What Are The Steps To Follow For Separating From Your Husband?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIn case you are contemplating to separate from your husband, safety should be your most important concern. If you feel that your husband is likely to abuse you either physically or verbally, it is essential that there is a proper legal and support structure in place for you.  The following are a couple of steps you can follow for separating from your husband.

Step #1: Make sure that you are safe

You should take a few practical steps such as contacting local organizations for domestic violence or help lines. You can also get in touch with your local law enforcement agency for filing a restraining order. A crucial step many people tend to take is to stay with their close family member or a friend, in case such an option is available. These women should make it a point to let their loved ones know what is going in their lives if they have not done so already. Although, it is a tough thing to do, it is really important.

Step #2: Know how divorce and separation works

If you are planning to divorce your husband, it is important to find out how divorce and separation works in the state where you are living

Ideally, separation exists in two forms, formal and informal. If you want to go for a formal separation, you need to hire a lawyer for creating a separate agreement. The agreement will dictate and distribute the responsibilities of both the partners like payment of debts, finances, childcare and housing arrangements.

It is a form of separation for which you have to bear expenses. Hence it is imperative for you to ask a family member or a friend to help you out or you can save it. Women are unhappy and their relationships may become unhealthy as finances become a strong barrier. But you should not feel despondent as human minds are structured for coming up with innovative and creative ideas. Even if you feel that you are quite smart, there are still possibilities of a breakthrough and come up with an interesting plan to access more money.

An informal separation is the second option to separate. A court may or may not be involved in this kind of a separation. The agreement can be prepared and signed by you and your spouse. But, if you have a marriage full of conflicts, this option may not be a realistic one. But things and people can be quite unpredictable and it may still be possible to arrive at a settlement even though both of you do not share the best of terms.

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.  

Is Legal Separation Good For Your Marriage?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange county divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmThere are several occasions when a legal separation is good for a relationship since it reduces pressure while creating physical space. In fact, it can be quite helpful to support clear decision-making and support personal reflection. It also makes sense scientifically since the IQs of human beings drop when they are highly stressed out. Hence, if either one or both the parties are going through high stress for many years, it can be understood how a separation albeit temporary can increase clarity of mind.

In situations where a spouse has cheated on the other or when either or both the parties suffer from jealousy or a feeling of distrust, separation could aggravate the situation further. However, this situation is unique for every couple as some couples with a background of betrayal have come out stronger after their separation period.

Questions to ask yourself prior to deciding on a separation 

Check out the following questions to ask before making a decision to separate.

  • Why do you want to separate?
  • Do you have reasons to stay in the marriage and give it a try to make it work?
  • Are your reasons to stay in the marriage stems out of anything to do with the other party?
  • Do you want to continue with your marriage for the sake of your kids or you are worried about what people around you will think or due to certain moral obligations? You should take the space for a self-reflection on your wants and desires, which can prove quite beneficial for you.

The society may put immense cultural pressure on the benefits of living together under the same roof for the sake of the reputation, the couple’s kids and so on. So, you should be ready that your spouse could be closed to the idea at the beginning.

Is it good for the marriage to separate? 

Now that will depend on many factors. A big obstacle is when people allow their emotional stress and sense of urgency to have a strong grip on their actions and thoughts until they lose clarity of how to go ahead. You need to remember that all your emotions including the most disturbing ones will pass. There are times when the process of getting more clarity or gaining insight on the actions to be taken in a. marriage may take a longer time than one anticipates and it makes sense to wait and investigate.

Though it is difficult to believe, human beings have the ability to be resilient and that shows up even in tough situations such as divorce and separation. All family members including the kids have thoughts on how to arrive at a practical solution during a difficult time.

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.

Top 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.

 

 

Responding to Divorce or Legal Separation Filings

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top divorce attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmEither spouse in a marriage or as a partner in registered domestic partnership has the right to request the court to terminate their legal relationship. Your domestic partner or spouse has requested the court to end the relationship in case you received a summons and petition for legal separation or dissolution (divorce). In Orange County, California, the court has the power to end domestic partnership or marriage even if the other partner is unwilling to be legally separated or divorced.

Any registered domestic partners or married couple can terminate their marital status six months after papers are first filed at courthouse and then the copies of such papers served on the respondent, in such case, as yourself. 

Response options

In case you are served with summons and petition, then you are regarded as the respondent in court case for legal separation or divorce. You must carefully read papers served to you. The Petition informs you what your domestic partner or spouse (the petitioner) has asked for. You can get important information concerning your rights from The Summons and about the process of separation or divorce. There will be standard restraining orders which will restrict what you can do with the property, assets or debts. You or your partner or spouse can be prohibited to move out of state with children borne from the partnership or marriage. You may also be stopped from applying or renewal of passport for the children, without prior written consent. A court order could be required.

Post-service options

You have a number of options after being served. The easiest thing to do is to do absolutely nothing. If you take this path, then demands of your partner will be granted in its entirety. This situation is termed “true default”. If your agreement is written and notarized and where you and your domestic partner or spouse has agreed to end the partnership or marriage, then also you have to do nothing. If you and your spouse agree about other things like property division, partner or spousal support, then it is also termed as “default”. This is due to the fact that you have not filed for any response.

