What To Look For In A Child Custody Attorney

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Lawyer in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThe most important things in your life are probably your children.  So when you need legal representation concerning custody issues, here are some things to consider in determining the right child custody attorney for you.

Experience of the Right Kind

A lot of lawyers may be experienced in a variety of areas of law. Will you ask a vastly experienced banking lawyer to fight your criminal case? The answer most certainly will be no. Experience in itself doesn’t matter unless it is the right kind of experience.

Zero Tolerance for False Allegations of Abuse and Abuse Itself

There are two types of cases that need to be dealt with by an iron fist from the very starts, cases that where one of the spouses has abused the child and cases where a spouse has made false allegations of abuse.

Lawyers who have zero tolerance for both of these cases should be at the top of your recruitment list for Orange County family lawyers for their child custody case. Top lawyers know how to deal with such actions and if used correctly, both of these acts could end the case of custody for the opposing spouse.

Making the Most of Child Custody Evaluations

Under California law, child custody evaluations can prove to be a helpful tool for good child custody attorneys. This tool is often used by parties when there is a need to delve deeper into the psychology of the parties and to find out the reason behind their activities. Child custody evaluations can cost you extra money and if you opt for it, make sure your lawyer knows what he or she is doing. There is a typically a list of approved evaluators of custody.

Managing Finances and Costs of Proceedings

There are lawyers that can use your child custody case and your will to get custody of your child to their advantage stretching the proceedings and churning out money. A good family lawyer is typically one that makes sure the case is solved as soon as possible with no issues left unresolved. They will refrain from using child custody evaluations and depositions until they are absolutely integral for success in the case.

Getting Child Custody Being a Father

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

family law lawyers in orange county; The Maggio Law FirmWhen it comes to matters related to children in a divorce, there is a common perception that mothers are typically favored by the court.  That common perception prevalent is wrong, as family law courts work on the basis of fairness. Hence, this blog will simply lay down how fathers can win custody of their child without having to do something extra to outdo the mother.

Schedule of Work

Fathers who have full time jobs may have very little time that they can spend with their child. This can be an important consideration by the courts when deciding the child custody issue. If you want more custody of your child you need to make sure that your schedule of work is flexible and one that allows you to spend greater time with your child.

Proving the Mother as Uncooperative and Alienating

The worst thing that a parent can go through is having their child in the same city as themselves and not being allowed to meet. This is only justifiable in a case where there has been physical abuse against the child by the parent on the child.

Yet, if you are a father and you can prove to the court that the mother of the child post or during your divorce is not letting you meet the child and alienating you from the child, the courts will look to it very strongly. In such cases, the courts could award custody of the child if it is in the best interest of the child.

Having a Close Bond with Your Child

A divorce case that has the issue of child custody involved is generally a complex one. In such cases you will not be awarded custody or joint custody of the child just because you want it. Instead, for you to be able to get more custody of the child it needs to be proven to the court that you and the child have a close bond. Unless you spent time with your child during the marriage you cannot expect the court to automatically give you custody of the child.

New Study Finds Kids Could Benefit from Joint Custody Arrangement in Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

family law attorney Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThere has been considerable debate about the type of custody arrangement that works best for the children of divorcing parents. According to a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, kids fare better when they are able to split their time between both of their divorced parents.

Current thinking prioritizes stability when it comes to the healthy development of children. However, the study’s findings challenge assumptions that kids in shared custody arrangements experience more stress due to the social upheaval and unpredictability that comes with constantly moving between two homes.  One interpretation of the study is that living with both parents part time also tends to double the number of social circles and resources a child is exposed to, which can help reduce stress.

Researcher Malin Bergström of the Centre for Health Equity Studies in Stockholm, Sweden, and her colleagues examined national data from around 150,000 students ranging in age from 12 to 15. They studied their psychosomatic health issues, including sleep problems, concentration difficulties, headaches, loss of appetite and feelings of tenseness or sadness. Sixty-nine percent of the students lived in nuclear families, while 19 percent divided their time living with both parents and around 13 percent lived with one parent.

The results showed that children in nuclear families reported the fewest symptoms of stress. However, surprisingly, those who lived with both of their divorced parents in two homes reported significantly fewer health problems than kids who lived in a stable home with only one parent after their divorce. The overall findings indicate that stability in the relationships children have with their parents outweighs stability in housing.

So what does this mean?  It could be that children may be more impacted by the conflict between parents rather than the actual parental separation. When parents effectively manage their conflict, the results can be hugely gratifying and can result in a co-parenting strategy that works well for everyone.

