Do’s And Don’ts of Dealing With Abused Children Of Divorced Parents

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmMore than often, children end up becoming victims of divorce. And sometimes, they are the reason why parents get divorced. The latter is common during child abuse cases. Child abuse includes physical, psychological and sexual harm inflicted on the child. Child neglect and abuse is a major ground for divorce and most states including California award custody to the other parent without much pressure. However, once the child goes back to the caregiver, there are certain do’s and don’ts to follow while dealing with them.

Do’s

First and foremost, get your child(ren) individual therapist with a therapist licensed in your state.

Make some organizational planning and re-structuring within the house without making it emotional. Involve the children while you’re making the plans to make them feel that everything is normal around them. Ask for votes and opinions and make them participate as much as you can. But don’t put too much responsibility on them.

Abused children show signs of depression and sadness but some kids can act in the opposite way. If they show unruly behavior, teach them how to behave and this can be done in a fun and creative manner.

From time to time, talk to them about the changes in the house and why the changes are taking place. It will increase communication and help foster a positive relation between you and your children.

Don’ts

Try to avoid any sense of fear or anger around them because it might lead to depression. Even if they are old enough to understand such behavior, any negative emotion can have bad effects on their psyche.

Don’t try to go into a new relationship when your kids are still trying to cope up with the situation. It becomes very confusing for them to adjust around new people especially when they have gone through a bad experience.

Avoid any talk about divorce or the abusive parent in front of your kids. Don’t even mention their name.

Don’t make complicated and philosophical talks with your kids. Talk to them as any other parent would with their children.

Conclusion

Children are tough to deal with when parents undergo a divorce. Abused kids even more because of the trauma they go through. While dealing with such kids, it’s better to keep things as normal as possible. Create activities and allow your kids to become a part of it. Avoid negative talks or anything that has to do with either the divorce or the abusive parent.

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

The Role Of Parents & Grandparents In California Child Custody

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County family law attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIn 2000, a landmark decision was passed regarding custody and visitation rights of grandparents after the Troxel vs. Granville case. The Court in that case ruled that when it comes to child custody, parents have the upper hand because they are the primary caregiver. However, minor children are also allowed to spent time with their grandparents and it depends upon the decision of the parents.

Parents are given more preference

In cases where both parents and grandparents are involved in custodial battles, the court gives more preference to parents. Also, more significance is given to a parent’s objections regarding visitations by grandparents. California courts believe that since children spent the majority of their time with parents, it makes the parents responsible for what their child does. But that does not mean that children should be kept away from grandparents. Building an amicable relationship with every member of the family should be the goal.

Grandparents can get custody too

Despite what the court orders are, there are always cases where grandparents have got the custody of their grandkids. This usually happens when the parent is either convicted of a crime or is unable to provide for the child. In cases where domestic abuse or child abuse is involved, grandparents may win custody battles. Even in cases where there is serious disruption of parental custody or physical unavailability of parents for long durations, grandparents are given the custody of their grandkids.

The role of grandparents during child custody

In general, grandparents play an important role in a family especially in the lives of grandchildren. Grandparents should guide parents when they want to get a divorce or they want to get married again. They should be supportive but at the same time unafraid to talk about the negative consequences.

During child custody and visitation, grandparents should be able to tell the court why their presence is important. They should clearly identify areas in the child’s development where they play an important role.

Conclusion

Parents and grandparents are both important for child custody and visitation. However, after 2000, California courts award custody of children to parents unless some serious crime is involved. The role of both parents and grandparents must be distinct and each should know their importance in a child’s life. The best resolution would be to allow grandparents to become an integral part of the children’s life while parents continue to maintain their custody.

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

Tips For Becoming A Better Step-Parent For Divorced Kids

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmIf you’re a step-parent who’s in charge of step-kids, then it is needless to tell you how hectic and tough it can become to handle them. Children exhibit a variety of emotions and sometimes it becomes hard to understand what their true feelings are. As a step-parent, you can only put on your best behavior and hope that things get better as time passes. However, it does not always work out and you need to put in extra effort to make sure it does.

Here are some tips to help you become a better step-parent:

  1. Don’t make too many drastic changes

Changes are difficult for children to accept and more than often it negatively affects them if the changes are too drastic. The very reason that you’re in the house means that there are going to be certain changes and the child knows that. So, take it easy and make one change at a time.

  1. Make changes before you marry if you can

The best way to allow kids adjust to the change is by making the changes before you get married. And since you’ll be around the children for most of the time, they will slowly get used to the change.

  1. Don’t create excessive rules

It is understandable that you want to create rules and impose them on your step-children as part of your parenting guide. But making too many rules can have a negative effect on the kids. When you’re moving into the family, don’t make any rules at all. Instead make everything fun and interactive. Once you connect with your step children, you can teach them certain rules which they should follow around the house.

  1. Don’t be stern

Never ever make the children feel like they’re in a military camp. Be easy on them and even if they make mistakes or create trouble, handle the situation peacefully.