Other ways of responding include filing a response with court but also reach the needed agreement with domestic partner or spouse about all issues. This option is regarded as “uncontested” case as you and your domestic partner or spouse is not battling over issues. If you file a response with court, and also disagree with domestic partner or spouse, then it is regarded as a “contest.”

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 Is Legal Separation Different From A Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top family lawyers Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmA legal separation is a legal process that allows a couple to live separately but remain married, even though they can divide their assets and make other agreements.  The procedure for legal separation in California is very similar to that of divorce.

Agreement for separation

An agreement on separation includes terms that are quite similar to those if the concerned couple was getting a divorce. This means there will be a distribution of their marital property, agreement on child visitation and custody if applicable. Not only this, the couple opting for a legal separation will also have to come to a decision on dividing any debts that were incurred by them after they got married.

Ideally, the above-mentioned terms should be binding in case the couple wants to get divorced. Moreover, both parties should hire their individual attorneys for negotiating all the details of the agreement on their legal separation. In case the spouses eventually make up their mind to go one step ahead and file for a divorce, it has been observed that the judge usually keeps the same terms as both the parties agreed to them earlier.

Differences between a legal separation and a divorce

Check out some of the following key differences between a divorce and a legal separation.

Name

While the spouse continues with the legal married name in the case of a separation, a wife may revert back to her maiden name after the divorce comes throughout the divorce be.

Child support

The conditions related to child support are ascertained when the legal separation takes place. When a couple decides to go for a divorce after being legally separated, ideally, the same terms are followed that were mentioned in the document for legal separation.

Marital status

A couple is still married even though there is a legal separation going on. But when the divorce is finalized, the marriage ends.

Child visits

Visitation rights of the child are decided when the legal separation takes place. If a divorce comes through after the legal separation, most of the times, the same terms are followed as mentioned in the document of their legal separation.

Alimony

The terms for alimony are ascertained during the legal separation. The conditions are typically kept same if the divorce gets finalized in the future.

Split of marital property

The couple agrees to the terms while going for a legal separation. When they do decide to finally divorce, the sane conditions that are mentioned in the document for legal separation are followed. 

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.  

Changing from Legal Separation to Divorce in California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThe terms “divorce” and “legal separation” are distinctly different. Legal separation does not mean the dissolution of marriage while divorce means the end of a marriage. After a divorce, couples can go back to their single status. Legal separation means the couples are still married but do not stay together. There are many reasons why legal separation takes place before a marriage. Some couples feel that opting for a divorce is a serious matter and should be taken slowly. Being legally separated allows couples to reflect on the issue they have with their marriage.

In certain cases, couples change from legal separation to divorce. In California, it is easy to convert a legal separation to a divorce and all that is required is a simple conversion. It can be done anytime during the legal process and it takes only one spouse to make the request. It also involves filing a petition which the other spouse must comply to.

Amended petitions

In California, judicial counsel form, FL100, is used for making petitions in legal separation and divorce. Couples who want to change the petition simply need to file a second petition known as the Amended petition. In cases where one of the spouses hasn’t responded to the first petition, the other spouse simply needs to file the petition and send a serving notice. There are no charges for filing the amended petition.

If a legal separation is still in process and one of the spouses has still not responded to the petition, then the other spouse can file the amended petition. It is important for both spouses to meet the residency requirements of the state because the law for legal separation is different in each state. In certain cases where the legal separation has not been obtained but the petition has been filed, the spouse would require an approval request from the court.

After a legal separation gets finalized, spouses who want a divorce have to file a new case and start over again. Sometimes, couples prefer to stay as legally separated for an extended period of time when such cases arise.

Conclusion

The State of California believes that every individual has the right to decide the fate of their marriage. In California, it’s an easy process to change from a legal separation to a divorce and only takes a simple petition to change the status.

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 7 Step Divorce Process In California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.Are you a husband or a wife that has been married for two years or 22 years and have reached a place in your relationship where you cannot see the two of you existing together as a couple?  When one is looking to take a decision with regards to divorce, there can be a whole lot of apprehension, confusion, and uncertainty about the process of California divorce and their own future.

Here is an explanation of the California divorce process to help ease some of the uncertainty.

Step 1: The Period of Separation

The first step in the seven-step process of California is the period of separation. This step deals with the question of whether moving out of the house or staying put. It is important with regards to this step to point out that if you are the spouse who is likely to be on the receiving end of spousal/child support, you should leave the house only after clarity of issues such as finances and custody, etc. is resolved.

Step 2: Filing and Service

Formally, the divorce process in California starts from here. Either of the spouses that want to initiate the divorce proceedings needs to file the divorce petition in court. When you are filing in the Petition it is important to be careful with regards to the information being put in it and its factual accuracy. Once the Petition is filed, the court then assigns the number of the case which is then used in future correspondences.

Step 3: The Financial Disclosures

This is an important step in the divorce process. California family law courts require both of the spouses to be clear and open with the courts in terms of their financial positions. Disclosure usually includes the couples disclosing their own income, debts, expenses, and assets.

