Move Away Issues In Child Custody Cases In California Divorces

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmWhen the custodial parent relocates to a different geographical location with the child, the issues that arise are known as ‘move-away cases’. It creates a problem in following the custodial agreements which have been established by the court. In many cases, it is the non-custodial parent who suffers.

Move-away cases are difficult for non-custodial parents because that parent also has equal rights over his/her child. However, there can be many reasons why a move-away case arises. It could be the fault of the custodial parent who wants to create a deliberate distance between the child and the other parent. Or it could be the non-custodial parents fault which has “forced” the custodial parent to relocate to a different place. Move-away issues often has negative impact on the child because parental plans are made after considering different factors of which the child’s mental health is the most important. Except in cases where the non-custodial parent clearly violates the parental agreement, move-away requests can become complicated issues.

Negative impact on child

At the center of a divorce are the children and more than often, they get negatively affected by issues like move-away cases. A California court weighs its child custody decision heavily on the best interests of the children. Children need the attention of both parents when they are growing up. Move-away cases disrupt the arrangement and therefore negatively affects their psyche.

Custody relocation laws

As of now a California court does not prohibit custodial guardians from moving away to a different geographical location. However, there can be special rules which prevent the relocation of custodial parents to a different location without consent from the non-custodial parent or a court order. Custodial parents who want to move to a different location with their children must be aware that to do so, they must first file a request for order for an order allowing a move-away with the California court which will be litigated.

Conclusion

Move-away cases happen after the custodial parent seeks to relocate to a different place with the child. It sometimes affects both the child and the non-custodial parent.  Non-custodial parents should ensure that such issues are clearly mentioned in the parental plan.  Do not just move away without consent or a court order first, or you could be ordered to return your children to the other parent.

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.  

Top Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Divorce Lawyer

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County family lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmAre going through a divorce proceeding and are looking frantically for a good divorce lawyer? It is important to note that you should avoid hiring the first attorney you got in touch with. Selecting the right divorce lawyer to help you in getting a speedy divorce should be a crucial divorce-related decision, which you need to make.

Be cautious

It is possible that a close acquaintance has sent you a referral to a family law attorney but you should still need to do a bit of homework before saying yes. It is important to check the qualifications of the said attorney and ensure that the person concerned has adequate experience in handling your case. There is no dearth of lawyers in the market and you will find that many of them market themselves as “divorce” or “family law” attorneys.

Questions to ask

Here are some questions you could contemplate asking a family law attorney during your first interview with him or her. All these questions will help you to ascertain if the said lawyer is apt for your divorce case or not.

  1. Is divorce part of the lawyer’s practice? How long has he been associated with practicing family law? Is he a family law specialist? Is he aware of the total number of family cases handled by him?
  2. How will launch time it approximately take to resolve your case? Will there be any specific strategy for speedy resolution of your case?
  3. How will you contact him or her in the event of an emergency? How much time does he normally take to return the clients’ phone calls? What are the events he or she regards as an emergency situation?
  4. Will there be anyone else in his or her chamber who will be also working on your case? If yes, can you meet them? What is the kind of experience they hold?
  5. What is his hourly rate? How will he or she charge you? What is his or her retainer up front? Will he charge for the time you spend with some other lawyers or with the secretaries?
  6. What costs does he or she expect to incur apart their own legal fees? For instance, the costs could be incurred for psychologists, physicians, forensic accountants and private investigators. How does he plan to charge you for such costs?
  7. What does he feel about the estimated total cost of your divorced? You should be prepared as most of the times, a divorce law attorney will be unwilling to respond to this query since the divorce cost could depend on a great extent on the level and complexity of your individual case. But, the manner in which the said lawyer replies to this query of yours will help you to know what they are expecting? An attorney who is honest may usually respond by saying that it is tough to estimate the total expenses in advance. On the other hand, a lawyer who quotes too low an amount could be just making an attempt to get a business
  8. Will the lawyer permit you to do a direct negotiation with your estranged spouse? What are the ways of keeping your divorce cost down? Can you do any such tasks that will lead to the reduction of his or her fees?

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.  

Timing Your Divorce Right: The Ten-Year Rule

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmUnder California law, the lower-earning spouse getting a divorce may be entitled to spousal support for a longer term if he/she has been married to their current partner for ten years or more.  If they have been married for less than ten years, spousal support is generally limited to a duration that is equal to half the length of the marriage.

Sounds a tad confusing? Let us illustrate it with the help of an example.

A and B are going through tough times and considering a divorce. A is the higher-earning spouse here, so it is A who is expected to pay alimony to B.

