Advice for Stay-At-Home Mothers Facing Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Child custody attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmBoth you and your spouse have had your own distinct roles when you were a mom who stayed at home. While your husband went out to work, you did your part inside the house and things were going on nicely. But now that you are going through the divorce process, you may want to do various things to ensure that your divorce is a smooth one. After all, you have to get ready for your life ahead after your divorce. Check out the following smart tips while facing a divorce.

Tip 1: Get in touch with an experienced financial advisor

When you consult an experienced financial advisor, they can be of a big help to assess your potential settlement choices from the perspective of future planning as well as cash on hand. He or she can guide you in investing any non-retirement or retirement funds that you get as a settlement amount from your divorce. A financial advisor can also assist you in putting together a budget that can help you to find out the amount of money you will require after the divorce and often helps you to stay away from any kind of financial difficulty.

Tip 2: Consult a good accountant

You may have had an accountant who guided both you and your spouse when you were married. However, now that you are getting divorced, you will need an account exclusively of your own.

You should have an accountant of your own for various reasons. An important reason is there could be certain occasions during a divorce when you will need an accountant for reviewing your potential settlements. An accountant can also help you in understanding the tax consequences while guiding you in matters that are usually in your interests. So it is time you have a different accountant of your own and stop sharing the sand accountant as that of your husband.

Tip 3: Get your house appraised

A big mistake some couples commit is when they let a mediator guess the worth of the home they were living in. It could be highly likely that your house is the biggest asset for you. Hence it makes sense to get it valued properly rather than relying on certain websites who are into conducting valuation of the properties. When you fail to do so, you may end up in different types of troubles as Internet values may not be the actual ones. In case you are thinking of purchasing the home from your spouse or vice versa, you may have to ascertain that the sale price of the property is a proper and fair one.

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 Help Your Kid through Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmAs thousands of couples decide to end their marriages every year, their kids are also affected in the process. But their reactions will depend to a large extent on their personality, the circumstances under which the parents decided to separate and their age. Kids often get affected when their parent’s divorce. Often, the first reaction these children go through is that of sorry, anger, frustration, sadness, and shock. However, these children can deal these feelings in a better way as they know how to cope up with stress. As an end result, many of them are more tolerant and flexible when they become young adults. At such trying times, the most crucial things both the parents can do are to help their children steer through it by taking the following steps:

Important steps

  • Try to minimize disruptions in the daily routines of their children.
  • Make sure that legal talks, heated arguments, and visible conflicts happen away from the kids.
  • Do not be negative in front of them. Conversation with close friends and private therapy sessions should not take place inside the house.
  • Both the parents should be involved in the lives of their kids. Indifference will hurt them more.

People going through divorce or separation require lots of emotional support from their families, clergy, professionals and friends. However, these adults should never seek support and help from their children though they may appear ready to do so.

Break the news gently

The moment you are completely sure of your divorce plans, you should speak to your children about the decision to separate. Yes, it will be not an easy task to break this news. In case it is possible, it is better if both the parents are present while the news is shared. Make sure that you adopt a neutral and unbiased tone and do not express your emotions of guilt, anger or disillusionment while telling them about your separation. Of possible rehearse how you are going to break the news from beforehand so that you go not lose your temper or become upset during the discussion.

You should discuss the matter in accordance with the temperament, maturity, and age of your kids. But one statement should be common. Whatever took place between both of you; your kids are not responsible for that. This is because a majority of the children feel that they should be blamed when things did not work out between their parents. So, it is extremely crucial that the parents reassure their kids about this.

Rather tell your children that at times the adults do not agree on things or their love for one another change and so they decide to live separately. But also tell them that children will tie the parents forever no matter what happens.

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

3 Ways That Parental Alienation Affects Children During Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

best divorce lawyers in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmParental alienation occurs when a child becomes attached to one parent while rejecting the other. It usually happens when one parent purposefully encourages the child to alienate the other parent. The targeted parent may not be at fault and some parents try this as a means for winning custody battles. During a divorce, there are different emotions that come into the picture and anger and frustration are some of them. Some parents might vent out their anger by using his/her children against the other parent.

“Programming” the child to hate the other parent

Parental alienation usually involves the “programming” of the child to hate the other parent. It is a method of destroying the relationship between the child and the other parent. It is not only wrong to do so but also harmful for the child. The child develops a hatred towards the other parent and in future that hatred can manifest to something worse. It has been found that such “programmed” children are at risk of mental trauma and problems and treating them at a later stage can be difficult. The mental pressure faced by these children are symptoms of bigger mental problems.

