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.  

Tips For Becoming A Better Step-Parent For Divorced Kids

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmIf you’re a step-parent who’s in charge of step-kids, then it is needless to tell you how hectic and tough it can become to handle them. Children exhibit a variety of emotions and sometimes it becomes hard to understand what their true feelings are. As a step-parent, you can only put on your best behavior and hope that things get better as time passes. However, it does not always work out and you need to put in extra effort to make sure it does.

Here are some tips to help you become a better step-parent:

  1. Don’t make too many drastic changes

Changes are difficult for children to accept and more than often it negatively affects them if the changes are too drastic. The very reason that you’re in the house means that there are going to be certain changes and the child knows that. So, take it easy and make one change at a time.

  1. Make changes before you marry if you can

The best way to allow kids adjust to the change is by making the changes before you get married. And since you’ll be around the children for most of the time, they will slowly get used to the change.

  1. Don’t create excessive rules

It is understandable that you want to create rules and impose them on your step-children as part of your parenting guide. But making too many rules can have a negative effect on the kids. When you’re moving into the family, don’t make any rules at all. Instead make everything fun and interactive. Once you connect with your step children, you can teach them certain rules which they should follow around the house.

  1. Don’t be stern

Never ever make the children feel like they’re in a military camp. Be easy on them and even if they make mistakes or create trouble, handle the situation peacefully.

  1. Don’t try showing extra affection

Children are quick to find out who is fake and who is not. If your plan is too show too much affection the minute you lay eyes on them, then in all likelihood, that plan will backfire. Keep things as natural as possible.

Conclusion

It’s a new life for you but your step-children don’t want to feel the same way. They just want the comfort of their mom and dad and as a parent it becomes your duty to make sure you understand them correctly.

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 Make Visitation Easier After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmDivorce can be a chaotic stage in a couple’s life, full of upheaval, changes, and uncertainty. Additionally, when there are children in the marriages, things can be quite tough on them. If you want to make things easier and smoother for them as a parent, both you and your former spouse should collaborate in a manner to ensure that there are no hiccups in the visitation process. Divorce experts will vouch for it that parenting the kids is the most crucial task for you as a parent. So, if you and the other parent can work out things in a harmonious manner, it is possible to avoid negative, lasting and long effects on the kids.

As parents, you should demonstrate a united front so that your children feel relaxed and confident during such a trying time. Check out some of the ideas and thoughts to make sure that your child visits are a positive experience for everybody.

Be quick and punctual

It is important to be there and always be punctual with your kids These gestures will exhibit that these visits to your children are extremely precious for you. After all, kids need an assurance time and again that they are vital for you. Hence concentrate solely on them whenever you are in their company. During these visits, you should also reinforce through your actions or words that your children are your top most priority. How about spending some quality time with them by going for a bike ride with them or playing a game together? Do not focus on your text messages and emails while you are visiting your children.

Always try to be positive

Show enthusiasm whenever you discuss your next visit with them. Your plans should not get spoiled or overshadowed just because you have differences with the other parent. It may also help when you are aware of what activities the kids love doing while being with the other parent.

Stop arguing with your former spouse in front of your kids

Children may get upset when they see their parents arguing and calling names, particularly during pickup or drop off time. After all, visitation is such an occasion where you should solely focus on your little ones. Thus, it is essential for both the parents to ensure that the pickup and drop off times are pleasant and tension-free. You should try discussing your differences at a different time so that the process is a smooth one for all. Fix up meetings for discussing contentious matters with your ex-spouse or you can even hire a mediator to conduct your adult conversations in an amicable manner.

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 A Divorced Dad Can Make A “Home” for His Kids

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

fathers rights attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmGoing through a divorce is never easy, and becoming a single dad is even harder.  You should try your best to make sure that your kids feel perfectly at home at your home. Take these steps to ensure that your children feel relaxed and at home while they are staying with you.

Ensure that your children have a separate sleeping space

Very often, older kids yearn for privacy and a separate room in the house. While some children may need to share their rooms, make sure that they are comfortable with their sleeping arrangements. Try your best to provide a separate room for them. Let them hang their favorite posters on the wall and give them space to keep their books and toys. They should also have their own dresser to store their clothes, it does not cost much to do. Welcome their input on how they want the decor of their room to be.

