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.

Top 3 Costly Financial Mistakes to Avoid During Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmThere are many such cases where a divorcing spouse accepts a settlement even though it could be unfair to him or her. However, a few years down the line, he or she may go through severe financial constraints. Irrespective of what the reason for agreeing to such a settlement was, such an occurrence could be drastically improved even though it may not be avoided altogether. This is possible when you learn some of these most expensive financial blunders that are commonly made while arriving at divorce settlements.

Mistake 1: Unable to budget according to a new lifestyle

A common financial mistake that is made after the divorce is the inability to budget on the basis of one’s new lifestyle. This happens quite frequently, especially when one of the spouses retains the house for his or her emotional attachment or for the kids. The cost of house maintenance and the inadequacy of liquid assets at times lead to a fast disappearance of the cash and ultimately being forced to sell the house. However, a scenario like this can be avoided when you take a close look at your income and liquid assets versus your expenses.

Mistake 2: Unaware of the asset liquidity status

The capability of accessing an asset’s cash value is termed as liquidity. Typically in any divorce settlement, one of the parties is awarded the majority of the liquidity assets like brokerage accounts, retirement plans, and so on, while the other spouse gets a majority of the illiquid assets.

In case a proposed divorce settlement has less liquidity in your name, it means there will be adequate cash flow all through the years for coping up with your living costs. However, if that is not the case, you need to think about disposing of your house or other assets or bring down your expenses drastically so that your budgetary requirements can be met.

Mistake 3: Not exercising adequate control over the insurance policies

A majority of divorce decrees require one of the concerned parties to procure an insurance policy for insuring different types of financial needs such as child support or value of payments made towards alimony. In case you are that person for whom the coverage has been procured, it is vital that you should be either the beneficiary or the policy owner.

If that is not the case, your former spouse who held the policy can simply stop paying the premiums without your knowledge till the time there is a requirement of the insurance policy and it is nonexistent. It could be a financially shattering experience for 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.  

What Couples Need to Learn from The Jolie-Pitt Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmWhen one of the hottest and most influential celebrity couples in Hollywood, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, called it quits last year, it was bound to make it to the headlines of every form of media for quite some time. And while the gruesome details of the sensational separation intrigued many, there was more than just entertainment to be extracted from the whole episode. According to experts, there are several ways in which the “Brangelina” divorce could be touted as a learning experience for even the non-celebrity couples who are planning to part ways. Have a look!

Second or third marriages are more susceptible to end in divorce than the first

Studies indicate that couples that have already had bitter experiences in their previous relationships that ended in a divorce are more likely to experience the same in their future alliances as well. For instance, Angelina Jolie was married twice before she got hitched with Brad, who was also married to Jennifer Aniston. The fact is that when you ignore the red flags in your partner and carry your own unresolved issues to a new relationship, there are tremendous chances of its failure.

Strive to keep the details of your divorce private

Despite the fact that the sensational Brangelina split garnered extensive media attention, the duo decided to choose their words with caution and released well thought of statements on the divorce. Although your divorce might not be the most scandalous news for the daily tabloid in your town, it always helps to keep the ugly details of it between you and your attorneys. After all, there are plenty of next door neighbors who are just waiting to sniff a controversy and create skewed rumors out of it.

Keep your parental conflict away from your kids

While Jolie filed for the full physical custody of all the six kids, the couple eventually decided upon a temporary divorce agreement. Experts say that regardless of who gets to keep the kids, it is important to protect your little ones from the ugly details of your disputes and conflicts. You cannot bad mouth the other parent in front of your kid and expect him/her to grow up into an emotionally healthy adult.

While the marriage might be over, you will still be the parents for your kids

Both Jolie and Pitt announced their intentions to put their family before their personal disagreements and conflict. You must know that although you have given up on your wedding vows, your kids haven’t given up on you as their parent. Co-parenting will be the one most important aspect that you and your ex-spouse will have to work on forever in life.

Remember, no divorce is perfect. And, no divorce has a happy ending. It is just a few things that you can take care of to smooth out the process and take away the sting from it.

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

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.  

Think Twice Before Ending a Low-Conflict Marriage

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

family law lawyers in orange county; The Maggio Law FirmMany marriage experts would recommend you to continue your low-conflict marriage instead of getting a divorce. There are some for whom divorce is an essential procedure. However, there are many other couples who have low-conflict marriages where divorce may not be a mandatory step. These are the cases where a parent should seriously contemplate whether going for a divorce is really worth it or not for the sake of their children.

Why it is important to protect your kids

As parents, it is a natural tendency to protect your kids from various kinds of adversities and danger so that they can enjoy healthily and long lives. According to statistics, divorce could adversely affect the health and well-being of a child. Most marriage counselors would advise to try and work out things and resolve marital concerns rather than simply going ahead and filing a divorce. Parents really have a moral duty to keep their families intact when the marriages are low-conflict in nature. This is because several research studies have proved time and again that not keeping a family intact could have an adverse impact on the kids.