It is a form of abuse

Research conducted on parental alienation has revealed that it is a type of abuse. It has been found that children of divorced couples are more prone to stress and anxiety than other children. One of the main causes has been attributed to parental alienation. In children, parental alienation leads to serious mental conditions and has long-term negative effects. Some of the symptoms exhibited by children who are victims of parental alienation are  lack of trust, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. It also harms the other parent and often leads to substance abuse and other addictions.

Post-traumatic stress following parental alienation

Children who are caught between spousal wars are likely to get post-traumatic stress especially when they constantly hear something negative about the other parent. Children have a fundamental right of being with whichever parent they wish to be with. Snatching that right not only creates post-traumatic stress but it also violates ethical standards. Children who are taught to hate the other parent are constantly in a conflict with themselves. They have trouble differentiating between what is right and what is not. The doubt leads to reduced self-confidence and causes post-traumatic stress.

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.  

Overview of Stepparent Rights

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Best Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmModern families are different because it is common for divorcees to remarry and combine their two families. Usually, step and biological parents will share the responsibilities while raising kids. However, step and biological parents have different rights, under California law.

During marriage

Unless a stepparent adopts the children legally or if the stepparent has right to custody, stepparents have limited rights. Usually, biological parents retain legal custody and rights of their children. Although stepparents can be involved in the decision processes, according to California law, biological parents have the last word.

Visitation after divorce

In the best interest of the children involved in the divorce, courts in California can somewill grant the stepparent visitation rights. However, the right to visitation can never conflict the right to visitation or custody given to the biological parent.

Courts believe that if too many people have visitation rights, it can negatively impact children. However, if there are no biological parents who have visitation rights or joint custody, a step parent who has strong relationships with the children can prove that visitation is best for them.

Custody after divorce

Under some circumstances, the step parent can obtain custody of the children after a divorce. If the step parent legally adopts the child/children, then the step parent will retain the right to physical and legal custody of the child/children. The step parent will have this right even if he/she isn’t with the biological parent.

However, if the biological parent emotionally and physically abuses their children or if the biological parent consumes alcohol and drugs, and the other biological parent is unavailable, the step parent may gain custody.

Legal guardianship

If the biological parents are unable to look after their children after the court took away their parental rights or because they passed away, the step parent can apply for legal guardianship, under California law.

The court will ultimately determine what type of custody and visitation agreement works in favor of the children, not the biological or step parents. However, step parents can make arrangements with biological parents, if they want to remain involved in the lives of their step 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.  

Why You Should Put Your Kids First During Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmMany parents have a belief that their kids are emotionally more pliant and flexible as compare to them and they can cope up with the aftereffects of their parents’ divorce. The divorce experience of any child will shape up based on how well their parents look after them even after the divorce is finalized so that they feel loved and secure.

Here are some of the top reasons why your children should be given first priority during your divorce:

Your divorce can mean a big change in the lives of your children

Such changes include getting involved in the conflict between you and their other parent, an absence of emotional security, economic difficulty, and change of residence and so on.

A divorce can make a child feel that he or she has now lost their family which has been the center of their world till now.

When children grow up in a family where conflicts and stress factors are low, they feel secure and their family acts as a shield of security for them. This feeling of security and belongingness enable a child to face the world with confidence and widen their outlooks as they know that they have a secure home to return to. When this intact family does not exist anymore after their parent’s divorce, it is as shocking as a death in the family for a child. Thus there should be a proper grieving period and they should be given the time and the opportunity to substitute it with a fresh kind of a security.

The risks of sociological, educational and psychological problems of a child may go up after their parent’s divorce

All aspects of a kid’s life get impacted when his or her parents decide to divorce; they may even have a change in relationship with their close friends. Additionally, their capability to concentrate and focus in school may also get negatively impacted. As such, there is a great deal of likelihood for such a child to feel depressed and anxious.

Kids may go through emotional trauma and pain after their parents’ divorce

Irrespective of how much effort a parent puts in and how good they are in their parenting skills, children may still feel lost and sad after the divorce or while the divorce is going on, the divorce of their parents will always hurt children. It is not true that children are always happy when their parents are happy.

There are some parents who are under a misconception that their kids spend energy and time thinking about their happiness.  However, children are always more concerned about their own happiness, especially during such trying 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.  