Step 4: Temporary Orders

The use of temporary orders is widespread in California divorce proceedings. Temporary orders are orders passed by the judge at the initial stage of the case. These orders will often be enforceable until the final judgment of the court isn’t given. The most common types of Temporary orders include:

  • Spousal Support Orders
  • Orders for Child Support
  • Orders for visitation and custody of the child
  • Orders regarding property and assets.

Step 5: The Process of Discovery

The discovery process is an optional process that courts can order on their discretion or the request of one of the spouse to obtain greater information with regards to any subject of the spouse or the relationship of the couples. The information for this method is likely to be gathered through direct questioning and providing of documents etc.

Step 6: Negotiations for Settlements

This is one of the final steps of the process. Settlement negotiations are when the spouses or their lawyers sit down to discuss the matters that they can conclude the divorce and agree on mutually acceptable answers to child custody, alimony payments, and division of assets and finances. The best negotiations of this kind tend to occur once the spouses are fully informed and try to keep emotions out of the negotiation process.

Step 7: Trial

If and when the settlement stage proves unsuccessful, the spouses come to the family law courts and put their arguments before the judge in the form of a trial. Trials are often one of the most emotionally-charged instances in a person’s life.

Legal Landscape Divorce Tips for Guys

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmDivorce is one of the hardest times in a person’s life. A divorce simply put is a decision that changes your life, your routines and your acquaintances. Divorces can be one of the most complexes, sad and even sadistic cases in the family law courts. Yet for guys divorce more often than not can be even harder than for a woman because they aren’t as expressive about it as women perhaps are.

To make sure that guys aren’t left alone to face the wrath of divorce, here are a few tips for guys to help them get through the divorce proceedings and the divorce with relative ease.

Don’t Move out Immediately, Think about it Carefully

In life there are nice guys, who want to have peace all around them even in situations where there is actually very little of it. Such guys are likely to have the desire to leave their homes to try and give their soon-to-be-former spouses peace. While doing so though, they without realizing it leave the fate of their child’s custody and visitation at the mercy of their mother only. Only when you have considered such facts about moving out should you make your decision.

Be Careful of the Lawyer You Choose

This is one of the most important tips.  As much as you may hate your wife and want to drag her to the cleaners, hiring an aggressive, fiery, lawyer is not necessarily the answer. The work of a lawyer is to be calm, collected, calculated and reasonable. If you are looking to have the best chance of getting something from your divorce case make sure you get a lawyer that has a clear plan, focus and strategy and not just a loud voice and a fiery tone.

If You Want Cheap, You Are Very Well Going to Get Cheap

There are loads of times in your life where the opportunity for saving money must have arrived and gone begging. Saving money off your lawyers’ fees or divorce proceedings costs is definitely not the thing you should be saving money on. While saving money may be a healthy habit, in the legal world if you go looking for cheap lawyers in terms of costs you are likely to get what you paid for, like anything else in life.

Keep Your Lawyer on Speed Dial

When you are going through a divorce, it is important that you have clear, open and constant communication with your Orange County divorce attorney. A clear and frequent communication means that you will be delving into the affairs of your case and are likely to be up to speed with all the developments. This is important to avoid complacency in your lawyer and to keep you focused on your divorce proceedings.

The Importance of the Date of Separation in Divorce Cases

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmDo you recall when you and your partner called it quits? For some people, their date of separation sticks out in their mind. Mainly because the decision to part ways resulted from a full-blown fight or your partner was unfaithful, or one of the parties moved out. Whatever your reason was to end things, you will always remember your separation date. Although you may not want to keep that memory intact, when it comes to filing for divorce, the date of separation is quite important to remember.

What Role does the Date of Separation Play?

Knowing the date of separation is important in order to:

  • Ensure a proper division of property for assets acquired between the date of marriage and the date of separation
  • Determine the length of time that either party may be entitled to receive or pay spousal support to the other.

1.     Fair Division of Property & Debts

Equalization of property and debts depends on the date you separated from your partner. It can have a significant impact on the sum of money allotted to the partner during divorce settlements. There have been cases where the partner got more money due to the date they separated. The reverse for this is also true. The reason for getting more or less money is also due to the value of shares increasing or decreasing during the time of separation.

2.     Support Payments

The law states that the partner needs to start paying support to their ex on the date they separated. Therefore, knowing your separation date will help disputing couples settle many arguments. What happens when the disputing partners clash on what the exact date of separation is? Look at the next heading to find out.

Figuring Out the Exact Date of Separation

It is helpful for your partner and you need to sit down, with a divorce mediator or your lawyers, to come to an agreed-upon date of separation. The questions that may arise to solve this issue are:

  • Do you remember when you decided to separate?
  • When did you tell your family and friends that you both are not living together or sleeping in separate rooms?
  • When was the last time you had marital relations with your partner?

More questions to determine the date may be asked.  If there is a disagreement between the parties as to the date of separation, that issue would otherwise have to be resolved first in your divorce case in order to be able to determine property division and long-term spousal support issues.

 
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.