How to Help Your Kid through Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmAs thousands of couples decide to end their marriages every year, their kids are also affected in the process. But their reactions will depend to a large extent on their personality, the circumstances under which the parents decided to separate and their age. Kids often get affected when their parent’s divorce. Often, the first reaction these children go through is that of sorry, anger, frustration, sadness, and shock. However, these children can deal these feelings in a better way as they know how to cope up with stress. As an end result, many of them are more tolerant and flexible when they become young adults. At such trying times, the most crucial things both the parents can do are to help their children steer through it by taking the following steps:

Important steps

  • Try to minimize disruptions in the daily routines of their children.
  • Make sure that legal talks, heated arguments, and visible conflicts happen away from the kids.
  • Do not be negative in front of them. Conversation with close friends and private therapy sessions should not take place inside the house.
  • Both the parents should be involved in the lives of their kids. Indifference will hurt them more.

People going through divorce or separation require lots of emotional support from their families, clergy, professionals and friends. However, these adults should never seek support and help from their children though they may appear ready to do so.

Break the news gently

The moment you are completely sure of your divorce plans, you should speak to your children about the decision to separate. Yes, it will be not an easy task to break this news. In case it is possible, it is better if both the parents are present while the news is shared. Make sure that you adopt a neutral and unbiased tone and do not express your emotions of guilt, anger or disillusionment while telling them about your separation. Of possible rehearse how you are going to break the news from beforehand so that you go not lose your temper or become upset during the discussion.

You should discuss the matter in accordance with the temperament, maturity, and age of your kids. But one statement should be common. Whatever took place between both of you; your kids are not responsible for that. This is because a majority of the children feel that they should be blamed when things did not work out between their parents. So, it is extremely crucial that the parents reassure their kids about this.

Rather tell your children that at times the adults do not agree on things or their love for one another change and so they decide to live separately. But also tell them that children will tie the parents forever no matter what happens.

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 in California.

Overview of Stepparent Rights

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Best Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmModern families are different because it is common for divorcees to remarry and combine their two families. Usually, step and biological parents will share the responsibilities while raising kids. However, step and biological parents have different rights, under California law.

During marriage

Unless a stepparent adopts the children legally or if the stepparent has right to custody, stepparents have limited rights. Usually, biological parents retain legal custody and rights of their children. Although stepparents can be involved in the decision processes, according to California law, biological parents have the last word.

Visitation after divorce

In the best interest of the children involved in the divorce, courts in California can somewill grant the stepparent visitation rights. However, the right to visitation can never conflict the right to visitation or custody given to the biological parent.

Courts believe that if too many people have visitation rights, it can negatively impact children. However, if there are no biological parents who have visitation rights or joint custody, a step parent who has strong relationships with the children can prove that visitation is best for them.

Custody after divorce

Under some circumstances, the step parent can obtain custody of the children after a divorce. If the step parent legally adopts the child/children, then the step parent will retain the right to physical and legal custody of the child/children. The step parent will have this right even if he/she isn’t with the biological parent.

However, if the biological parent emotionally and physically abuses their children or if the biological parent consumes alcohol and drugs, and the other biological parent is unavailable, the step parent may gain custody.

Legal guardianship

If the biological parents are unable to look after their children after the court took away their parental rights or because they passed away, the step parent can apply for legal guardianship, under California law.

The court will ultimately determine what type of custody and visitation agreement works in favor of the children, not the biological or step parents. However, step parents can make arrangements with biological parents, if they want to remain involved in the lives of their step children.

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.  

Divorce Mistakes Every Father Should Avoid

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

fathers rights attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmFathers in California erroneously tend to think that they do not have the same rights as the mother does. It is time to wise up. When it comes to navigating your way through the tricky waters of a California divorce, here are a few mistakes that you should avoid at all costs. If you are already in any of the following situations, seek the help of a good attorney.

  1. Do not out-spend your wife – Divorce changes everything in your life. So, if you want to survive, you need to make a few adjustments. Some divorce lawyers advocate dads outspend moms in order to break the latter financially. This is ridiculous advice at all costs and is usually given for the interest of the lawyer, and not the father. Overzealous litigating will lead to one of three things – monetary sanctions, an attorney fee motion or loss of credibility, all of which spell disaster.
  2. Do not over-extend yourself on financial matters – This mistake is the opposite of the first. You can end up being too generous. Husbands often end up paying for the support ordered by the court as well as the personal expenses of the mother that weren’t ordered by the court. Support orders are designed for your wife to maintain status quo after the divorce. You don’t want yourself in a situation that encourages your wife to sit at home while you run two households.
  3. Do not give up your child custody rights – This is a decision that almost all fathers regret down the line. If your lawyer tells you that the system is biased against fathers, then you need to find another lawyer. California law clearly states that gender based discrimination is unlawful. For instance, if you can devote half of your personal time to your children and there has been no recent history of substance abuse, domestic violence or child abuse, then the court will objectively consider giving you and your partner equal parenting time and joint custody.

