What Are Watts Charges In A California Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce lawyers in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmWatts charges, also known as Watts credits, is often used in California divorce proceedings. The term was derived from Marriage of the Watts, a 1985 case.

What are Watts Charges/Credits?

A Watts credit is basically a charge that one spouse can make against another for half of a community’s asset in use, post-separation. The Watts charge is basically calculated based on the value attributed to the actual use of the property. For example, if the community asset is a home that one of the spouses is living in, exclusively, then the other spouse can charge the spouse living in the house for one half of the value ascertained for the house. The value in this case would be the use value or the fair rental value of the house in question. Therefore, the Watts Charge will be one half of this fair rental value, and that is the sum that is going to be charged by the spouse.

Exceptions to Watts Charges

There are however some exceptions to the Watts Charge. The Watts Charge cannot be enforced if:

  • The fair rental value of the community asset was already taken into consideration while determining spousal support.
  • The community asset was given as a gift to the spouse
  • The spouses had earlier signed an agreement that negates the Watts Charge

How to prove Watts Charges

In order to prove Watts Charge, the spouses would require an admissible evidence of the value of the asset in use. For example, in the earlier used case of the house/residence, the spouse proving the Watts Charge will need to testify to the fair rental value, monthly, of the residence. Although the spouse can testify himself/ herself, it would be better to have an expert witness testify. This is so as the spouse may not have the subject matter expertise to share their opinion on this particular subject. The kind of expert required to testify, mainly depends on the kind of community asset in question. For example, a residence valuation will require a different expert from that of business equipment or of artifacts.

Watts credits is a complex issue and you should only apply for them when you are sure you qualify to do so. It is recommendable to seek legal counsel with a California divorce advocate and decide on the matter after a private consultation.

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.  

Gray Divorces Can Still Affect The Life Of An Adult Child

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmDivorces are never easy and each divorce has its own set of challenges. Gray divorces have become common nowadays and it has its own problems. Property division is one problem for every individual who divorces after the age of 50. Another problem is dealing with adult children. Adults behave much differently than kids do after their parents’ divorce. Despite being mature enough to understand what a divorce means, adult children often hate to see their parents staying apart. Since their childhood, they have seen both their parents living together and suddenly when they get divorced, the entire environment that they have always known changes.

Ways in which divorces affect them

Families play a huge part when it comes to divorces, especially those involving children. Children look up to their parents for love and support. But when they witness a divorce it deeply affects them. After a divorce, they don’t know whom to turn to for comfort.

Older children understand more about their parents’ divorce than their younger counterparts. They are sick and tired of having everyone explain to them what a divorce is and why it is needed. Moreover, they also understand that after the divorce they have to stay with only one of the parent. Emotionally and psychologically it becomes difficult for them to cope up with this idea.

Adult children have their own way of showing sadness and parents must understand that. They need to give enough time to their kids to cope up with the situation. It can affect studies and academic performance of the children.

Adult children know that a divorce means a change in their lifestyle and this can be tough for some to deal with. After a divorce, they realize that they won’t be seeing their parents together and this means a change in how things were in the house. The lifestyle change can have serious psychological effects on them.

Conclusion

Gray divorces come with many problems but none so big as dealing with adult children. Children are easily affected when their parents split. Adult children see divorces differently than younger children and the effect on them is also different. For some, the effects are very minimal but for some there are serious psychological effects. Parents who are undergoing gray divorce should understand that divorces are not only about them but it is also about their children.

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 Survive A Divorce With Children

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

family law attorney Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmAre you one of those thousands of parents whose marriage is breaking down but also have kids to think of? In such scenarios, the decision to end your marriage is not so simple. After all, most of your family members and close friends have been advising you to continue with the marriage for the sake of your children. But is that the right decision to make? Should you continue with a stressful marriage or will you be happier if you can call quits? Your children will also prefer to come out of continuous bickering and lead a more peaceful life.

There are many children who have witnessed their parents getting divorced and have survived the ordeal. With time, they have got adjusted to their new life. How well the kids will adjust will depend on how their parents handled the divorce and treated them after the divorce came through. Check out the tips below to learn how to come out of a marriage with kids.

You should be frank with your kids 

Though it is not essential for your kids to be aware of the minute details of your divorce and the stressed relationship with your spouse, you should be open about the things that are affecting them. If your kids ask you certain questions, you should lend your ears patiently and try to respond. Try to help them build up their level of confidence during this sudden and new stage of life. Let them know that no matter what happens, you will be always by their side. At times, your children may have concerns. So make them feel completely at ease by creating special moments, making them relaxed and share their worries.

Out of court negotiations are always a better alternative 

Although you and your estranged spouse may not be in the best of terms while your marriage is ending, both of you should make the best possible efforts to ensure that the children have a smooth transition in their life. Your discussions should be conducted in a clear and calm manner on matters like issues related to your children. It is better if you can settle all your issues out of a court.

The key points should be discussed with the children 

In order to ensure that the transition is a smooth one, you and the other parent should present a united front in front of your kids. It is easier said than done since it will be tough for both of you to come to a consensus but your main focus should be your children. Both of you must convince them that getting divorced does not mean that you will love them less. You need to ensure they are aware that your divorce is not their fault.