Try to set up fresh family traditions

This is a time to create new family traditions at your place that will thrill them. For instance, you may fix a tradition of eating waffles on Sunday mornings before going to church or it could be ice cream and video games every Wednesday. Think of activities where both your child and you can participate together. Such family activities will create a family bond. This exercise will be also helpful to recreate the bond that existed earlier at the home before the parents got divorced.

Hang family pictures on the wall

Your family is incomplete without your kids. So, take some time as well as give efforts to make sure that your special moments are captured.  Also make sure that these photographs are displayed all through the home. Photos of your relatives, pictures of holidays and school pictures enhance the ambiance of any home and improve stability. These photos are also helpful to create fresh memories of life after their parent’s divorce.

Always extend a warm welcome to the friends of your child

As your kids grow older, they start developing a closer bond with their friends. In fact, there will come a time when they would rather spend more time with friends than with their parents. An easy step that can resolve this mental dilemma is to invite your kids’ friends home while trying to brush off any rejection or hurt you could be feeling. Permit your children to ask their friends to stay over for the night at your place or simply let them hang out. This way, their dad’s home will appear more enjoyable for them when they mature.

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.  

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.  

Are The Kids Suffering In A Failed Marriage?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County child custody; The Maggio Law FirmThere are several divorcees who refer to themselves as “victims” while they were married, particularly if abuse was a reason for getting divorced from their spouses. Abuse does not only include domestic violence but it also includes a horrifying phase of dictatorship and dominance while being married. Only when there was an end to the marriage that these spouses regard themselves to be free. However, what happens when the abused now realizes that their kids are also being subject to the same sort of behavior?

Time and again, it has been seen that the courts would like to ensure that the children should be in touch with both their parents, of course for the best interests of the latter. However, there are some cases the result may be not so good since there are tales of abuse or neglect. The question is what should a suspecting parent then do?

Do not be quick to draw conclusions

If your kid shows symptoms of being neglected or being abused, it is crucial to be composed. Though, this is easier said than done since false assumptions can just aggravate the situation. Only because a spouse was abused by his or her ex-partner does not necessarily mean that the kids are being targeted now.

There are cases where a child may express unhappiness in seeking attention or to manipulate the existing situation.

Trust their gut feelings

A parent should contemplate the subtle signs that hint towards child abuse. A divorced parent should never ignore their instincts. Abused and divorced parents have already gone through abuses in the hands of their former spouses and so they have a fair idea of those symptoms. When parents separate, kids may respond differentk0ly. A divorce may not know about the kid getting nightmares all of a sudden, wetting bed or performing badly in academics may be the outcomes of being abused or separation.

Get in touch with an expert

If the child is really being abused, it may not be a wise idea to handle the situation all alone. Rather consult those people whose expertise will be helpful. There are several divorce lawyers who also specialize in matters related to child custody. So, since the safety of the child is at stake, such parents should approach those attorneys who deal with cases related to child protection services. However, there is no such assurance that such cases will come out with proofs of abused. An experienced lawyer has the necessary expertise to channelize a case towards instant action.

However, all child-related issues may not necessarily mean abuse or neglect. Both the parents are equally responsible for upholding and working in their children’s best interests. In the case of child abuse, what matters most is to trust the gut feelings and get help before things get worse.

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.  

Child Custody Issues For Gay Couples

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Gay marriage domestic partnership attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmSame-sex couples now enjoy most if not all of the benefits that heterosexual couples do. Marriages have now become legal for gay couples and so has adopting children. However, the question of whether gay partners can be good parents or not is not an issue.  Research has established that being good parents has nothing to do with gender.

Like every other couple, homosexual couples have their problems too and sometimes it ends up in a divorce. Divorce laws are the same for homosexual couples as it is for heterosexual couples.  But custody battles can be more complicated than other issues.

If one is the biological parent

If one of the partners is the biological parent of the child, then chances are high that custody will be granted to that parent. It is also the case for heterosexual child custody cases. It is regarded that biological parents have more right over the child than other individuals. Also, the second parent is not expected to pay anything financially to either the child or the partner. And visitation rights also differ. In most cases, the other parent is not allowed to have any visitation rights but this can be changed depending upon what the legal guardian wants.