Remember that divorce impacts everyone differently. It’s a wrecking ball for some and a liberating new chapter for others. When things look up down the line, you do not want to look back with regret.

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.  

How To Be A Good Single Father

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

fathers rights attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmIf being a single mother is tough, being a single father is never an easy thing either. Many people think that fathers who get divorced can easily go back to their routine before they were married. But it’s not true. After becoming a father, the lifestyle and mentality of a man changes. Especially, if he’s handling kids. Most fathers who have kids need to balance time between his job and family. It becomes tough and so, here are few tips that will help fathers become better parents in the long run.

  1. Create a good schedule

For working fathers, scheduling is the most important thing. They should discuss the issue with their boss and work out a routine which includes sufficient time for both the job and kids. They can work during the time when the kids are with their mother. It should be mentioned in the parental plan and the mother must agree to the arrangement. It will help fathers create a good work-life balance.

  1. Get help

Some men like doing everything on their own but they should keep in mind that becoming an efficient father is the goal, not becoming an efficient worker. It’s alright to seek the help of near and dear ones when needed. They need someone to take care of the kids when he or his ex. is not around to help.

  1. Get organized

For fathers who are not taking care of their kids, things might look easy but be assured that it’s not. More than often, such fathers will be tempted to go back to their old ways but they should refrain from doing so. Moreover, they should keep their life organized so that they don’t suffer from emotional problems. There must be specific timings and specific order for doing everything.

  1. Teach kids

A child’s development depends on what he/she learns from the parents. Single fathers should utilize the time they spend with their kids to teach them about different things. It is one of the best ways in which a single father can make use of the time he has.

Conclusion

It’s not easy being a single father especially when someone is juggling between work and family. However, there are ways in which an individual can become an efficient father. Creating a good parental plan and spending quality time with the kids works best and helps fathers make the best of 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.  

Post-Divorce Parenting Tips For Fathers

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

fathers rights attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmPost-divorce parenting fears are not exclusive to mothers. During a custody battle, California courts can grant custody to the mother in some cases, but shared custody is much more common, depending on the circumstances.  Divorced fathers can nevertheless find it difficult to adjust to their new situation.

Here are some tips that will help post-divorced fathers get through the situation.

  1. Create a routine

The most important thing to do is to create a routine where a specific time is allotted for the kids. For the rest of the time, fathers need to keep themselves busy with either work or house chores. Fathers need to remember that their children too are going through the pangs of divorce. Having a routine will help them adjust to the situation in an orderly manner.

  1. Make your child your no. 1 priority

Fathers need to keep in mind that their children come first. Since post-divorce lives are different, it often becomes difficult to keep up with the child’s demand. However, you need the take the time out to listen to your kids whenever they need you. You child’s need should be your no.1 priority.

  1. Share a common ground with your child

As time passes by, teach your children to cope up with the situation. You have your own needs and your children has theirs. Share a common ground where both of you are comfortable doing things together. It could be a small hobby or it could be something related to academics.

  1. Plan activities

Find creative ways to spend time with your kids. It will help you keep your mind off problems and will help you focus on the bigger goals in life. There are fun ways in which you can spend quality time with your kids and such activities will help strengthen the relationship between the two of you.

  1. Don’t involve your child in your new love affair

It’s natural to fall in love again after your failed marriage but introducing your love interest to your kids might be a bit too much. At least, in the initial few months or years after a divorce when your kids are coping up with the situation, it’s wrong to have your kids meet someone who can very well become their mother.

Conclusion

Divorce is a tough thing for both parents to manage. While mothers have their own problems to deal with, fathers often find it difficult to deal with the situation. Maintain a healthy relationship with their kids is the key to fight post-divorce parenting fears.

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 Fathers Looking for Custody of their Child

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

family law lawyers in orange county; The Maggio Law FirmThe fact that there are more working mothers now than ever, has promoted a significant increase in the child custody battles in most divorce cases. While most fathers might believe that a court of law usually favors the mother in deciding the final settlement of custody, the fact is that the primary concern of judge is to announce a verdict that ensures the ‘best interests of a child’.  Fathers who actively devote time for a meaningful and healthy upbringing of their child should seek to enforce their parental rights.  Read on for a few tips that might come in handy if you are a dedicated father battling for the custody of your child.