  • If they have been married for, say 7 years, A needs to pay alimony to B for 3.5 years (three years and six months).
  • If they have been married to each other for 11 years, A’s support obligation will not automatically terminate after half the length of the marriage.

In real life, Mel B (of Spice Girls fame) filed for divorce from producer Stephen Belafonte just short of their 10th anniversary. They would have completed ten years on June 6, 2017. She likely did this to avoid having to pay Belafonte ongoing spousal support with no specified termination date.

Actor Tom Cruise also mentioned in his divorce filing that his marriage to Nicole Kidman lasted only nine years and eleven months. It is believed that he did so for the same reason.

So if you are considering a divorce, ask yourself: How long have you been married to your present spouse?

If you expect to receive alimony, perhaps it would be a good idea to wait until your 10th wedding anniversary. That is assuming you haven’t celebrated it already. Who knows, you just might be able to put your differences aside and enjoy true marital bliss if you wait it out. You might not even want a divorce by then.

If you are the higher-earning spouse and will be expected to pay alimony, don’t wait until your 10th wedding anniversary if you are truly unhappy in your marriage and divorce seems inevitable. The sooner you get out, the better – you will end up paying lesser as support.

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 Let People Know You Are Filing For Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmIt can be very painful to break the news of your divorce to your family and friends. However, you need to tell them at some point or the other. The toughest challenge for you will be sharing this news with your kids.

Share the news of your divorce with your family members

After you have informed your kids, you need to next confide with the remaining family members that you are planning to divorce your spouse. You should share this news with your parents first. Subsequently, you can disclose it to your siblings and other family members. Do not be in a hurry to break the news to your distant family members immediately if you do not interact with them frequently. You can always let them know later on provided your other family members have already not told them about it.

Your parents

You may go through lots of emotional turmoil while breaking the divorce news to both your parents as well as to the parents of your spouse. But you should be calm and not lose your cool. Moreover, do not share all the details and avoid blaming anyone else for your current predicament.

Rest of the family members

It could be easier for you to deal with the remaining family members since their investment and contribution to your marriage is lesser and even though they could like your spouse a lot.

Confiding in your friends

Informing your friends could be as tough as informing your family members. This is particularly true when they share a great rapport with your spouse too. So, make an attempt to be at your diplomatic best so that they do not feel they should choose a side. But, you need to be more candid with your close friends as compared to your casual friends who you are not that close to.

However, you may need to share this news with your casual friends too so that they do not ask you accidentally how your husband or wife is. After all, you do not want to begin any type of awkward situation to explain your present situation.

Informing employers and colleagues

It is always recommended not to divulge or share too many personal details at your workplace. Being discreet about your personal life is always a good idea. So, just share the minimal details about your divorce at your workplace to avoid gossips or speculations, which can harm your career.

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.  

Top Divorce Survival Tips

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThe decision to get a divorce is not an easy one even though the couple or a spouse has contemplated the pros and cons of it for many days before making a decision. Emotions like fear, uncertainty, distress, anger are very common when the divorce is filed or it has been finalized. A divorce may take a toll on the husband or the wife’s self-esteem too. Here are some important divorce survival tips to start life fresh once again.

There is hardly anyone who is ready for a divorce

Divorce is not an easy affair at all both legally as well as emotionally. In case you feel uninformed, intimidated and baffled, you need to understand that you are not the only one to go through this roller coaster ride of emotional after all there is rarely anyone who is prepared for a divorce. The exception to this is perhaps the therapists and the divorce lawyers who work with couples on the verge of getting divorced.

The good news for you is that that there will be no dearth of helpful information and useful advice that are easily available on the net and the community where you live. However, before listening to such advice and suggestions, it is imperative to ask yourself about what should be your first step. Do not worry about what others are advising you to do first. Rather, try to figure out that knowing and intuitive voice telling you what should be your next step all about.

Do not neglect your body

Though this may sound cliché and quite obvious, many people try to overlook their fundamental requirements while they are under stress.  These basic needs include decent hours of sleep, regular exercise, healthy and balanced food. When you are physically well, it lays down the foundation for your emotional and mental well-being. Hence, male sensible decisions for your well-being in the coming months and says.

You need not give explanations to anybody

Just remember that you are not answerable to anyone and everyone’s when you start telling people around you about your divorce, they may ask you “why” so.  But most of the times, these people for not ask such questions because they are worried about your well-being. Rather they do it out of curiosity and to get more information. Another reason could be that such people are apprehensive about their own marriages. That is the reason why they want to compare their experiences versus yours.

Self-assurance is crucial

There are different kinds of losses associated with a divorce. It could be the end of a dream, a particular kind of a lifestyle, a home and a marriage. There could be loads of uncertainties and insecurities with respect to your child custody, living arrangements, and finances in the future but whenever you feel down and insecure, you need to assure yourself that you have everything you need.