If none of them are related to the child

If none of the partners are biologically related to the child and have gained parenthood through adoption, then the laws are the same as it is for heterosexual couples. But again, in terms of emotional attachment, it becomes either of the parents to part ways with the child. It holds true for both partners and often, it makes custody cases difficult. In California, the child’s preference is considered and custody is awarded to the parent who is more deserving.

Conclusion

Child custody issues are an important part of divorce and in some cases, it can be a complicated one. Especially when the child belongs to homosexual parents. Custody depends a lot on the biological relationship with the child. If either of the parents are related to the child, then chances are high that custody will be awarded to that parent. However, if none of them are related, then both have equal rights to get 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.  

Parenting Plans for Non-Parents Granted Custody

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmOne of the most important issues of divorce cases is the issue of child custody. Often, parents who can’t agree on a common ground, have bitter child custody battles. It not only leads to psychological issues in the child and parents but it also destroys the relationship between the three people. Sometimes, child custody is awarded to a third party like grandparents or any close relative. Who the child goes to depends on the relationship he/she shares with the child and whether the child enjoys that relationship or not. Because in California, a child’s preference is considered over everything else.

If you’ve just been granted in a custody case and you’re not the biological parent, then here are some of the parenting plans which you should keep in mind.

  1. Take care of finances

In your parenting plan, this should be the number one thing. You must keep separate finances for the child’s future and education. Because you never know what tomorrow has in store for either of you. This becomes important in cases where the child had poor parents or who weren’t making substantial amount of money.

  1. Take care of psychological issue

Trauma and other psychological issues are common in children who go through a parent’s divorce. You must ensure that the child under your care is not exposed to nay more trauma. Avoid any discussion that involves his/her parent’s divorce. Spent more time, have fun and enjoy yourselves.

  1. Keep visiting hours for parents

Despite how their relationship might have been when they were together, it’s important for you to keep visiting hours for the parents. The child should not completely lose contact with his/her biological parents. Even if the parent is in jail or a psychiatry hospital, it’s still important that he/she sees his/her parent.

Child custody cases are important issues and need to be dealt with seriously. Child custody battles can sometimes turn ugly and both parents might end up losing custody. In such cases, the custody goes to a third party. For third party parents, a parental plan is equally important as it would have been for the biological parents. A parental plan will ensue that the child is taken care of in the best way possible. Along with other important things, the plan should include finances and visiting hours for the biological parents.

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.  

Protecting Children During A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThe worst part about a divorce is that it affects more than just two people. Couples who have children understand how difficult a divorce proceeding becomes once their children become involved. The biggest dilemma is that you can’t tell them directly and you can’t ignore them either. Moreover, different kids react differently and then there is their age that needs to be considered. Handling and protecting children should be the number one priority for parents in a divorce. In California, a child’s preference is given importance when making decisions related to custody.

Keep things normal

It’s tough to act normal when you know you’re heading for a sure-shot divorce but do it for the sake of the kids. Or at least when your kids are around, make sure that you don’t break into arguments and fights. Children are highly prone to mental trauma and the worst part is sometimes you won’t even know that are suffering from mental stress.

Don’t divide the children

You might be heading for a separation but your children are not. It’s true that your children will stay with only one of you but that does not mean they should get the feeling that they have been separated too. Keep things amicable between you and your partner and create a good plan of action.

Protect them

Protecting your children both emotionally and financially should be your primary duty as a parent. Create a good child support plan and discuss visiting times with your partner. Make sure both of you agree to the same plan and stick to it. Try meeting as a family and go out together as much as you can.

Agree on the custody rights

Custody rights is an important issue and you must discuss it with your spouse before you go ahead with the divorce proceeding. It will be easier for the both of you if you know the result of the custody battle before the separation takes place.

Conclusion

Children are an important issue when it comes to divorce because a bad divorce causes stress and mental trauma on the young minds. As parents, it becomes your duty to protect your children from harm. Discuss issues like custody, visitation hours and child support with your partner before you decide to go ahead with the divorce. Work out a common plan which both of you are comfortable following. It will save your children from unnecessary damage.

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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