Creating Successful Parenting Plans After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmLife after divorce can be tough for those who have trouble coping up with their new lifestyle. They often have a hard time managing finances and time. Another important thing that they have trouble dealing with is children. A divorce may affect children in a negative way or it might not affect them at all. Sometimes, it’s very hard to understand the situation. Making good and smart parenting plans is one way of handling it. A parenting plan is equivalent to a guidebook for handling children after divorce. You must make changes but how and what changes should you make?

Creating effective plans

The first thing that you must keep in mind when making parenting plans is that the same plan won’t work for everyone. The ideal plan should contain all your children’s needs without compromising too much on your own comfort. Here are some additional steps you can follow to make the plan even better.

  1. Separate feelings from behavior

Feeling hurt, angry and depressed are common emotions after a divorce. However, none of them should be directed towards your children. If you want, take some time out for yourself until you’re mentally prepared to take care of your kids. But that does not mean you should ignore them. In fact, include them in your plan and go for a vacation or do some fun stuff together until your mind clears off.

Research has shown that children of divorced couples have a tendency to act violently due to adverse psychological effects. Never show your negative feelings to your children. Always remember that they are watching you.

  1. Protect your children

The very reason you are creating a parental plan is because you care about your children and don’t want anything bad to happen to them. Both you and your ex. should include plenty of time where your children spends time with both of you. Whatever problems you might have, keep them to yourself and don’t let them tarnish your relationship with your children.

  1. Make plans as a team

Before your divorce, your children were used to both of you doing things as a family. After a divorce, you should try letting your children have the same feeling. It is tough but at least you can make parental plans that includes doing activities as a family.

Conclusion

Parental plans play an important role in divorce because they protect a child from falling into negative environments. Creating successful parental plans involves the participation of both parent as a team.

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.  

Does your marriage qualify for an annulment in California?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Best Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmWhat is an annulment, and would it be better than getting a divorce? These are questions you should ask and know if you are considering divorce. Here are a few fundamental facts and essentials about getting your marriage annulled in California.

You can either have grounds to attain a civil or a religious annulment. Religious annulments can only be administered by a religious body like a church or an associated clergy member.

In a civil annulment, a family court declares null the validity of the marriage, which simply means that the marriage really wasn’t reasonably genuine or grounded.

Acknowledged grounds for an annulment in California

California Family Court supports the following legitimate grounds to request annulment:

  • Incest or blood relatives – Cases where the couple married are related by blood, the marriage isn’t ever considered legal or legitimate, and a family law court in California would grant an annulment without contest.
  • Bigamy – When a spouse is married to another individual before officiating vows on the second marriage, an annulment will be granted. Such cases are classified under bigamy or bigamous relationships which are unlawful.
  • Below the age of consent – In case the age of the partner requesting an annulment was under 18 when entering the marriage, an annulment would be granted by the courts.
  • Coercion – If either party was under duress when agreeing to marry the other, either physically or emotionally, the marriage can be annulled.
  • Mental illness or unsound mind – If either spouse is mentally challenged and is thus unable to understand and uphold the responsibilities and nature of a marriage, an annulment could be agreed on by the court. At times, severe intoxication could also be considered within an unsound mind argument.
  • Fraud – When either party has deceived the other in regard to the intention behind the marriage, being based on anything other than love, it can be annulled. A common instance of a fraudulent marriage would be one entered to gain citizenship.
  • Physical inabilities – An annulment could be granted if either party suffers from a physical condition that prevented the marriage to be consummated or if in case the partner suffers from an incurable condition that inhibits sexual intercourse between the couple.

The party requesting an annulment must provide sufficient proof and evidence to support claims that any one of the above listed reasons to be true at, and or, during the time of marriage.

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 avoid unequal distribution of property during a California divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmProbably one of the most contentious tasks for any couple to agree on would be the division and distribution of property and assets during a divorce. Making through the assets separation in mutual agreement without the need for additional intervention is certainly a welcome situation for both spouses.

If in case you’re unable to settle the issue of property distribution with your spouse, a California family law judge will have to do it for you.

To begin with property distribution in a divorce agreement across the United States is conducted via state law. Asset division follows either community property or equitable division state laws. California is a community property state.

How is property divided?

