Things You Should Be Aware of In A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmThe kids and spouses may often have to experience a chain of stressful events when there is a divorce.  After all, several things change overnight ranging from parenting schedules, financial and monetary decisions and new living arrangements. It could be a tough task for the husband and the wife to understand the legalities involved in the divorce process due to a storm of emotions during such difficult times. In fact, their sentiments can even blurt their capability to arrive at sensible decisions. It is easier to get through your divorce when you are well-informed about the process even before it starts. Here are some tips to help you through your difficult time.

Do not be overconfident of winning your divorce case

There are many such people who begin their process with the thought that they will defeat their husband or wife on the court. However, in reality, there is hardly a clear dinner in any divorce. Any typical divorce includes many issues like the split of property, support and child custody. T is quite rare that spouses who are divorcing get everything they desire for. For instance, one of the spouses may get physical custody of the kids and yet get a lower amount of money as spousal support than what was originally requested.  So, there is hardly any win-win scenario.

Rather, think of the outcomes of a bitter court battle while getting divorced. Not only do you have to spend several thousands of dollars, your kids may go through great emotional torment due to the bitterness between both of you. On the other hand, after things have cooled down a bit, it is natural to forget who the winner was.

Make important decisions only after careful deliberation

During the course of a divorce, many decisions may come changing your life altogether. For instance, you may need to ascertain if you require selling your family home or not. Try to avoid making a quick and impulsive decision only for the sake of getting the case over. It is crucial to deliberate on the potential consequences before arriving at some vital choices.

Though you and your spouse are getting divorced, your children are not

Getting carried away at such a difficult time is not an unusual thing to do.  But you should refrain from saying cruel words to your husband or wife while your kids are present may have a lasting and negative effect on them.

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.  

The Effect of Adultery in California Divorce Cases

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmAre you involved in a divorce concerning adultery? If that is the case, here are some things to know as it relates to divorce in California. After all, you should ensure that you must get as per your rights irrespective of being the spouse of the adulterer or the adulterer.

There could be negligible impact on your divorce settlement

While there is no doubt that adultery is one of the biggest betrayals in any marriage, it may not make you eligible as much as you could be expecting when it is a question of divorce settlement. While you may feel that you deserve a lot due to the infidelity of your spouse during your marriage. In reality, you may often not be awarded the settlement amount that you consider is fair.

No effect on the issue of child custody

Though it may come as a big surprise for you, adultery committed by your spouse may hardly have any effect on the issue of child custody. If the court considers your adulterer spouse as a good parent, the latter could be awarded the right to the custody of your kids from the carriage or right of visitation.

Evidence is not needed in states that allow “no fault” divorce

Do you reside in a “no fault” state? If it is so, there is no need to produce any kind of evidence of adultery. This is because such states do not need any reason to divorce apart from the reason that the couple is not living as wife and husband anymore.

There could be benefits in issues related to alimony and settlement of property

Though there is no significant impact of adultery on divorce settlements. It can influence matters like alimony and property settlement. The reason for this is the spouse who was betrayed can use it to his/her advantage for continuing to maintain their existing lifestyle.

Court may consider expenses related to the extramarital affair

When the adulterer spouse spent a huge amount of money on his or her new partner, the spouse who was betrayed may be eligible for compensation.

Can adultery be a ground for divorce?

California does not recognize adultery as a ground for divorce.  However, there are some states where just because a spouse cheated on in the marriage does not signify that it is a ground for getting a divorce. When you do not stay in any “no fault” divorce state, the betrayed spouse should furnish evidence of the adultery committed by the other spouse before the courts to consider the same. The evidence can be a private investigator or an eyewitness who should testify in the court. When you have photographs of your spouse’s betrayal, you can produce them before the judge too.

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 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Divorce Lawyer

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County family lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmAre going through a divorce proceeding and are looking frantically for a good divorce lawyer? It is important to note that you should avoid hiring the first attorney you got in touch with. Selecting the right divorce lawyer to help you in getting a speedy divorce should be a crucial divorce-related decision, which you need to make.