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 Is Legal Separation Different From A Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top family lawyers Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmA legal separation is a legal process that allows a couple to live separately but remain married, even though they can divide their assets and make other agreements.  The procedure for legal separation in California is very similar to that of divorce.

Agreement for separation

An agreement on separation includes terms that are quite similar to those if the concerned couple was getting a divorce. This means there will be a distribution of their marital property, agreement on child visitation and custody if applicable. Not only this, the couple opting for a legal separation will also have to come to a decision on dividing any debts that were incurred by them after they got married.

Ideally, the above-mentioned terms should be binding in case the couple wants to get divorced. Moreover, both parties should hire their individual attorneys for negotiating all the details of the agreement on their legal separation. In case the spouses eventually make up their mind to go one step ahead and file for a divorce, it has been observed that the judge usually keeps the same terms as both the parties agreed to them earlier.

Differences between a legal separation and a divorce

Check out some of the following key differences between a divorce and a legal separation.

Name

While the spouse continues with the legal married name in the case of a separation, a wife may revert back to her maiden name after the divorce comes throughout the divorce be.

Child support

The conditions related to child support are ascertained when the legal separation takes place. When a couple decides to go for a divorce after being legally separated, ideally, the same terms are followed that were mentioned in the document for legal separation.

Marital status

A couple is still married even though there is a legal separation going on. But when the divorce is finalized, the marriage ends.

Child visits

Visitation rights of the child are decided when the legal separation takes place. If a divorce comes through after the legal separation, most of the times, the same terms are followed as mentioned in the document of their legal separation.

Alimony

The terms for alimony are ascertained during the legal separation. The conditions are typically kept same if the divorce gets finalized in the future.

Split of marital property

The couple agrees to the terms while going for a legal separation. When they do decide to finally divorce, the sane conditions that are mentioned in the document for legal separation are followed. 

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.  

Advice On How To Tell Your Husband You Want A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmHave you made a decision to file for a divorce lately but do not know how to approach your husband about it?  This is a dilemma for women who want to end their marriage but are at a loss to how they can start the procedure.

Arriving at a decision to end the marriage

There are many women who may be thinking to end their marriage for some time now. In fact, there are several scenarios where the wife has been seriously contemplating it for some months. But, there are some women who spend years trying to go through the merits and the demerits of sticking to a marriage before they come to a final decision. However, it is not a bad strategy at all since making a decision to get divorced should not be done at haste or at the spur of a moment. However, in some cases, the husband of a woman may be completely oblivious to the fact that his wife is unhappy and has been so for quite some time now. So, when she comes out with her decision to end the marriage, it may be unexpected for him and he could be taken by surprise.

How should a woman break the news that she wants a divorce?

If you have reached a point when you have already contemplated and slept over the matter for long and have eventually made up your mind to go for a divorce, check out some of the tips below on how to tell your husband about it.

  • You need to prepare in advance about what you should tell him when you already have planned for it, there will be less scope of distraction while the discussion will take place.
  • Do not lose your cool but be vocal about your intention in a calm and firm manner. You should remember you are stating your husband on a matter, which has been already decided.
  • Try not to discuss the subject when either of you is using drugs or has been drinking.
  • You should use statements with the word “I” in them. This is more positive and less accusing in gone when you use the word “you” while discussing the issue with your spouse. For instance, “I have decided that we should end our marriage. I arrived at this decision after much thought about the issue”. The word “you” makes your husband feels that you are accusing him?

In case you are worried that your husband will not take it nicely when you break the news, you can ask him for meeting you in a restaurant or some other public place. Be prepared that your husband may get saddened, furious or shocked when he hears that you want to divorce him.

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.  

Should You Opt for a Legal Separation Rather than a Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.There are many couples who opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. There are distinctions between legal separation and divorce, and it is important to understand their meaning so that you can ask the right questions while contemplating your future options.

Before going any further, you need to understand the meaning of a legal separation. This is a special binding agreement through a court’s order which will define handling of different types of financial matters such as liabilities and assets when a spouse opts to lead a separate life from his or her spouse.

Why should you prefer to be legally separated rather than getting divorced?

There are many couples who prefer separation over divorce for a host of financial, logical and personal reasons. The personal reasons could be when both the spouses decide to stay separately for some time to find out whether they really want their marriage to end or not. Moreover, there could be religious beliefs, which treat divorce as an unacceptable option or the desire to live a separate life while protecting your financial future.

