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.  

How Can The Legal Impacts Of Divorce Affect Families?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmThe final call to end your marriage can be a tough one. The transition is even more painful when kids are involved in the marriage. A good parent will always ensure that there is a solid decision-making process involved for the welfare of the children. Plus, it is crucial to understand the kind of repercussion a divorce can cause on your family prior to moving forward. Reputable Orange County divorce attorneys at our firm will be more than pleased to help you out so that the impact of divorce on your family is minimized.

You will definitely agree that knowledge can be true power. When you know the possible tough spots, you can be well-equipped to face them bravely. Thus, complete awareness is an important need while it is a question of making sound decisions. Knowledge also enables you to prepare adequately when you have made up your mind to go ahead with a divorce. Divorce can usually have an impact on family life in two critical legal areas. The court will pass an order, which clarifies matters related to child support and child custody as a part of your divorce. However, changes in scenarios, which may need to rethink these matters, can be handled at a later point in time for future modifications.

  1. Child custody

Ascertaining matters related to child custody is a vital component of any divorce. It is possible that both the spouses may work out in an amicable manner through one of the Orange County divorce mediators. Alternatively, the matter may be contested by one of the parties and eventually handled by the court. Custody can exist in two forms, which are legal and physical. When a parent is awarded the legal custody of his or her kid, they have the right to decide on various issues like the general welfare, schooling, and health of the said child. On the other hand, physical custody refers to the living condition of the child. The issue of visitation is dealt as a subject of the agreement on the child’s physical custody. The court can award sole or joint custody to the parents.

  1. Child support

Once a divorce is through, there is also the issue of child support that needs to be sorted out by both the parties. For instance, certain court systems lay down guidelines to ascertain the amount of money a parent should pay to the receiving parent for child support. Such guidelines also specify which party should be responsible for paying child support and who is entitled to get this kind of a familial support according to the court’s orders. There could be a change in the amount of money required or owed for child support over a period of time. Such changes can lead to a requirement for a revision of the initial agreement.

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

Why Do You Need To Have An Agreement For Legal Separation?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmMany legal experts feel that when a couple decides to separate, they should have a proper agreement on legal separation. After an agreement is signed by a judge, the couple will get a temporary order from the concerned courts it is an order that mentions the responsibilities of both the parties while they live separately and prior to the finalization of their divorce. However, if the legally separated couple does not want to proceed with the divorce, either party can as, their divorce lawyer to keep the divorce on hold.  But even while being legally separated, the spouses can enjoy similar legal protections, courtesy to that temporary court order in states that allow legal separation. Here are some of the reasons why it really makes sense to have an agreement while being legally separated.

For setting up a schedule for child visitation

When you have kids from your marriage, it is imperative to fix a schedule for the visitation of the other parent though you live separately. An agreement for legal separation can define such a schedule and also outline who will have access to the kids when they are in the custody of your spouse, where the kids will reside if they are not given to you Andorra they can travel or not even though you will not give consent to do so. Thus, such an agreement can help you to protect your parental rights.

When you need child support

In case there are children, you can only demand the child support with the help of a court order. When the state where you reside permits legal separation, the calculation for the child support can be done as per the child support guidelines of that state and becomes a part and parcel of the legal separation agreement between you and the other parent.

When there is big conflict between you and your spouse

When your spouse and you are having high conflicts and it is not possible for both of you to have a healthy dialogue with one another, such an agreement will highlight what should be expected from both of you while you are legally separated. When such clauses are mentioned in your legal separation agreement, further conflicts can be avoided and communication between the two of you will be better.

Low trust factor

When you are not sure to trust your spouse’s verbal commitments, a legal separation agreement can come to your rescue. Such agreements can be witnessed and signed by an unbiased third party or even a judge and can be produced in a court if your spouse violates any clause therein.

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 Know About Taxes In A Divorce Or Separation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange county divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmDivorce is not an easy time for most couples and their families. However, a question whose answer is easy to respond to is the tax implications of a legal separation or a divorce. It has been observed quite often that there are several people who end up paying an exorbitant amount as tax after their divorce. It happens as they are not familiar with the implications in the beginning. After all, a family goes through a crucial transition and hardly enjoys paying a big sum in taxes due to a breakdown in the relationship. Thus, it makes sense for the affected couples to spend some time to think carefully about tax. It will really be an excellent investment for them.

What is the most crucial thing one needs to be familiar with tax on separation or divorce?

As long as a couple lives together and are married, they can transfer assets to each other without altering the CGT or capital gains tax.

However, there are many people who do not realize:

The tax benefit associated with a marriage ceases to exist when the tax year ends just after a permanent legal separation and even before a divorce is effective. Hence, when a couple separates say on January 1st but decides that they want to split after 6 months, they can no longer enjoy the benefit of transferring assets with one another free of tax.

What is the remedial action(s)?