Marital assets can be distinguished into Separate and Community property.

Community property is everything co-owned by a married couple, or all property obtained and collected during the marriage, regardless of efforts and skill put in by either spouse.

Separate Property on the other hand covers everything owned by a spouse before marriage. Generally not divided during divorce agreements, separate property is retained by the owner spouse.

Separate Property

Here is a short list of assets that fall under separate property

  • Any inheritance or a gift awarded to a particular spouse, even if received during the marriage.
  • Property obtained before marriage, for instance, a savings bank account, etc.
  • Pension earnings proceeds received before marriage.
  • Businesses owned before the marriage.

Community Property

In the state of California property and assets accumulated during the marriage is separated equally between both spouses.

Community Property State Law doesn’t call for division of each object, but an estimated net value of jointly owned property is divided equally. For instance, a spouse can be given the family residence, while the other receives the business.

Basically the couple shares everything equally, the property and the debts. At times, families have to sell the house and share the proceeds earned, of if a spouse would like to continue living in the house, they would then need to buy the other half.

There are cases where separate property can get muddled in with community property in something called commingling. In this case it is difficult to tell the difference between what once was separate property from community property.

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.

Methods of How To Proceed With Getting Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThere is a perception among many people that a divorce can be only obtained through litigation in the court.  However, in reality, here are four key ways to obtain a divorce from your spouse.

Mediation

This is an extremely effective way to resolve disputes, which may pop up when two people are all set to divorce and is a great alternative to litigation in the court. The role of a divorce mediator is to act as an unbiased neutral party and help the couples to resolve the issues that have come up due to the decision of a divorce so that they can reach a settlement that is agreeable to both. In order to make the process of mediation a successful one, both the parties should be ready to negotiate on all aspects of the divorce settlement.

Divorce litigation in court

When you as well as your support are unsuccessful to arrive at a consensus or fail to mediate on issues like spousal support, child support or property split, you may give to knock the doors of the court as a next step. However obtaining the divorce through a court can be pretty costly. Both of you will have to hire divorce attorneys to fight for your case in the court, Moreover, you gave to pay filing fees and court fees and pay the attorney you have hired. The fees of an attorney will depend on which part of the country you are residing.

Collaborative Divorce

When you and your spouse opt for a Collaborative Divorce, you and your spouse need to have a financial specialist for divorce, a child specialist if you have children from your marriage and redo attorneys. Though a Collaborative Divorce may be costly, it is less costly than a long and bitter litigated divorce in the long term. In this process, you need to pay all the specialists according to the hourly rate they charge. However, you need not pay filing fees or court fees unlike a litigated divorce.

Pro Se or DIY litigation

This kind of divorce litigation dignified that you will be doing a self-representation for your divorce case, in Pro Se litigation, you need to follow the same procedures that you would have followed had you hired a divorce attorney to represent your case. The difference here is that the responsibility of filing and filling out the legal forms rest with you. The only expenses that occur in this type of litigation are to pay the court costs and filing fees. In order to go through a do it yourself divorce, you should be well conversant with the divorce laws of your state. However, you need to note that getting a divorce without hiring a lawyer could mean a lot of hard work. But it is the best option for you when you are unable to afford the fees of an attorney.

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.  

Ways to Help Your Kids Cope After Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmWhen you are going through and also after divorce, here are some ways to be a good parent and limit the adverse impact on your kids due to your divorce:

Should engage in a harmonious co-parenting, which benefits your kids

There are parents who are known to co-parent effectively until the time their kids become 18 years old.  However, there are a lot of events in your children’s lives even after they turn 18 where both you and your ex-spouse need to be involved as parents. Your little ones will be graduating from their colleges one day, get married and become parents themselves. Thus, there will be several such occasions where divorced parents are still expected to continue co-parenting even after their kids become adults. You can get in touch with a reputable parenting coordinator so that an effective parenting plan can be devised to serve the requirements of your children and then, co-parent.

You should not complain about how things are at the home of the other parent. Moreover, do not intervene even if your kids remain awake till late hours at the home of their other parent. Effective co-parenting means to be cool with how your kids are taken care of in their other home and trust that your children are happy and safe while they are at your ex-spouse’s home.