Be cautious

It is possible that a close acquaintance has sent you a referral to a family law attorney but you should still need to do a bit of homework before saying yes. It is important to check the qualifications of the said attorney and ensure that the person concerned has adequate experience in handling your case. There is no dearth of lawyers in the market and you will find that many of them market themselves as “divorce” or “family law” attorneys.

Questions to ask

Here are some questions you could contemplate asking a family law attorney during your first interview with him or her. All these questions will help you to ascertain if the said lawyer is apt for your divorce case or not.

  1. Is divorce part of the lawyer’s practice? How long has he been associated with practicing family law? Is he a family law specialist? Is he aware of the total number of family cases handled by him?
  2. How will launch time it approximately take to resolve your case? Will there be any specific strategy for speedy resolution of your case?
  3. How will you contact him or her in the event of an emergency? How much time does he normally take to return the clients’ phone calls? What are the events he or she regards as an emergency situation?
  4. Will there be anyone else in his or her chamber who will be also working on your case? If yes, can you meet them? What is the kind of experience they hold?
  5. What is his hourly rate? How will he or she charge you? What is his or her retainer up front? Will he charge for the time you spend with some other lawyers or with the secretaries?
  6. What costs does he or she expect to incur apart their own legal fees? For instance, the costs could be incurred for psychologists, physicians, forensic accountants and private investigators. How does he plan to charge you for such costs?
  7. What does he feel about the estimated total cost of your divorced? You should be prepared as most of the times, a divorce law attorney will be unwilling to respond to this query since the divorce cost could depend on a great extent on the level and complexity of your individual case. But, the manner in which the said lawyer replies to this query of yours will help you to know what they are expecting? An attorney who is honest may usually respond by saying that it is tough to estimate the total expenses in advance. On the other hand, a lawyer who quotes too low an amount could be just making an attempt to get a business
  8. Will the lawyer permit you to do a direct negotiation with your estranged spouse? What are the ways of keeping your divorce cost down? Can you do any such tasks that will lead to the reduction of his or her fees?

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.  

Timing Your Divorce Right: The Ten-Year Rule

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmUnder California law, the lower-earning spouse getting a divorce may be entitled to spousal support for a longer term if he/she has been married to their current partner for ten years or more.  If they have been married for less than ten years, spousal support is generally limited to a duration that is equal to half the length of the marriage.

Sounds a tad confusing? Let us illustrate it with the help of an example.

A and B are going through tough times and considering a divorce. A is the higher-earning spouse here, so it is A who is expected to pay alimony to B.

  • If they have been married for, say 7 years, A needs to pay alimony to B for 3.5 years (three years and six months).
  • If they have been married to each other for 11 years, A’s support obligation will not automatically terminate after half the length of the marriage.

In real life, Mel B (of Spice Girls fame) filed for divorce from producer Stephen Belafonte just short of their 10th anniversary. They would have completed ten years on June 6, 2017. She likely did this to avoid having to pay Belafonte ongoing spousal support with no specified termination date.

Actor Tom Cruise also mentioned in his divorce filing that his marriage to Nicole Kidman lasted only nine years and eleven months. It is believed that he did so for the same reason.

So if you are considering a divorce, ask yourself: How long have you been married to your present spouse?

If you expect to receive alimony, perhaps it would be a good idea to wait until your 10th wedding anniversary. That is assuming you haven’t celebrated it already. Who knows, you just might be able to put your differences aside and enjoy true marital bliss if you wait it out. You might not even want a divorce by then.

If you are the higher-earning spouse and will be expected to pay alimony, don’t wait until your 10th wedding anniversary if you are truly unhappy in your marriage and divorce seems inevitable. The sooner you get out, the better – you will end up paying lesser as support.

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 Let People Know You Are Filing For Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmIt can be very painful to break the news of your divorce to your family and friends. However, you need to tell them at some point or the other. The toughest challenge for you will be sharing this news with your kids.