How to Deal With Not Seeing Your Kids Every Day After The Divorce is Over

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce lawyers in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmSpending time away from one’s kids can really be devastating for a parent. It is a natural desire for parents to be in the company of their kids every day. Parents expect to dine with their little ones, to tell bed time stories before putting them into their beds and listen to what they did in the entire day. Parents also love hugging and kissing their kids to show their affection for their offspring. Hence when you spend too much time away from them, there could be co-parenting conflicts with the other parent

Such emotions are not unusual as protecting and caring for one’s kid is in the DNA. Even the thought of staying away from them can be painful and scary. It is not like someone is telling the co-parents that way. Such pain is not simply a feeling, it is real. No parent would voluntarily opt to go through that kind of anguish at any point in their lives.

Check out some of the following strategies that can help a parent to deal with such a pain.

You should remember that no emotional state is permanent

While you must be going through a lot of mental agonies, they will soon pass. When a parent faces such intense emotions, they may feel trapped for always. However, that is not true.

Learn ways of managing emotional stress

These mental states can be really painful. But it is crucial to know ways of one’ tolerating these as well as gliding through them. A parent should develop skills such as mindfulness to cope up with such mental states.

Do not shirk to approach for help.

You can consult a therapist or even approach a good support group. It will help you to remember that there are people around you and spending these difficult moments with others can be a big help.

Leave your home from time to time

The natural ambiance and fresh air can do wonders for your mental state. When you stay in foes for long hours and brood, it will be a big help to come out of your existing emotional state.

Read a lot

Many people who read a lot are known to combat difficult phases in their lives successfully and face the world once again.

Spend more time with families and friends

Make plans to go out with your family or friends. For instance, you can watch a movie together, attend a concert or enjoy a picnic.

Follow your passion

Many times, family responsibilities make your passions and hobbies to take a backseat. It is the perfect time to pursue your interests once again. So get engages in an activity or a hobby that will help you not to think too much.’

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 3 Ways To Keep Your Kids Happy Even After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmMost divorced couples, as well as divorce experts, would agree that kids get highly affected by the conflict between their parents after the latter are divorced. It is interesting to note that kids are not harmed by their parents’ divorce, rather the onus lies on those parents who do not give first priority to their kids during the divorce. As parents, it is your responsibility to do the best for your kids after the divorce comes through so that they do not turn into collateral victims. Are you a worried parent who does not want your divorce to cause a negative impact on the kids or minimize them as possible? Here are some of those things to take care of such an issue.

Try to put yourself in your kids’ shoes

Never be under the illusion that your children are related when they get to know that their father or mother are in love again or are dating a new person or love going out with their friends.  Things simply do not function that way. As a loving parent, your happiness should depend on how satisfied your children are. It should never work in a reverse way. After all kids are narcissistic in nature, which means they are more bothered about their own happiness and requirements. It is not your kid’s lookout how happy you are in your personal life.

Both the parents should try to have a healthy relationship after their divorce

Both the parents have a special and individual influence in the lives of their children. Your children gave got a better chance to grow up as healthy adults when they get the company of both their parents. So, it is extremely crucial for the kids of the divorced parents to get equal time to spend with both their parents. It is quite likely that you are not quite fond of your gourmet spouse now but that does not mean your kids will stop loving their other parent. When you love your kids above everyone else, make sure that all their requirements are fulfilled despite your not so cordial relationship with your ex.

Try to let go of the feeling that you are superior to the other parent

It is possible that your former spouse abused you or cheated on you. However, what is more, crucial is whether they treat your kids well or not. When they love the children despite their shortcomings and your children feel secure and respected with their other parents, you should not be judgmental.

Finally, kids can be victims when it is a question of their parents getting divorced. They do not have any voice in the decisions taken by you and your spouse regarding the marriage breakup. It is imperative that they have some sort of control over how they should live. You can be their best parents by fulfilling their emotional needs even after the divorce is finalized.

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 3 Mistakes Committed While Fighting Child Custody Battle

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County child custody; The Maggio Law FirmThere are many instances when couples who separate are not able to work out a proper parenting planning that is agreeable to both of them. In such scenarios, the only alternative available to both the parents is to approach the court seeking an order on child custody. Sadly though, there are several such cases where good parents are labeled as being neglectful or unfit when they make any if they make any of the mistakes mentioned below while they are fighting their battle on child custody.

Show poor judgment and information on a social media site

Lately, it has been found that there are many such parents who use social media to vent out their emotions, demean the other parent or show-off to their known ones that they are having great fun in their newly acquired single study even in the midst of the custody battle. But you should remember that social media is not a private platform and is meant for sharing what you want your friends or the general public to know. Quite frequently the pictures and information you upload on a social networking site can be viewed by the general public and that also includes your estranged spouse as well as his or her lawyer.