From the tax perspective, it is better to legally separate by the first week of April. Such a decision will give a period of an entire year to the said couple for planning issues related to asset transfer between one another.

Though it may not be a practical action to take for many couples, they may invest some time thinking about it. The harsh reality is by the time most people start thinking about issues related to tax planning when they are getting divorced; they may not enjoy the exemption on Capital Gains Tax.

Family Home

It will be eligible for being exempted from capital gains tax while transferring. However, it has to be the primary residence of the couple throughout the ownership period. The couple can enjoy a relief from capital gains tax when such houses are sold, which have been their main home. Sometimes, there may be some relief even if the said family house is not the main residence during the time a couple was married. In such scenarios, there could be an extension of relief period.

Certain businesses may be granted exemption from CGT:

  1. Some shares in trading companies that are unquoted
  2. Interests in trading partnership
  3. Sole proprietorship

However, the tax implications of a divorce or a legal separation may vary from state to state. Consult a good Orange County divorce attorney to get help and expert guidance when you are about to separate or divorce from your spouse.

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 Are The Grounds To Annul A Marriage In California?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmThere are widespread misperceptions about a marriage annulment in the state of California. The reason for this is many popular cultural beliefs and religion has managed to throw inaccurate and differing views on annulments, especially with respect to the family law. There is a similarity between a divorce and an annulment in a way since both of them determine a couple’s marital status. However, there is a big difference between these two. While a divorce ends a valid and an existing marriage, an annulment declares that though everybody thought there was a marriage, it never existed in the first place. As far as the courts are concerned, a marriage that is annulled never existed at all.

Grounds under which a spouse can request to annul the marriage

In the State of California, there are a number of reasons or grounds on which the court could grant a request for a marriage annulment. Read on to know more about them.

  1. One of the spouses was married prior to entering into a second marriage. It is referred to as bigamy in legal terms.
  2. The couple has a blood relationship.
  3. The spouse who has filed for the annulment was below 18 years of age when the marriage took place.
  4. One of the spouses has committed a fraud for procuring the consent of the other party to the marriage. The fraud should have a strong correlation with the marriage. An example of this is when one party convinces the other to get married as the former had a secret desire of staying back in America.
  5. One of the spouses compelled the other party to get married.
  6. One party suffers from an incurable physical capacity. Ideally, the term is associated with male impotence, which does not allow the couple to have a physical relationship.
  7. When both the spouses and either of them is of an unsound mind. It refers to a condition, which stops the couple in question to appreciate and understand the marriage duties and nature like under the influence of severe intoxication.

The spouse requesting an annulment needs to provide evidence before the court that any of the reasons mentioned above was present when the marriage took place. However, if the burden is dissatisfied, the court may not grant the marriage annulment.

How to get an order from the court on marriage annulment?

The process for getting an annulment is not much different from obtaining a divorce. The court system of California has laid down a comprehensive set of instructions for requesting and opposing a marriage annulment. The California court system has specified a deadline called statute of limitations. It establishes the time limit within which an annulment may be filed. The reason for which an annulment is filed determines this deadline. It is always recommended to hire a good Orange County divorce attorney to help you out in such a case.

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 To Have Healthy Communication with Your Former Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmDo you have children from your marriage to your former spouse!  If the answer is yes, then it is extremely important to maintain a civil and courthouse relationship with your former husband/wife. It is quite necessary that the parents hide their differences and work for their children’s welfare.  In case there is resentment within you or proper communication does not exist with your ex-spouse, you will not lose anything. Rather your kids can be impacted negatively.

There are several such studies that prove divorce does not damage the kids. Rather parents who are irrational after they part ways may damage their mental states. So, try not to be a parent like that. When you put efforts to creating a productive and dress relationship with the other parent, the healing process will be after getting both the involved parties and it will be easier for you and your children to move ahead in life. The following tips are useful to keep your negative emotions toward your former spouse at bay.

Define clear-cut boundaries and try to stick to them

You should communicate with one another properly and establish proper boundaries and scopes for the responsibilities you need to carry out in the lives of your kids.  Both of you need to understand that you should value your relationship with each other for your children’s sake and hold that relationship in high regard. When you define proper boundaries about your co-parenting relationships after the divorce to move forward, it will help in creating a positive atmosphere, which will help to alleviate the stress and tension of coping up with issues related to child custody and visitation

Consult a good therapist

Are you having a tough time while discussing crucial issues related to your kids? It is better to take guidance from a third and unbiased party in such scenarios. So do not hesitate to approach a therapist, a friend or a clergy who is close to both you and your spouse.  When your former spouse is not willing to be a part of it a therapy after the divorce, you should go ahead alone for it. The conflict between both of you can reduce when you learn new and important skills and know ways of responding to situations, which may trigger a conflict. You can learn how important it is when you do not engage in a conflict with your ex-spouse and how to control your emotions of you want to retaliate when provoked. It is important to forget your past so that things go smooth in the future.

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

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