Share the news of your divorce with your family members

After you have informed your kids, you need to next confide with the remaining family members that you are planning to divorce your spouse. You should share this news with your parents first. Subsequently, you can disclose it to your siblings and other family members. Do not be in a hurry to break the news to your distant family members immediately if you do not interact with them frequently. You can always let them know later on provided your other family members have already not told them about it.

Your parents

You may go through lots of emotional turmoil while breaking the divorce news to both your parents as well as to the parents of your spouse. But you should be calm and not lose your cool. Moreover, do not share all the details and avoid blaming anyone else for your current predicament.

Rest of the family members

It could be easier for you to deal with the remaining family members since their investment and contribution to your marriage is lesser and even though they could like your spouse a lot.

Confiding in your friends

Informing your friends could be as tough as informing your family members. This is particularly true when they share a great rapport with your spouse too. So, make an attempt to be at your diplomatic best so that they do not feel they should choose a side. But, you need to be more candid with your close friends as compared to your casual friends who you are not that close to.

However, you may need to share this news with your casual friends too so that they do not ask you accidentally how your husband or wife is. After all, you do not want to begin any type of awkward situation to explain your present situation.

Informing employers and colleagues

It is always recommended not to divulge or share too many personal details at your workplace. Being discreet about your personal life is always a good idea. So, just share the minimal details about your divorce at your workplace to avoid gossips or speculations, which can harm your career.

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 Divorce Survival Tips

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThe decision to get a divorce is not an easy one even though the couple or a spouse has contemplated the pros and cons of it for many days before making a decision. Emotions like fear, uncertainty, distress, anger are very common when the divorce is filed or it has been finalized. A divorce may take a toll on the husband or the wife’s self-esteem too. Here are some important divorce survival tips to start life fresh once again.

There is hardly anyone who is ready for a divorce

Divorce is not an easy affair at all both legally as well as emotionally. In case you feel uninformed, intimidated and baffled, you need to understand that you are not the only one to go through this roller coaster ride of emotional after all there is rarely anyone who is prepared for a divorce. The exception to this is perhaps the therapists and the divorce lawyers who work with couples on the verge of getting divorced.

The good news for you is that that there will be no dearth of helpful information and useful advice that are easily available on the net and the community where you live. However, before listening to such advice and suggestions, it is imperative to ask yourself about what should be your first step. Do not worry about what others are advising you to do first. Rather, try to figure out that knowing and intuitive voice telling you what should be your next step all about.

Do not neglect your body

Though this may sound cliché and quite obvious, many people try to overlook their fundamental requirements while they are under stress.  These basic needs include decent hours of sleep, regular exercise, healthy and balanced food. When you are physically well, it lays down the foundation for your emotional and mental well-being. Hence, male sensible decisions for your well-being in the coming months and says.

You need not give explanations to anybody

Just remember that you are not answerable to anyone and everyone’s when you start telling people around you about your divorce, they may ask you “why” so.  But most of the times, these people for not ask such questions because they are worried about your well-being. Rather they do it out of curiosity and to get more information. Another reason could be that such people are apprehensive about their own marriages. That is the reason why they want to compare their experiences versus yours.

Self-assurance is crucial

There are different kinds of losses associated with a divorce. It could be the end of a dream, a particular kind of a lifestyle, a home and a marriage. There could be loads of uncertainties and insecurities with respect to your child custody, living arrangements, and finances in the future but whenever you feel down and insecure, you need to assure yourself that you have everything you need.

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

Child Custody Issues For Gay Couples

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

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

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

If one is the biological parent

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

If none of them are related to the child

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

Conclusion

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

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

What You Need to Know About Alimony Before Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county spousal support; The Maggio Law FirmWhen you are facing a divorce, you need to be prepared for the reality i.e. alimony payments to your spouse. There are some countries or states that refer to alimony also as “maintenance” or “spousal support”. This is an active component of the divorce system of many countries all over the world. In case your earning is significantly higher than that of your spouse and both of you are married for several years, there is a lot of possibilities that you have to pay alimony to your ex-spouse after your divorce comes through. But, if the marriage has lasted for only a short duration, the court may not order for the alimony. Moreover, when you and your spouse are earning almost the same amount of money, you may not be required to pay alimony.