Not obeying temporary custody orders of the court

In a majority of cases, it is a common norm for the Court to order for temporary interim custody in the beginning of paternity action or a divorce that will be binding till the time there is a trial.

A bad mistake that can be committed by one of the parents is to disregard or not obey the temporary orders of the court. For instance, a parent not returning the kids on a specific day and at a specific time. Another example could be removing the kids from the residing state without intimating the other parent or the court order permitting such relocation. In both the cases, the aggrieved party is bound to inform the same to the concerned court to highlight that the authority of the court has been violated by the other parent.

Getting arrested

This is one of the sure shot ways for the other patient to prove that the arrested parent is not fit while the custody battle is still going on. Even though a parent may not be charged or convicted of a crime but gets arrested, the act is sufficient to provide a weapon in the hands of the other parent to claim that his or her estranged spouse has a problem with anger management or has an inclination towards violence.

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.  

Do’s And Don’ts of Dealing With Abused Children Of Divorced Parents

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmMore than often, children end up becoming victims of divorce. And sometimes, they are the reason why parents get divorced. The latter is common during child abuse cases. Child abuse includes physical, psychological and sexual harm inflicted on the child. Child neglect and abuse is a major ground for divorce and most states including California award custody to the other parent without much pressure. However, once the child goes back to the caregiver, there are certain do’s and don’ts to follow while dealing with them.

Do’s

First and foremost, get your child(ren) individual therapist with a therapist licensed in your state.

Make some organizational planning and re-structuring within the house without making it emotional. Involve the children while you’re making the plans to make them feel that everything is normal around them. Ask for votes and opinions and make them participate as much as you can. But don’t put too much responsibility on them.

Abused children show signs of depression and sadness but some kids can act in the opposite way. If they show unruly behavior, teach them how to behave and this can be done in a fun and creative manner.

From time to time, talk to them about the changes in the house and why the changes are taking place. It will increase communication and help foster a positive relation between you and your children.

Don’ts

Try to avoid any sense of fear or anger around them because it might lead to depression. Even if they are old enough to understand such behavior, any negative emotion can have bad effects on their psyche.

Don’t try to go into a new relationship when your kids are still trying to cope up with the situation. It becomes very confusing for them to adjust around new people especially when they have gone through a bad experience.

Avoid any talk about divorce or the abusive parent in front of your kids. Don’t even mention their name.

Don’t make complicated and philosophical talks with your kids. Talk to them as any other parent would with their children.

Conclusion

Children are tough to deal with when parents undergo a divorce. Abused kids even more because of the trauma they go through. While dealing with such kids, it’s better to keep things as normal as possible. Create activities and allow your kids to become a part of it. Avoid negative talks or anything that has to do with either the divorce or the abusive 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.  

The Role Of Parents & Grandparents In California Child Custody

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County family law attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIn 2000, a landmark decision was passed regarding custody and visitation rights of grandparents after the Troxel vs. Granville case. The Court in that case ruled that when it comes to child custody, parents have the upper hand because they are the primary caregiver. However, minor children are also allowed to spent time with their grandparents and it depends upon the decision of the parents.

Parents are given more preference

In cases where both parents and grandparents are involved in custodial battles, the court gives more preference to parents. Also, more significance is given to a parent’s objections regarding visitations by grandparents. California courts believe that since children spent the majority of their time with parents, it makes the parents responsible for what their child does. But that does not mean that children should be kept away from grandparents. Building an amicable relationship with every member of the family should be the goal.

Grandparents can get custody too

Despite what the court orders are, there are always cases where grandparents have got the custody of their grandkids. This usually happens when the parent is either convicted of a crime or is unable to provide for the child. In cases where domestic abuse or child abuse is involved, grandparents may win custody battles. Even in cases where there is serious disruption of parental custody or physical unavailability of parents for long durations, grandparents are given the custody of their grandkids.

The role of grandparents during child custody

In general, grandparents play an important role in a family especially in the lives of grandchildren. Grandparents should guide parents when they want to get a divorce or they want to get married again. They should be supportive but at the same time unafraid to talk about the negative consequences.

During child custody and visitation, grandparents should be able to tell the court why their presence is important. They should clearly identify areas in the child’s development where they play an important role.

Conclusion

Parents and grandparents are both important for child custody and visitation. However, after 2000, California courts award custody of children to parents unless some serious crime is involved. The role of both parents and grandparents must be distinct and each should know their importance in a child’s life. The best resolution would be to allow grandparents to become an integral part of the children’s life while parents continue to maintain their custody.

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.  

 
No Legal Advice Intended: This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. Full disclaimer.