For more information, see the following:

  • http://time.com/3836627/divorced-parents-joint-custody/
  • https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/the-divorce-custody-arrangement-that-benefits-kids-117628597472.html
  • http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/292992.php

Tips for Easier Visitation after Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmGoing through a divorce can be nothing short of uncertainty and pain to say the least. All of this can multiply in case your divorce involves children. Divorce is not easy on any one, neither the spouse that initiates it nor the spouse that willingly or unwillingly become a part of it.

Yet the people most affected by a divorce are the children who have no role to play in what is happening between their parents and yet they continue to suffer as a result. In order to make post-divorce easier for the kids, the divorced couple needs to sit down and collaborate to make visitations as positive an experience as possible.

Here are a few tips that parents who have gone through a divorce can use for effective, peaceful visitations:

Ensure Positivity

When your ex spouse’s visit is coming up, try to stay positive and make sure it can be seen clearly by your children. Always remember that while you may have countless differences with your spouses, divorce or not he or she is still a parent to your children. You can even talk to your ex spouses about the activities they’ll be doing with the kids to show a happy, collaborative mood between the two ex spouse to your kids.

Be Punctual

If you were a child how would you feel spending time with a parent who came to pick you up late from your visitation handover? Children value the importance that they are given by their parents. As a parent you need to make sure that you reach there right on time to take your kids and while you are with them give them all of your time. Your TV, messages and tweets can wait, what can’t is the need to be loved in your children.

Beware of Getting into an Argument

You had differences with your spouse that is pretty clear since both of you ended up getting yourselves an Orange County divorce. But your kids don’t know that their parents hate each other and if you want them to grow up happy, they shouldn’t. Arguing is never a good thing to do in front of your child, not least when two parents argue against each other. The more careful you are refraining yourself from arguing the more pleasant your visitation transitions will be.

Don’t Chastise Them for Missing the Other Parent

Missing someone is never a problem; it is something that comes naturally to most people. For all we know, you may sometimes visit your ex spouse. Hence it is only natural that you children may miss the other parent too even when they are in your company. This is not a sign of disapproval for you, rather shows the love they have for the other parent in addition to the love they have for you. Tell them it’s okay to miss the other parent and it’s nothing to feel guilty about.

Children Jailed in Michigan Custody Case Due to Parental Alienation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmChildren caught in the middle of contentious custody battles between divorcing parents can sometimes become victims of parental alienation.

In a case that grabbed nationwide attention this past summer, a judge in Oakland County, Michigan held three kids — ages 9, 10 and 15 — in contempt of court for refusing to meet with their estranged father. During a June 24 hearing to arrange parental visitation, Judge Lisa Gorcyca decided to send the kids to Children’s Village, a juvenile detention facility.

At their father’s request, they were released from the center on July 10 and sent to a two-week summer camp, where both parents will be allowed to visit them. Gorcyca said her decision was in the “children’s best interests.”

The judge’s controversial move has ignited public outrage. However, Gorcyca claims she was trying to help the children out of concern for their welfare as they were being “brainwashed.” According to court transcripts, she blamed their mother for alienating the kids from their father and not living up to the terms of the couple’s shared custody arrangement.

The children’s parents have been embroiled in a bitter divorce since 2009, failing to reach common ground during dozens of court appearances for issues such as therapy and parenting time. The mother has physical custody of the kids, while the dad sees them during supervised visits.

Each parent claimed the other is trying to turn the children against them. The father’s lawyer contended his ex-wife violates court orders and did not allow the children to see him, while the mother’s attorney said that she fears for the children’s safety. William Lanset, the guardian ad litem representing the kids, is in agreement with the father’s attorney, arguing that the mother’s actions are a form of parental alienation.

What does all this mean?  Well, child custody disputes can be very stressful. In cases of parental alienation in divorces, one parent repeatedly presents a negative view of the other to the child, so that the child no longer wants to spend time with the other parent. Such actions destroy the crucial parent-child relationship rather than strengthening it, and the child ends up suffering as a result.  When dealing with claims of parental alienation, it is essential for the court to determine the reason behind the child’s alienation and listen to what he or she has to say. Then, steps can be taken toward mending the broken relationship in order to establish both parents’ roles in raising the child.  It is important to understand that dealing with and undoing parental alienation issues is a long, difficult, and complicated process.

For more information concerning this story, see the following:

The Dilemma of Stay-at-Home Moms After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Child custody attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmPost divorce, stay-at-home moms, or ex-housewives in other words, face the dilemma of whether to get a job or not. This can cause high levels of anxiety and stress developing in them. The primary reason for this is that most of the moms, even those that had been employed pre marriage, would have been out of the game so to speak for too long. This makes them initially dependent on their husbands for financial support.