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 Know If You Are Ready For a Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmTo put it simply, a divorce signifies the end of a marriage. When a person files a divorce petition, he or she is done with all the legal responsibilities and duties of the marriage. Once the legal document is signed by the couple, their relationship between the two parents may get severed for their entire life.

Introspect how the situation of divorce has popped up

A divorce is often the last resort when the relationship between you and the other party has gone beyond all the limits. Divorce may be the outcome of various reasons. It could be due to abuse, lack of proper communication or because of the age factor. When such issues come up, the first step for the couples is to try resolving and managing those issues. It is the right thing to do for them before they are prepared to get divorced. However, when they fail to find any kind of resolution and are prepared to separate, they may proceed. In case you are still contemplating if you are prepared to go ahead with a divorce or not, you should consider the following questions.

Have you got feelings for your spouse even now?

In case you feel that you still nurture strong feelings and emotions for your spouse, it is better to try cementing your relationship. When you continue to have feelings for your husband or wife and still decide to go for a divorce, situation can actually aggravate after your divorce. They should be a clear cut boundary between both of you so that you can go ahead with the divorce proceedings.

Did you try your best to save the marriage?

It is better to clear all types of misunderstandings between both of you. However, even then your relationship has not improved; you need to select divorce as the next step.

Do you know the prime reason for your divorce?

It is imperative to know the real reason why both of you are on the verge of a divorce. It is important to leave no stones unturned to find out a solution for the matter. And yet when the desired conclusion is missing, you have no other option rather than going for a divorce.

How easy will it be for you to get adjusted to the changed environment with your kids?

Prior to raking the big leap towards a divorce, it is important for you to visualize its impact on the children. Your kids should never be burdened with all those negative emotions that are usually common in a situation like this.

Are you equipped enough to cope up with all the negative effects of a divorce?

There is no doubt that divorce changes your life to a great extent in terms of your financial status, traditions and lifestyle. Hence you should consider how you will handle all types of negative impacts of the impending divorce.

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 Should Be Your Exit Plan Before Divorcing Your Spouse?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmAre you contemplating to end your marriage and leave your spouse for good? If so, it is imperative for you to have a proper exit plan in place. Over 50 percent of the marriages are known to lead to divorces. What is even more shocking is that in most of these cases women get hit the most as far as finances are concerned. But if there is a solid plan of action, you can successfully come out of such a predicament.

Planning before your divorce is not about extracting the maximum amount of money from your spouse. It is primarily about making well thought out  choices with proper reasoning and a clear mind. Pre-divorce planning involves planning put the various aspects of your future life carefully so that you can try to have close to the same standard of living after your divorce is over. The process needs you to prepare methodically in some months in advance before telling your spouse that you want the marriage to end. When you plan systematically, your position will be better in your post-divorce days. Here are some of the areas where you should start focusing on.

Kids

When you are a parent, it is important for you to be well-prepared with how you should break the news of your impending divorce to the children. When you do so, you have to master the art of explaining the ways in which their lives could get affected in the future.

Build up your career once again

When you give top priority to your career planning it is a big step towards diminishing financial insecurity. In case you are a working woman but your earnings will not suffice after you become single once again, it is time for you to begin re-planning your professional career. If the process involves joining school once again, re-training or career counseling, you should start doing so immediately without further delay. When you spend any money for his purpose, it is regarded as joint money and will not get deducted from the settlement that you will receive. However, it is better to start doing it prior to asking for a divorce.

Finances

Are you expecting that child support and alimony will handle your financial health post the divorce? In case you are expecting it, you could end up feeling disillusioned. After all, it is a known fact that a majority of the husbands love to keep the maximum amount of money with them. The battle between both of you may lead to having a shortage of fund to lead your life post the divorce.

Support system

When the news of your impending divorce reaches your friends and family members, they may respond or react in different ways. There will be some people who are apprehensive and afraid that their marriages may get threatened when they continue interacting with you. However, there will also be some unconditional friends who will stick to your side and support 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.  

Have You Considered Divorce Mediation?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIt’s nearly impossible to find two marriages that are identical and the same can be said of divorces. That’s why it is so important for couples considering divorce to start by researching their options: a collaborative divorce, a litigated divorce or mediation. Most are aware of the ideal represented by collaborative divorce. The trick is making it happen during a time when agreeing on important matters is more difficult than ever before. The inability to successfully manage a collaborative divorce ends with many couples in litigation. Yet there is another option that too many couples do not seriously consider: divorce mediation.

Divorce mediation occurs when a divorcing couple works with a neutral “mediator” in order to come to an agreement on all aspects of the divorce. In the ideal situation, the mediator should be an experienced family law attorney, but first and foremost the mediator must be neutral. They should not be an advocate for either party involved. It is also recommended that both parties consult with their own attorneys during the mediation and prior to signing the final divorce settlement agreement.