In fact, divorce is a scenario where both the parents have a tendency to carry forward and download all their tensions and worries to their children.  All the finer things such as security, home, family, and so on can be destroyed when a divorce takes place. When parents walk out of their marriages, the kids may have to clean up all that mess.

Some consequences of divorce on a child

Preschooler kids in the age-group of three to five can demonstrate feelings of regression when they see their parents getting divorced. Moreover, a growing fear of getting separated from their custodial parents and sleep disturbances are common traits found in many of the affected kids. Many preschoolers exhibit a strong yearning for their non-custodial parents.

Meanwhile, children in their adolescence can respond to the divorce of their parents by acting violent, being suicidal in nature, and going through acute depression. Such kids often concentrate on the moral issues related to the divorce and become judgmental about the actions and decisions of their 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.  

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.  

Being a Single Mom & Mastering Parenting After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County child custody attorney; The Maggio Law FirmIt is a no-brainer that the divorcing of parents is probably one of the biggest hits a child can encounter in his or her life. That being said, it takes extra effort on the part of the separating parents to ensure that their little ones have to bear the minimum impact of the damage. Being a single mom is never easy. However, you can make sure that your child gets the right upbringing by following a few basic tips that we are sharing below.

Gather your support system

Single and recently divorced mothers can often feel terribly isolated and overwhelmed. Raising a kid is not a cakewalk, and doing it alone without a partner can be a more daunting prospect. The idea is to lean back on your close friends and family for support when you really need it. Don’t be hesitant to ask for help. If they genuinely care for you, they wouldn’t really mind babysitting your munchkin or picking them up from daycare when you have an urgent meeting.

Readjust your priorities

While you might be tempted to transform yourself into a superwoman overnight, you need to get your priorities straight. Be realistic about what you really need to do, and what you can give a miss. You need to lower your expectation from yourself and take a break. You don’t have to slave away at work all day, and also expect to keep you home tidy, serve only home cooked meals, and take care of your baby at the same time.

Get rid of the guilt

While it is understandable to feel partially responsible for your kid being brought up in a broken marriage, you need to stop bashing yourself for things that can no longer be fixed. You cannot keep battling with your thoughts of not being able to spend enough time with your little one or working too much or not being able to provide your baby the family love that he/she craves. Instead, focus on the brighter aspect of everything and live in the moment. Be happy that you have your kid with you and concentrate your energies in raising him/her the best way you can.

Pick up a hobby

While it might sound corny, finding time for pursuing a hobby will help you evolve into a better person. You don’t have to spend alot of money on doing things that you genuinely enjoy. Take up a painting class or join a book club. Focusing on what you like will not only help you let go of the bitter past but also provide you the hope for a better tomorrow!

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 of Controlling the Cost of Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmAlthough it may sound unbelievable, the truth is that a divorce does not necessarily have to be expensive or lead you to bankruptcy. The entire process can be done in an inexpensive manner when you do not hurry the process unnecessarily or make certain bad decisions.

Lines of communication between you and your estranged spouse should be open

When you can trust your former spouse, then there is no harm in sharing certain relevant information with her or him. On the other hand, when you are reluctant to communicate or share the issues, you may end up spending more money since your attorney then has to do extra work. Many attorneys may charge you on the basis of hours worked.

You should have realistic expectations

When you opt for a divorce, do not be under the illusion that it will be possible for you to carry on with your existing lifestyle. If you are reasonably affluent, that is a different issue altogether, else you need to start planning for your future since you will be having less money for supporting yourself once the marriage is dissolved. Do not take it for granted that you will be getting alimony. Today, both alimony and spousal support are slowly becoming less common as compared to divorces in the past.

Be flexible to negotiate

Your emotions and finances could get completely drained out when the divorce battle is a lengthy and bitter one. So, be prepared for negotiation with your ex and do not make the process a battleground. It is possible that you will have to agree on lower settlement than what you had expected in the beginning.

Come out of the joint accounts

The future is unpredictable, there could be trouble in the coming days. For instance, your former spouse may ‘fail’ to pay the installment amount for the car loan or may become disabled or may go bankrupt. If you have a joint account, all these will affect you, one way or another. So minimize or get rid of the joint accounts you had with your spouse prior to the divorce.

Try to gather information on all relevant details that can affect your finances

You should ensure that you possess information on everything, which is likely to have an impact on your finances in the future. List down all the assets, make copies of statements from your bank accounts, pension funds, and investment funds. You should have all these information as early as possible so that there is no wastage of time. Moreover, you need to give one copy of these documents to your attorney while keeping the other copy with you for filing. Make sure you carry these copies every time you need to meet your 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.  

 
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