Try to build up a civil relationship with your former spouse

Your kids should not be used as pawns by you to get even with your ex. Moreover, they should be kept out of any type of hurt feelings or problems due to your divorce or marital problems. Every mother and father has a deep influence in the lives of their kids. Children can only become healthy and good human beings when they are positively influenced by both their parents. Moreover, your children should have an equal contract with both you and their other parent even after the divorce. Do not try to alienate your ex where the children are concerned. When you truly love your kids, you need to ensure that they have everything they require though you do not share a good relationship with your former spouse.

You should not express your negative feelings about the other parent in front of the children

Look for an alternative outlet when you want to vent out your grudge and emotions about your ex, your friends, family members are a professional therapist can give you better support than your kids. After all, your kids are definitely not equipped to cope up with your negative emotions.

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.  

Signs That Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Lawyers Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThe assets owned by you typically come under various heads such as a business, your primary residence or primary home, a professional practice, cash value of your life insurance coverage, pension funds, retirement funds, shares, savings, bank accounts and other property investments. Rather than depending on the integrity of your spouse or only relying on the fair conduct of the court, it is a sensible approach to watch out for these strategies and signs to know whether your spouse is trying to hide marital assets are not.

Check out the following key aims for your spouse to hide assets during a divorce:
1. To claim that expenses are greater than they are in reality
2. Highlight that their income is lower than it is
3. Exaggerate debts to show that they are insolvent

These are the most common tactics in a divorce:
1. Transfer asset ownership of marital assets to close friends or family members and ask them to hold until the divorce is finalized
2. Hiring a conspirator for manipulating the timing of invoicing creditors or income
3. Hiding unrecorded cash secretly
4. Extract recorded cash in the sly to apply complex accounting schemes

Check out some of these most common tricks used by spouses to hide assets:

Personal
1. Making advance claim for entitlement
2. Keep complaining about high debt or lack of money to stay away from later suspicions
3. Placing money on a casino account if the person is fond of frequent gambling
4. Announcing all of a sudden that their business has failed
5. Receive settlements and accounts at a private mailing as areas or postal box
6. Try to be secretive or tight-lipped about financial matters

Business
1. Delay in signing fresh contracts that could lead to increased income
2. Including friends or other family members on the payroll. Alternatively, pay them in lieu of their so-called consulting services that they are supposed to pay back at a later point of time
3. Pay more than what is actually due to pre-pay vendors or creditors that they refund once the divorce comes through
4. Purposely overlook reimbursing business-related expenses till the divorce is finalized

Assets
1. A spouse may sell marital assets to the friends or family members who pose as independent buyers. The profits, if any are shared once the divorce proceedings are over
2. Assets can be transferred to friends and family. Later on, once the divorce comes through, they are reversed
3. A sudden and overwhelming decline in the value of business or marital investments or assets can be declared by a spouse to minimize suspicion

Banking
1. Procure or maintain full control of the banking information, passwords and bank accounts
2. Open bank accounts in a friend or child’s name to conceal funds
3. Set up several business or personal fans accounts to transfer funds

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 Your Custody & Visitation Proposal

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county child custody attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmWhen getting a divorce where children are involved it is extremely important to have a custody agreement that is best for the child. Whether you decide to have shared custody or one parent has primary custody and the other visitation rights, a consistency should be maintained.

When making your custody and visitation proposal, here are a few points that you should consider:

  1. Time spent with each parent: It is not always possible or even realistic for children to spend the exact amount of time with each parent every week. The schedule needs to be planned carefully so that both parents get sufficient quality time with the kids while not disrupting the regular school and extracurricular activity schedule. Drops and pickups should be considered while making the schedule. If the schedule causes one parent to get a little more time with the kids it would help immensely if the other parent let it go without holding a grudge. The best interest of the children needs to be the priority. 
  1. School breaks and vacations: When children are on a school break their schedules can be adjusted so that time away from school is shared between both parents. An understanding needs to be made that if one parent is taking the kids on a vacation the other parent needs to be informed a few days or weeks in advance. The visitation time lost during the vacation should be adjusted either before or after the vacation. Plans can also be drawn up where each parent takes turns to take the children on holiday. 
  1. Birthdays and other occasions: As far as possible parents should try and work things out so that they are both present for birthdays, sports events, graduations and so on. It is important for children to have both parents be part of their big moments so parents should try and bury their differences and be civil to each other when being there for their children. There should also be guidelines in place for what needs to be done if a child or parent is ill and the schedule gets disrupted. 
  1. Legal requirements: The different states in the US have their own set of requirements for visitation proposals. You will need to consult with your lawyer to make sure that you are meeting all the criteria so that your proposal gets accepted by the authorities.

