getting a credit card in your name alone and not owning one jointly. There are women who face a tough time buying their own car or house as they have been spending all their years without any sole credit in their names. While the credit that you had for all the past years with your husband will be helpful to him after you attain a single status, your credit will be very little to keep such payments up.

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 Abuse During Marriage

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmA couple goes through several ups and downs in their relationship when a marriage becomes rocky and is a troubled one. Contrary to what many people would like to believe, some key causes of divorces are infidelity, domestic violence, and emotional or physical violence. There can be different forms of abusive behavior such as financial, physical or emotional. Such behavior can have a negative impact on the stability of a marriage while the abused partner may go through a disturbed mental state. If you are a woman, read on to know the different forms of abusive behavior and ways of handling them.

Verbal abuse 

When your husband uses filthy language and tries to demean you or screams at you frequently or treats you shabbily in the presence of his family members or friends, they are clear symptoms of you being verbally abused. It is high time when both of you should sit together when you should tell him to stop such demeaning treatment immediately. You should let him know that such behavior is affecting your relationship deeply.

Physical abuse or domestic violence 

Such abusive behaviors are usually meted out when your partner tries to dominate and control you. There is clearly an anger issue with your husband and so he is trying to use violence as a tool to control you and resolve matters according to his terms. Your husband will even try threatening you when in his abusive best and try to put you down. Such behavior can depress you and can even demolish your self-confidence. In case you are subjected to acts of domestic violence by your spouse, your first and most important step would be to identify it as early as possible. You should never tolerate such acts and take corrective measures to remain safe. It is crucial to communicate what is happening with you and involve a reputable marriage counselor when you feel such issues can be sorted out through therapy. However, if nothing improves, then it is better to end your marriage at the first available opportunity. After all, every woman should respect her sanity and worth.

Financial of economic abuse 

Keeping a close tab on every penny that you spend, not allowing you to have a separate bank account, forcing you to make certain career options and forcing families so that you are unable to pursue your job are some of the examples of going through a financially abusive relationship or marriage. It is a major concern for all those women who depend on their spouses financially.

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.  

Facts You Should Know About Legal Custody

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Best Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmThe term legal custody refers to a situation where in a parent is entrusted with certain obligations and rights to make important decisions on how they should bring up their kids and other important factors relevant to the welfare of their child. Some of these can be dental and health care, religious instructions, and proper education.

Joint legal custody 

Most states like California award legal custody of a child to both the parents in disputes related to such cases, which is known as joint legal custody. Joint custody signifies that both the parents will shoulder the responsibility of their child. However, a parent may not be awarded such responsibility if the court finds out that they are unsuitable to make decisions in the best interests of the kids. Legal custody and physical custody are completely different ball games altogether. The latter is more concerned with where and which parent a kid will stay after the divorce.

There are different forms of legal custody. Usually, only one parent functions as the key caregiver in the marriage. It is applicable irrespective of whether the marriage is intact or where the parents got divorced. Examples could be to authorize in case of any type of medical exigency or make a decision at the last moment for the welfare of the child. Although the other parent is allowed by the court to participate in the decision-making process, parents should put their heads together and try to arrive at an amicable arrangement for handling the affairs of their child in a practical manner.

Why does a court award sole legal custody? 

Several complications may pop up in the case of a joint custody. It may not be possible for both the parents to collaborate together and arrive at a consensus. After all, misunderstandings and arguments are not something completely unheard of. Decision-making may become next to impossible when there are vigorous arguments while settling even the simplest of issues.

The judges would like to see both the parents contributing and working together towards the best interests of the child. But when they feel that both the parents are at constant loggerheads when they have to manage the affairs of their offspring, they will make a decision that is in the best interests the kid.

The court may give sole custody to one of the parents when the other parent:

  • Resides at a far-off distance.
  • Is highly abusive or negligent.
  • Does not make any kind of effort to spend some quality time with their friends.