But in case the court has asked you to pay alimony, you need to pay a specified amount of money every month until the time:

  • Your ex-spouse gets married again
  • The judge sets a date many years in the future
  • Your kids are no longer in need of a full-time father or mother at home
  • The judge is of the view that even after a reasonable time has passed, your spouse did not make enough efforts to become at least partially self-supporting
  • Any other important event like the occurrence of a retirement that makes the judge revise the alimony amount to be paid to your spouse
  • When any of the ex-spouses dies

Just like any other issues that arise in a divorce, you and your spouse can sit together and sort out the matter related to the amount and duration of the payment of alimony. But, if both of you cannot come to a conclusion and decide to knock the court’s doors, chances are that a trial will take place, which can cost you a lot of money and time.

When you are expected to pay alimony

Simply because you are required to pay alimony to your ex-spouse, it does not mean that you are not a good person. Instead, you should regard it as the expenses of your marriage that you had thought would continue until one of you die. However, that did not happen for-what-so-ever reasons. The history of alimony has been continuing for hundreds of years. Though it is not ordered that frequently these days, it does not mean that the court will stop ordering one of the ex-spouses to pay alimony to the other party for good.

When you are expected to receive alimony

The decision on whether you are entitled to receive alimony or not depends on how much capacity you have to earn. Your earning could have changed from the time you approached the court for receiving your alimony. It also depends on the amount of money earned by your spouse and what was the standard of your living while the marriage lasted. You could be also asked to make some alterations in both your work and life. For instance, in case you are in a part-time job and it does not pay well, you may be needed to look around for a full-time job that is likely to pay you well.

Sometimes, experts known as “vocational evaluators” can be retained in a divorce case to determine the employability and job prospects of a spouse who has not been in a full-time employment for some time now. It is important to discuss this option with your divorce 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.  

Should You Opt for a Legal Separation Rather than a Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.There are many couples who opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. There are distinctions between legal separation and divorce, and it is important to understand their meaning so that you can ask the right questions while contemplating your future options.

Before going any further, you need to understand the meaning of a legal separation. This is a special binding agreement through a court’s order which will define handling of different types of financial matters such as liabilities and assets when a spouse opts to lead a separate life from his or her spouse.

Why should you prefer to be legally separated rather than getting divorced?

There are many couples who prefer separation over divorce for a host of financial, logical and personal reasons. The personal reasons could be when both the spouses decide to stay separately for some time to find out whether they really want their marriage to end or not. Moreover, there could be religious beliefs, which treat divorce as an unacceptable option or the desire to live a separate life while protecting your financial future.

Alternatively, there could be certain financial and logistical reasons to opt for a legal separation rather than going for a full-fledged divorce. Check out some of them:

  • You may be in a position to get spousal benefits like health insurance, which will not be possible in case you were divorced.
  • When you are living separately on a trial period, you could be worried about the debts being accumulated by your estranged spouse. When you go for legal separation, your financial liability gets limited and assets that you procure moving forward are protected.
  • It is possible for you to get tax benefits when the marriage is terminated and you can continue filing your returns jointly. Any kids born while you are in the phase of separation is regarded as legitimate by the law since the couple’s marriage is still legal. But it also means that during your legal separation phase, you cannot marry someone else.
  • Though you and your spouse may have come to an agreement to live separate lives, it is less expensive when both of you share the same house. So, you opt to be legally spared over divorce.
  • A spouse gets protection from being deserted, that is the ground for divorce in several countries or states. This signifies that if you live separately without an agreement, charges of abandonment or desertion can be brought against 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.  

 
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.