In California, a preference is given to shared custody and if one parent wants full custody they need to present a good case of how it benefits the children. The courts also require the full schedule of how the children’s time is divided between school, home and each parent before they approve the visitation proposal.

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.  

Facts You Should Know About Legal Custody

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Best Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmThe term legal custody refers to a situation where in a parent is entrusted with certain obligations and rights to make important decisions on how they should bring up their kids and other important factors relevant to the welfare of their child. Some of these can be dental and health care, religious instructions, and proper education.

Joint legal custody 

Most states like California award legal custody of a child to both the parents in disputes related to such cases, which is known as joint legal custody. Joint custody signifies that both the parents will shoulder the responsibility of their child. However, a parent may not be awarded such responsibility if the court finds out that they are unsuitable to make decisions in the best interests of the kids. Legal custody and physical custody are completely different ball games altogether. The latter is more concerned with where and which parent a kid will stay after the divorce.

There are different forms of legal custody. Usually, only one parent functions as the key caregiver in the marriage. It is applicable irrespective of whether the marriage is intact or where the parents got divorced. Examples could be to authorize in case of any type of medical exigency or make a decision at the last moment for the welfare of the child. Although the other parent is allowed by the court to participate in the decision-making process, parents should put their heads together and try to arrive at an amicable arrangement for handling the affairs of their child in a practical manner.

Why does a court award sole legal custody? 

Several complications may pop up in the case of a joint custody. It may not be possible for both the parents to collaborate together and arrive at a consensus. After all, misunderstandings and arguments are not something completely unheard of. Decision-making may become next to impossible when there are vigorous arguments while settling even the simplest of issues.

The judges would like to see both the parents contributing and working together towards the best interests of the child. But when they feel that both the parents are at constant loggerheads when they have to manage the affairs of their offspring, they will make a decision that is in the best interests the kid.

The court may give sole custody to one of the parents when the other parent:

  • Resides at a far-off distance.
  • Is highly abusive or negligent.
  • Does not make any kind of effort to spend some quality time with their friends.

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 To Do When You Lose Your Child Custody Case

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county child custody attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmWhen you lose your child’s custody, it can be a terrible experience for you as a parent. It will be quite tough to come to terms with the fact that your court thinks that your kids will be better off with the other parent. When such a thing happens to you, there are certain steps that you may take so that there could be a reversal of the decision and you can win back your children’s custody. You can try out some of the tips mentioned below.

Do some serious self-retrospection on what went wrong

Take an unbiased approach on what prompted the judge to arrive at such a decision of awarding the custody of your kids to somebody else. Were you incorrectly alleged of neglecting your kids or child abuse? Or did you violate any court order? When you have a fair idea of why such a decision was taken, you can take proper steps for correcting the situation.

Take legal help

If you are serious about winning back your child’s custody, you may have to work with a reputable divorce lawyer who is experienced in handling as well as running similar cases in the past, start asking your relatives and friends for some good referrals to seek an Orange County divorce lawyer dealing in child custody cases.

Request for an evaluation

After you have hired a lawyer and have started completing the steps required by the court, you can request your judge to conduct an in-home evaluation for child custody. Such a step will give an updated assessment of your home to the concerned court that could also help in winning back the custody

Abide by court’s orders and instructions

You should not ignore anything that the court asks you to do. Do not miss any court hearing and avoid rescheduling appointments with the guardian of the child or a mediator ordered by your court.

Try to be compliant and patient

When you wait for the re-evaluation of the agreement related to your child custody, you should ensure that you are exercising your parenting and visitation rights properly. Try to stay away for all those things that could aggravate the situation further. You should put on your best efforts to be courteous and civil while picking up your children for the visits.

Contemplate on the possibility of some other custody arrangement

You can also think about considering other options of custody. Initially, you might have wanted sole custody but after losing custody, you may agree to the idea of shared 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 Orange County divorce 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.