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



Are You Prepared If Divorce Is Your Only Option?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmWhat should be your next course of action when a marriage counselor is unable to convince you and your spouse to patch your marriage up? You can follow the path of many such couples who decided to settle their issues through a mutually consented divorce. Divorce is never an expected event in a couple’s married life of brings in a big impact on the financial positions of both the spouses involved.  When the divorce is obtained through mutual consent, both the wife and the husband try to settle their financial separation on certain terms and conditions, which are usually acceptable to them both, in fact, the details and the mode of such a settlement is in the in hands of the husband and the rife. A settlement for divorce can either include assets and money or can be done rigor them. The partners simply need to reaffirm their agreement in the court. Thus, in case divorce is the only option left before you, you must be prepared with the following steps.

Have a discussion with your partner on the financial details

While emotions do come in while you are separating, do not bring them while settling the financial matters. Even before you start discussing the various financial matters; it makes sense to understand the cash flow first. Thereafter you should sit with your spouse and try to figure out all the assets and savings like two mature individuals.  Your next step should be to list dine all these savings and assets’ market value. You can get in touch with a financial consultant or planner to get your assets valued properly. The distribution of savings and assets should be on the basis of how much each spouse had contributed, in case they did not succeed to arrive at an agreement on dividing them.

Splitting the assets

After you gave jotted down your assets as well as liabilities and their current market value, it is now time to split them. When the assets are being divided, you need to take into consideration what role will be played by each partner. The reason for this is while your spouse could be bearing all the expenses while you may be contributing for the savings.min case the rife is not earning sufficient money to support herself or she is unemployed, the husband needs to give her alimony. This could be applicable though she could be having her own income but her earning is not adequate to ensure a similar standard of living like her husband.

Child care

In case the couple has children, things may be more complicated.  Spouses may come to an agreement on a particular staggered payment or a lump sum amount to be paid to the person who will have the child’s custody. It can even be a payment made on a monthly basis with an incremental increase, taking into account the increasing cost of living.

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. 

What Can And Cannot Be Considered As Income For Child Support

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child support attorney Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmDivorce is always a difficult period for the couple going through the procedure. The proceedings, however, are much harder if there are children involved. Children below the age of 18 are involved in the unpleasant business of divorce despite their unwillingness. Divorce settlements often do not proceed smoothly especially when there are issues revolving around child support. Debates often arise when it comes to calculating the percentage of an individual’s income that goes into child support. Confusions can also arise when it comes to determining the type of income that can and cannot be considered as child support.

Income considered as child support

Generally, income is a broad term that encompasses the monetary benefits an individual attains from work, pensions, dividends, rental properties, trust funds, and so on. When it comes to divorce settlements for individuals who own businesses in Orange County, California, income is calculated by subtracting the expenses incurred in the business from the gross revenue generated by the business. Courts may also extend the calculated income to include any monetary benefits that are instrumental in reducing the living expenses of an individual.

Recent laws also classify financial gifts received from an individual’s parents as income.

Details on how much of a person’s income actually goes into child support are explicitly stated under the California Family Code Section 4050. Usually, the amount that goes into child support is calculated by taking into account the incomes of both parents, the time the child spends with each of the parents, and any tax reductions that are applicable. An estimate for the amount to be paid can be calculated using the California Guideline Child Support Calculator that is based on California Child Support Guidelines.

Income that cannot be considered as child support

Deciding income that cannot be considered as child support is a difficult task. It varies according to state laws and sometimes according to what the court decides. Despite uncertainties, there are certain types of income that are not eligible to be considered as child support according to Orange County laws. Benefits arising from life insurance policies, any income that is speculative, stock options that cannot be liquidated, and settlements from disputes relating to personal injury cannot be considered as income for child support. Gifts like cars and household items that are not monetary in nature are not considered income. These are a few situations where the resulting monetary benefits are not considered an actual stable income. Each of these situations is subject to change depending on the final decision taken by the Court.

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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