Parenting time 

The first major consideration that you need to make is how much time you will be able to devote to your kids. Now whether you wish to obtain the full custody of your child, or an aggressive visitation, it is very important to outline your goals and determine how you aim to achieve them. You need to able to balance out your professional life with the time you wish to spend with your child. Much of this would depend upon the age and maturity of your kids. For example, a five year old will require you to be available for him for a major part of his waking hours. However, if you have teenage kids, you can go for joint custody that allows you spend the evenings and weekends with them. 

Parental decisions 

A joint custody implies that both the parents are required to be actively responsible for making vital life decisions such as education, safety, health and welfare for their children. Unless your case involves a grave parental conflict such as domestic violence, addiction of some nature, child abuse or the like, it is always advisable to go for joint custody with the other partner. The state laws of California do not assign any special privileges to the mother if she has been proved to be incapable of co parenting the kid, since it apparently goes against the concept of ‘best interests of the child’.

If you as a father are determined to fight for your rights to custody, you must hire an attorney who has experience in child custody cases and is well versed in the legal strategies required for you to effectively put your point across in the court of law.

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.  

Mistakes All Husbands Must Avoid in Divorce Litigation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmIn divorce cases, husbands can sometimes feel that they are not entitled to the same rights as their partner. Such a feeling not only harbors frustration and anxiety but also makes the individuals give up on a fight to acquire what is rightfully theirs. It is very important for all husbands to have a sound understanding of their rights in a divorce and ensure that they are preserved at all times. Here is list of a few mistakes that several husbands tend to make during the divorce process, and how they can be fixed.

Outspending the spouse to damage their financial health

There are several lawyers who deliberately encourage their clients to spend more and more money on the litigation process in a bid to weaken the financial foundation of the other spouse. While such advice is extended with the aim of falsely promoting the husband’s rights, the actual intention of the lawyers is to preserve their self interest and make more money. Delving into the legality of such irrational behavior, we bring to your notice the family code section 271 of Californian state law that stipulates a punishment for an individual who deliberately engages in activities that drive up the cost of the litigation. 

Overspending on the trial

As similar as it may sound, this one is the exact opposite of the first point. In many cases, the husband goes out of the way and spends all too generously by paying for additional family expenses that have not even been ordered by the court. Spousal support or alimony is meant to ensure that your wife maintains an acceptable standard of living even when she lives all by herself. However, being over generous and paying more than what has been ordered by the court can substantially deplete your own seed money. In addition to this, it will also dissuade your wife from finding a job and learning to support herself. 

Failure to request a modification in support orders

Husbands who are unable to afford the alimony payments, tend to stop making the payments altogether without having one bit of consideration for the legal ramifications of such an act. The fact is that a failure to make your regular support payments as stipulated by a court order, can wreak havoc on your finances. The law requires you to pay hefty interest (10% per year) in addition to the due principle amount. The solution however to this problem is simple. If you think that you are unable to afford the alimony payments anymore, you can request a modification from the court of law and get the amount reduced.

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 Your Rights As A Father During A California Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmIn many countries and in some parts of the US, mothers are given more preference than fathers when it comes to a divorce. Previously, courts would award custody to the mothers stating that mothers are more caring and ‘nurturing’ than fathers. In recent times this view has changed. At least in California both sexes are given equal preference. The internet is flooded with articles about mother’s rights but what about the father? It’s time we had a look at the rights men are entitled for in a divorce case.

What are father’s rights?

The role of the husband or father in a family often goes unnoticed due to the notion that they are not too ‘involved’. But studies have shown that when both parents are present in a family, the child does better in school and home. As a father your rights include spending time interacting with your child, having a say in important discussions, and participation in parenting. It also includes looking after his child’s education, health, happiness and welfare. You should also be aware that you do not need a court order to exercise these rights since your custody rights are already established.

Why should fathers be aware of such rights?

As a father, you should be aware of your roles, responsibilities and rights concerning your child. A father is no less important to a child than his mother. If you are a couple, then it is already an established fact that the child is yours but if you are unwed then you must prove your paternity. Understanding the rights will give you a clear understanding of things that you can and cannot do.

Mistakes husbands and fathers should avoid

One of the worst mistakes that you need to avoid if you are divorcing your spouse is to try and outspend her. Now your lawyer might tell you to do that but try and avoid it at all costs. Similarly, don’t be over generous over financial matters. It might cause more damage than the first mistake. Next, never ever surrender your fathers’ rights on parenting time. You need to remember that the California law is unbiased and both parents are treated equally. There is absolutely no reason why you should give up your rights as a father. Lastly, if you can’t provide financial support to your child, go to a court and modify the order; don’t stop supporting your child.

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.  

 
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.