Alternatively, there could be certain financial and logistical reasons to opt for a legal separation rather than going for a full-fledged divorce. Check out some of them:

  • You may be in a position to get spousal benefits like health insurance, which will not be possible in case you were divorced.
  • When you are living separately on a trial period, you could be worried about the debts being accumulated by your estranged spouse. When you go for legal separation, your financial liability gets limited and assets that you procure moving forward are protected.
  • It is possible for you to get tax benefits when the marriage is terminated and you can continue filing your returns jointly. Any kids born while you are in the phase of separation is regarded as legitimate by the law since the couple’s marriage is still legal. But it also means that during your legal separation phase, you cannot marry someone else.
  • Though you and your spouse may have come to an agreement to live separate lives, it is less expensive when both of you share the same house. So, you opt to be legally spared over divorce.
  • A spouse gets protection from being deserted, that is the ground for divorce in several countries or states. This signifies that if you live separately without an agreement, charges of abandonment or desertion can be brought against you.

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.  

When Should You Opt for Mediation Over Divorce Litigation?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange county divorce mediation attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIt is never easy to go through a divorce. This it true even when you are splitting from your spouse in the most amicable manner. Moreover, it can be emotionally taxing while coping with the logistics. The stress is further compounded by expensive and lengthy court proceedings. A desire for getting out of these stressful formalities that are associated with a traditional divorce process is resulting in an increasing number of couples going for an alternative form of dispute resolution: divorce mediation.

When should you consider mediation as your choice?

Divorce mediation is regarded as appropriate in those situations when both the parties are ready for negotiation and do not have qualms about compromising with each other. While it is true that all the differences and disagreements will be there to resolve while the mediation process is going on, there are many couples who are really okay to sort out such differences by interacting with each other. These couples will derive the maximum out of a mediation process.

Now, there will always be cases where the only option is to go for a litigation. It is a logical process to go through a trial when one of the parties is not ready to budge from their unreasonable demands, hostile to the other party or is not ready to negotiate. Such issues are common in scenarios like abandonment, abuse or adultery. Mediation is not likely to succeed in these cases and it is necessary for the court to intervene.

How does divorce mediation function?

The process of mediation is a way to resolve a dispute where there is no intervention from the courts. It is a scenario when a couple is okay to communicate directly and discuss all the crucial issues that surround their impending marriage dissolution. This hammering takes place during a mediator’s presence. The issues may range from spousal support, agreeing on matters regarding their children, resolution of visitation and custody issues to retirement and division of the properties.

When an impartial mediator or a third party is present, the couples are not negotiating details on their own. A mediator’s role is to facilitate communication and chair over such discussions between the two parties. He or she attempts to offer neutral and unbiased guidance to both the spouses and eventually guide them to draft a divorce agreement acceptable to both of them. The expenses related to the mediation procedure is ideally split between both the 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.  

Top Financial Tips You Should Follow During A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

best divorce lawyers in Orange County; The Maggio LawIn case you have started your divorce proceedings, you need to cope with a lot of factors apart from the emotional problems. You need to think about the financial issues too.This is primarily due to the fact that there will be a shift from a double income household to a single income one.  So you have to know how to get used to it so that you are a likely to lead a comfortable life and not just survive on a month by month basis. Irrespective of how tough it is for you to handle the emotional turmoils, you need to get prepared for handling your finances for yourself as well as for any dependent kid you are responsible for.

Do not think that your colleagues, friends and relatives are always equipped to give you the most appropriate financial advice. While they may have the best interests in their minds for you,  they may not offer you your most needed advice. The exception is when they are experienced financial advisers.  Check out some of the following financial tips, which you should be aware of.

Consider stopping all joint accounts immediately

The very first step you should consider taking is to open your own individual accounts while discontinuing all joint accounts with your estranged spouse. Their names should be removed from all accounts, which you hold. This may include if you have allowed them to use your credit cards. After all you would hardly want your furious ex to utilize your credit cards and drain your bank accounts.  However, this decision should depend on whether you and your spouse can trust each other.

Proceed to open your own account

After closing the joint accounts, now it is high time that you open individual bank accounts. You need to also ensure that they are in sync to make your bill payments. This is to ensure that you fail to make payments for your bills. After all, you will hardly want that your utilities to get cut off since your bank accounts were closed.

Your status has to be changed

All your relevant information need to be changed on your driving license, records in the post office, income tax related documents, professional titles, health insurance. Utility bills and property titles. (These include your marital status, name and so on).

Your will should be also changed

For changing your will you need to spend some money since you have to involve your attorney in this process. However, it is sensible to alter your will in case something happens to you after getting a divorce. Remove their names from your will and also if they have been given the power of attorneys. After all, you would hardly want to make a financial decision on your behalf.  However, in California, it is important to know that you cannot modify your estate plan, including wills, once your divorce has started, until it is completed.

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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