Did Your Childhood Lead to Your Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmMost of us who have gone through a painful divorce or separation often ruminate as to why we ended up with our partner. Once the marriage is broken, we realize that it was our fault in the first place, to have developed an alliance with a person who was absolutely unsuitable for us.

Extensive research and studies indicate that the adults we evolve into have a lot to do with the past experiences associated with our childhood. As per studies, we often develop notions about life and relationships that are in conjunction with what we have witnessed in our early years. We tend to gravitate towards people and relationships that resemble our parents and the alliances formed by them. The psychology behind this can be explained by our low self-esteem and a desperate effort to fix past mistakes. There are a few explanations as to how an individual’s unhappy childhood often leads to his/her divorce.

Drifting towards relationships that do more harm than good

More often than not, those who frequently find ourselves trapped in abusive and painful relationships, tend to follow a pattern of repeating the same mistakes time and again. They keep getting involved with people who treat them with hostility and apathy, and then beat themselves up for not learning from their past blunders and doing the same thing again.

Getting involved with people who remind them of their parents

With the kind of anguish that children of divorce may have suffered, they can find themselves developing into insecure and under-confident adults. In a bid to find solace in familiarity, they can tend to be attracted to individuals who appear similar in personality to their parents. If one of our parents was an alcoholic or physically abusive, we would most probably end up with someone who exhibits similar traits. 

Growing up with skewed beliefs

Adults who witnessed a parent separation in their childhood might end up with a distorted notion of the sacred institution of marriage. Influenced by their parents’ deeds and how they dealt with their personal marital issues, such children grow up with the notion that marriages are indispensable. They believe that the only fix to all their marital disputes is a divorce. As a result, they never really put in any efforts to save their marriages and end up separated from their partners, just like their parents.  The divorce of an individual’s parent might leave him/her scarred for life, and he/she might end up developing into an emotionally unstable adult, with a warped viewpoint of 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.  

Explaining To Your Spouse Why You Want A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmYou have been miserable with your marital life for years now and have often contemplated, breaking out of the wedlock and moving on. However, you could never really muster up the courage to stand up to your decision, until recently. After years of turmoil and conflicts, you have finally decided to part ways with your partner, and break free. However, now the next huge question glaring in your face is, how exactly are you supposed to break the news to your spouse, without inviting a sudden and angry outburst from him/her?  There are a few things to keep in mind while trying to address the topic in front of your partner, and make him/her realize the gravity of the situation.

Avoid keeping your spouse in the dark

Start conveying subtle signals of your misery and hopelessness in front of your spouse, weeks before you actually reveal your intentions to him/her. When your spouse is already aware of your dejection, he/she might not be in for a surprise when you ask him/her for a divorce. On the flipside, if you keep masking your true emotions in front of your partner, you might end up catching him/her unaware.

Choose the right time

It is best to ensure a correct timing when thinking of breaking such news to someone. Try to bring up the topic, when both of you are calm and have plenty time at hand, to discuss the issue in detail. Stay honest to your feelings, and state them with kind and polite words, instead of sparking off an emotionally loaded outburst.

Ensure your personal safety

There might be several cases, wherein an individual is apprehensive about his/her spouse’s response to the harsh revelation. In such cases, it is utmost essential, that you divulge your intentions to your partner, in the presence of a neutral and independent third-party, such as a marriage counselor or a therapist. You may also start the discussion at a public place, where there are plenty people around you. Although your partner’s reaction is not under your control, you can opt for ways to visually suppress his/her fury.

Be mature and calm

The most effective way around a turbulent situation as grave as a divorce is to keep your calm, stay focused, and being as mature as possible. Nothing will be gained out of showing your rage or discontent violently in front of your spouse. Parting your separate ways in a respectful manner, will help both of you, accept the transition with grace.

As is the fact, there is no polite way to break the news of a divorce to your partner. However, with some consideration for him/her, you may be able to avoid the unnecessary turmoil that might ensue.

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 To Know About Child Custody For Fathers

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

family law lawyers in orange county; The Maggio Law FirmThe basis for deciding upon a child custody settlement is the idea that the judgment should be made, keeping the best interests of the child at the center of it. However, there are several real world issues that come into picture when it is the father who desires a full custody of the child. As per the state laws, it is absolutely essential to determine the factors that might influence the well being of the child. However more often than not, there are several third party organizations that end up influencing the decision of the court of law in the favor of the mother. Many times, attorneys of the female partner battle for full custody on the pretext that a child always needs his mother more than the father. However, what the courts have to consider above all else is what the best interests of the child is.

What exactly is meant by a child’s best interests?

There have been thousands of custody battles going on in the courts for several years on end, where the basic question that perplexes both the parties involved is, the parameter for evaluating the best interests of a child. Most of the state laws stipulate that the court needs to determine the needs of the child, as primary to making a judgment. However many a times, a court might even go against the wishes of a child, if it notices that his wishes might not actually be in his best interest.

In such cases, the court overrules the child’s wishes and proceeds with other factors that might help determine the most appropriate decision for settling the child custody. The court can take the help of psychotherapists in determining the child’s wishes and whether those wishes are actually in their best interest or not.

What are the criteria for deciding upon the custody of the child? 

The basic criteria for determining the best interest of a child in a court of law includes determining the child’s needs and requirements, and whether he needs to stay in touch with both the parents or not. The judge also needs to consider if the child has had a violent past experience with either of the parents.

Although, the courts make custody decisions based on a set of defined rules and guidelines, it is important to understand the intricacies of the legal proceedings. Therefore, it is best advised to take the help of a family law attorney, who would be able to better deal with your child custody battle.

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.  

Understanding The Basics of California Alimony Laws

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmAlimony aka Spousal Support is perhaps the trickiest element of a divorce. It goes without saying that the one who has to pay does not want to pay, and the one who has to be paid wants to be paid higher. Despite the guidance of the existing legislation and legal mandates in California, bringing both the parties involved to a common ground is more than just a challenge. What ensues is a bitter battle between the two parties, which more often than not, eventually finds itself in Court.

Temporary Alimony vs Post-Judgment Alimony

Divorce case settlements can take any amount of time. During this period, the Californian court allows for the payment of Temporary Alimony. This support is paid until the case is finalized in court. This alimony amount is settled based on the payor’s ability to pay and the dependent spouse’s need.  The amount can also be modified before the final judgment, with concrete and well-established reasons.

Temporary Alimony – a legal dilemma

It is often the case that the payor of alimony insists that the amount demanded is unreasonable and that he or she does not have the financial means to pay it. The payee on the other hand, insists that he or she will find it difficult to make ends meet with what is offered. This is a serious problem when it comes to the payor-spouses who are in debt. If an individual spends more than he earns, where can he find the means to pay the payee?

Usually, the court solves this dilemma by investigating into the expenses of both the parties. The court checks the expenditures of the parties to see how much of their income is ‘wasted’ on things they do not need. The payee is then directed to ask for an amount that is sufficient only for his or needs, and the payor is asked to adjust his expenditures so that this amount can be paid.

Determinants of a Post-Judgment Alimony

What follows the Temporary support cannot really be called a permanent support as not all judgments allow for alimony payment forever. The Courts in California settles the issue of post-judgment Alimony based on a ‘marital standard of living analysis’ under the guidance of the California Family Code section 4320. Before delving deeper into the directives of the Family Code 4320, the Court makes an analysis of:

  1. The level of frugality or lavishness in the family’s lifestyle.
  2. How functional the marriage has been.
  3. How long the marriage has lasted.
  4. The work-life balance maintained by either spouses

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.

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.  

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