In this blog, we will talk about the impact of getting a job on the care and well-being of their children and on the support payments that they are receiving.

The Challenge of Balancing Children and Work

Raising a child can be a fulfilling but tiring experience. Balance that with holding a job for person who has been out of employment for a long time and it becomes an uphill challenge at the very least.

In today’s world, a college degree has become a norm and people are applying for jobs they are over-qualified for, just to make sure they are employed. In this situation, what are the odds that a stay at home mom who have undergone an Orange County divorce will be able to carve out a job?

Yet most of this largely comes down to a few factors. These factors determine if a mother that has gone through an Orange County divorce can and should get a job.

·         The Age of the Children and the Number of the Children

The more the children a mother has to care for and the younger they are, the harder the chances of her being able to simultaneous work, depending on the custodial schedule.  Another consideration is what is the point of getting a low wage job just to pay most of the amount you earn back to the day care provider.

This issue is more relevant for moms that are in their 40’s or less and the father of the children has been the primary breadwinner in the family. Hence when they decided to go for an Orange County divorce, it was decided that the mother would care for the children staying at home, while the dad would pay their expenses and needs.

What moms need to understand is that in the California and Orange County family law courts must consider the best interest of the child, so the age and number of children are certainly part of that consideration.  However, pursuant to California Family Code 3900, both the parents of the child have a responsibility to support their children.  Therefore, although the court will likely not force a stay-at-home parent to work at the first stages of a divorce case, at some point that parent will likely be held to make reasonable efforts to find employment and not leave the entire burden of supporting the child on the other parent.  The subissues here are many and so it is advisable to seek legal advice concerning such issues.

Joint Legal Custody Rights In California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmAre you someone who has gone through or is going through a divorce in California? Do you know your rights? You’ll be amazed at the number of times couples going through a divorce can violate and step on each other’s legal custody rights and even more surprised at the fact that the parent whose rights are being violated is unaware of those rights.

What does Joint Legal Custody Mean?

Instead of giving you a long, technical lawyer-like definition of the joint legal custody, we’ll explain it you in simple terms. Joint legal custody generally means that both parents must jointly make the decision with regard to the health, education, welfare and well being of the child.

The key word to look at in this regard is the word “joint”. The word indicates that there needs to be a consultation between the parents in this regard and that neither of the parents can supersede the other in making decisions about such issues without the other’s consultation.

So you have to run every day to day decision by your ex-spouse? No, that is not the case at all. The simple day to day decisions are at the discretion of the parent who has the custody of the child at that particular time. For all major decisions though, such as where to study, what doctor to do to and how best to choose a religion and which one, these are all issues that need to be discussed at length between the two spouses.

Orange County family law rights

Here is a list of a few rights that have been outlined for each parent taking part in joint legal custody after their Orange County divorce to follow.

  • As previously mentioned, education, health and day care decisions will be made by consultation between the two spouses.
  • Emergency medical or dental treatment requires no prior consultation is on the discretion of the parent having the physical custody at the time.
  • Both of the spouses will have complete access to the child’s records such as; educational, medical, and dental, etc. Irrespective of whether the parent is custodial or not.
  • Prior to any scheduled medical, dental or hospital visit the custodial parent shall keep the other parent informed. The information needs to be given considerably in advance and not on the day of the visit.
  • It is the responsibility of each parent to remain in contact with other regarding the child and all the other major decisions in their life, irrespective of the bitterness in their Orange County divorce.
  • Each parent will keep the other aware of the parent’s current business address, current address, telephone number and the name and address of the child’s day care, etc.
  • Neither Parent will enroll the child for any medical, mental or physical exercise, evaluation etc. without the approval of the other parent.
  • Neither Parent will allow the child to take part in any activity that requires consent from the other parent without their consent.

The Connection Between California Child Custody & Support

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.Child custody are one of the biggest issues in Orange County divorce cases, with a large number of parents and spouses battling it out in bitter court cases. There are a large number of people however who fight their child custody and visitation cases with complete commitment but are unable to keep an eye on the financial implications of their child custody and visitation demands.

If you look at the California Family Code and the guidelines made through statutes for the calculation of the amount of child support. One of the most important features that these payments largely depend on is the amount of visitation and child custody a particular parent has. Simply put, the parent that has the larger amount of child custody will have to pay less child support to the other spouse if he or she is paying, and will receive a large amount of child support if they received it.