Before skipping the option to handle a divorce through mediation, consider the benefits that it offers:

  • Mediation can result in a better long-term relationship by avoiding court room battles.
  • Mediated divorce can be easier on any children involved since mediation typically leads to more peaceful proceedings.
  • For many, mediation is the fastest route to an agreement between parties.
  • In most cases, mediation reduces expenses associated with divorce.
  • Mediation keeps the control in the hands of the divorcing parties rather than the court.
  • Allows for discretion during the divorce process. A litigated divorce is public.

While mediation offers a number of advantages, it is not always the best answer. If you are attempting to determine if mediation is a likely solution for your divorce first sit and honestly answer the following questions. Do you think it’s possible your spouse may be hiding assets/income? Do you think your spouse is abnormally domineering/do you have trouble speaking up and voicing your opinions? Is there a history of domestic violence in the relationship? Do either you or your spouse have drug or alcohol addictions? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, a mediated divorce may not be successful.

Weigh your divorce options carefully. Every divorce is different because every couple and every family is different. If you are able to work together with your spouse to make decisions and both of you can be honest and reasonable, mediation can offer many benefits, but if you have doubts, there are other options. For help figuring out the options best suited to your specific circumstances, please get in touch with one of the experienced family law attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.

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 It Possible To Reconcile With Your Spouse After Separation?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmAre you contemplating to reconcile with your spouse after your legal separation? If that is the case, you can think about the following things.

It is important to concentrate on your communication

In order to have a good marriage, it is crucial for both the spouses to have effective and proper communication. There is a strong likelihood that problems in a couple’s marriage may pop up when there is an absence of a healthy communication between them. So, it makes sense for the couple to have a proper pact for a healthier communication going forward. It is not impossible to pick up the skills of good communication like any other skills. The first step is to understand the importance of listening without being judgmental and think with caution before replying. You should also be honest while discussing your emotions instead of being aggressive with your partner.

Both the parties should demonstrate commitment

Your efforts of marriage reconciliation can be only effective when both you and your spouse show one hundred percent commitment to it. Reuniting after being separated for some time is nothing similar to watching films on the screen and may not be a case of being romantic and living happily ever after. It is possible to enjoy a happy and long-term marriage after your separation only when both you and your spouse demonstrate your commitment towards working on it.

An honest discussion with your spouse is essential to know what you want from the marriage. If both of you want similar things from the marriage and commit to make it work, chances of reconciliation after the marriage has a better chance to work out successfully.

Necessity of teamwork

The separation period between both of you can be a stressful one. However, if you are really serious and focused on reconciliation, it is important to understand that your spouse is not your foe. When both of you are ready to work as a team, difficult conversations and discussions can become simpler. Rather than being at loggerheads, you can become mates of the same team. Looking for solutions become an easy task to accomplish.

Take an honest approach on what went wrong

Honesty in a marriage is about what was not right and ensuring that things are right this time around. So, it is imperative that both of you should sit down together and discuss honestly what was not right the last time. You should also speak about what you should do differently so that your marriage gets a second chance. You need to show kindness towards one another during this process. Indulging in blame game and arguments will not be helpful to resolve the matter or making any progress. Rather, concentrate on agreeing on what should be done differently going ahead.

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.  

Contemplating Divorce: Is Your Marriage Sick or Dead?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmThere are some who appear to always be happy in relationships including in a marital relationship. They do not have anything to complain about and they are not known to fight or argue with their spouses ever. These are fortunate people who seek to be perfectly suited for a marriage and can live happily ever after. They lead lives free of any kind of drama while others struggle to live in marital bliss. On the other hand, there are some people who seem to be at loggerheads with their spouses quite frequently and even consider asking for a divorce and going their separate ways.

Couples should try to cure their “sick” relationship prior to filing for a divorce

Are you wondering the implications of a “sick” relationship? Do you have one in your marriage too? Have you thought how to make your sick relationship better?

There are so many ways to treat the tell-tale signs of a bad relationship. You may decide to pamper yourself thoroughly by going on a reckless shopping spree. Alternatively, you may retaliate to your spouse’s taunting comments by being equally aggressive verbally. Some people even go to the extent of being emotionally disconnected from their spouses and avoid sharing intimate moments or direct conversation. While you may feel slightly better, your relationship will continue to be a sick one. Hence, it is a sensible idea to deal with the real cause instead of simply treating the symptoms. Here are some of those suggestions to improve your sick marriage:

Upgrading your attitude

A relationship can be a one-sided or one of the spouses may feel that their partner is not contributing enough to make the relationship better. All these are issues, which can be addressed quite easily and then resolved. Instead of complaining about your spouse to your friends on social media, both of you can consult a good marriage counselor who can help you to fix the contentious issues that are increasing the distance between both of you.

Improved time management

Spend more time with your spouse and engage in meaningful dialogs. The disconnect you both face may be because you are not spending enough time in each other’s company.

Realize that your relationship is dead

Despite putting the best possible efforts to improve the relationship if you and your spouse find there is an impasse, there could be two key reasons for that. Firstly, both of you did not address the core issues to work on. Secondly and sadly, the relationship cannot be salvaged at any cost. While it is sad news, you may have to consider going ahead with a split.

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.  

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.  

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.  

 
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