The Connection

When we look at California Family Code 4055, it talks about the factors that the California family law courts will need to take into account when deciding the amounts of support payments that will need to be paid. Some of the leading factors that need to be taken into account when deciding the amount of child support are:

  • The tax filing status of each parent
  • The amount of Income of each of the parent
  • Union dues
  • Deductions made for health care insurance
  • Tax payments on property etc.
  • Interest to be paid on mortgage
  • Number of children that are involved in the support order

While these may be important factors that would need to be taken into account, the most important factor that should be taken into account continues to be custodial time of the child allocated to each parent.

While there are a host of advantages of trying to have the large share of child custody, there are also a few leading drawbacks. While most of the parents look to get the largest amount of the child’s time for them to get hold of the extra child support, they often forget that the cost of raising a child is often more expensive than the child support payments you receive.

A Double Edged Sword

Making sure that you raise a child by fulfilling all their legitimate and reasonable demands in addition to providing them with the best education and quality life can seriously cost you a fortune. While you have gone tooth and nail to try and win custody, unless and until you take the future financial situation in sight before making your child custody demands, your sincere efforts will continue to backfire.

Important Terms in Child Custody Proceedings

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmIf you are going through a divorce, issues of child custody are sure to come up. Child custody issues tend to be complex as well, not just emotionally but also legally. During the proceedings, you may encounter some words that you might not understand or are unfamiliar with. To make sure you are well prepared for your Orange County child custody case, here is a list of few important words used in child custody proceedings.

·         Joint Physical Custody

This word is used to refer to the custody where both the parents will have considerable amount of physical custody. This custody by no means requires that the share of custody between the two must be equal. An example can be one of the spouses getting the child for the weekends and the other keeping him for the rest of the five days in the week.

·         Joint Legal Custody

Joint legal custody is little different a concept than joint physical custody. Joint legal custody allows both the parents the authority to make the decisions related to the child such as education, health, etc. In some Orange County divorces though, the judge can grant the parents joint legal custody but not joint physical custody.

·         Sole Physical Custody

Only one of the two parents of the child is allowed to spend the largest amount of time with the child and to be able to completely be in charge of all the child’s day to day affairs.

·         Sole Legal Custody

Only one of the two parents of the child is allowed to make the decision with respect to the important issues in the child’s life, such as education, welfare, health, religion, etc.

·         Primary Custody

More often than not, Orange County divorce family lawyers use the term “primary custody” in describing physical custody instead of only using the words joint custody and sole custody, to distinguish the parent who has control of the day to day affairs of the child. Despite the widespread use of the word, under California law, there is no such recognized term.

·         Visitation

If one of the parent has the custody of the child instead of both, the other parent will be allowed to meet the child at agreed times. This is referred to as visitation.  However, a preferred alternative is describing the other party’s time as their custodial timeshare without labeling it “visitation” per se.

Divorce Advice for High Net Worth Individuals

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThey say the people who have more to lose need the best adviser. This is particularly true in the case of high net worth individuals going through divorce. There are a wide variety of steps that high net worth individuals should take to make sure they are able to make the most of their Orange County divorce case.

Child Custody & Visitation

There are three major ways that child custody cases can go:

  • Smoothly with both the parents agreeing on a single parenting plan
  • A little resistance in between both the parties at the start eventually leading to a parenting plan without a court hearing
  • Litigation proceedings with the final decision being in the hands of the family law judge.

Here are few tips in this regard to help the high net worth individuals in this regard:

  • Court proceedings and child custody cases require the availability of the individuals to hearings and for their child’s care. Keeping that in mind, high net worth individuals need to be realistic in front of the judge about their timings of work and work schedules. Honesty is an important trait in Orange county divorce litigation.
  • Take care when you are deciding on moving out. Most high earning individuals are likely to move out of the houses in case of an Orange County divorce simply because they can. This however is likely to be a bad strategy unless you do it to avoid false accusations of domestic violence. Moving out of the house allows the other spouse to establish a stronger case over time against granting you equal custody.

Child Support and Spousal Support (Alimony) Support

Calculation of child support is an easy task since it is done in California through a computer program. While this is the general perception, it is unlikely to be the case for high net worth individuals. Simply put, whether they are alimony or child support payments, there is a wide variety of issues that high net worth individuals are likely to face.

Income Sources for Support Purposes

There is a wide range of sources that your income can fall into and it is important you are able to identify which category you fall under:

  • Base Income for salaried individuals
  • Profit distribution versus bonuses method for additional income of self employed individuals
  • Interest income is the income that comes from investment accounts, bonds and stocks

Child support and alimony payments depend on the category of income that you fall under. More often than not, if your income is too high for the computer system to distribute, the courts are likely to make an exemplary support order. This order is likely to be more than the usual alimony payments and is likely to base on the concept of maintaining a status quo.