  1. Don’t try showing extra affection

Children are quick to find out who is fake and who is not. If your plan is too show too much affection the minute you lay eyes on them, then in all likelihood, that plan will backfire. Keep things as natural as possible.

Conclusion

It’s a new life for you but your step-children don’t want to feel the same way. They just want the comfort of their mom and dad and as a parent it becomes your duty to make sure you understand them correctly.

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

What Does Bifurcating Mean in Divorce Cases?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Best Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIn some cases, a person in a legal separation or divorce case could request an earlier or separate trial. This could be on a specific issue in that divorce case. It means that the concerned court can reach a decision based on that single issue. The other issues will be resolved later. This is generally done if an important issue exists and it must be be decided. Both parties cannot wait on this particular matter.

There are a number of issues which can be dealt in this manner. These includes visitation of children and their permanent custody. The separation date of the parties can also be decided quickly by this way. Other reasons include prenuptial agreement validity and terminating marital status.

One issue addressed before the rest

California courts could permit separate trials as resolving one single issue could be the only factor which bars the rest of that case to being decided. To give an example, a couple about to be separated will squabble on their property or debt and the time when it will cease belonging to both of them. Many couples argue about this date as it means that a specific property could belong to either both of them or any one of the two. The issue can be settled with the decision of a judge. Arguments about whether the debt is both their responsibility or of any one could be resolved.

In case one domestic partner or spouse has filed motion for separate trial, the other can file a response by filling out the “Responsive Declaration to Request for Order” form and filing it. Do note that asking for separate trial is not always easy to do, and may require a motion be filed with the court.  There is a need to convince a judge as to why he or she must grant it. If possible, use the help of a lawyer to do the same.

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

How To Make Visitation Easier After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmDivorce can be a chaotic stage in a couple’s life, full of upheaval, changes, and uncertainty. Additionally, when there are children in the marriages, things can be quite tough on them. If you want to make things easier and smoother for them as a parent, both you and your former spouse should collaborate in a manner to ensure that there are no hiccups in the visitation process. Divorce experts will vouch for it that parenting the kids is the most crucial task for you as a parent. So, if you and the other parent can work out things in a harmonious manner, it is possible to avoid negative, lasting and long effects on the kids.

As parents, you should demonstrate a united front so that your children feel relaxed and confident during such a trying time. Check out some of the ideas and thoughts to make sure that your child visits are a positive experience for everybody.

Be quick and punctual

It is important to be there and always be punctual with your kids These gestures will exhibit that these visits to your children are extremely precious for you. After all, kids need an assurance time and again that they are vital for you. Hence concentrate solely on them whenever you are in their company. During these visits, you should also reinforce through your actions or words that your children are your top most priority. How about spending some quality time with them by going for a bike ride with them or playing a game together? Do not focus on your text messages and emails while you are visiting your children.

Always try to be positive

Show enthusiasm whenever you discuss your next visit with them. Your plans should not get spoiled or overshadowed just because you have differences with the other parent. It may also help when you are aware of what activities the kids love doing while being with the other parent.

Stop arguing with your former spouse in front of your kids

Children may get upset when they see their parents arguing and calling names, particularly during pickup or drop off time. After all, visitation is such an occasion where you should solely focus on your little ones. Thus, it is essential for both the parents to ensure that the pickup and drop off times are pleasant and tension-free. You should try discussing your differences at a different time so that the process is a smooth one for all. Fix up meetings for discussing contentious matters with your ex-spouse or you can even hire a mediator to conduct your adult conversations in an amicable manner.

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

Think Twice Before Ending a Low-Conflict Marriage

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

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

Why it is important to protect your kids

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

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

Some consequences of divorce on a child

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

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

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

How A Divorced Dad Can Make A “Home” for His Kids

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

fathers rights attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmGoing through a divorce is never easy, and becoming a single dad is even harder.  You should try your best to make sure that your kids feel perfectly at home at your home. Take these steps to ensure that your children feel relaxed and at home while they are staying with you.

Ensure that your children have a separate sleeping space

Very often, older kids yearn for privacy and a separate room in the house. While some children may need to share their rooms, make sure that they are comfortable with their sleeping arrangements. Try your best to provide a separate room for them. Let them hang their favorite posters on the wall and give them space to keep their books and toys. They should also have their own dresser to store their clothes, it does not cost much to do. Welcome their input on how they want the decor of their room to be.

Try to set up fresh family traditions

This is a time to create new family traditions at your place that will thrill them. For instance, you may fix a tradition of eating waffles on Sunday mornings before going to church or it could be ice cream and video games every Wednesday. Think of activities where both your child and you can participate together. Such family activities will create a family bond. This exercise will be also helpful to recreate the bond that existed earlier at the home before the parents got divorced.

Hang family pictures on the wall

Your family is incomplete without your kids. So, take some time as well as give efforts to make sure that your special moments are captured.  Also make sure that these photographs are displayed all through the home. Photos of your relatives, pictures of holidays and school pictures enhance the ambiance of any home and improve stability. These photos are also helpful to create fresh memories of life after their parent’s divorce.

Always extend a warm welcome to the friends of your child

As your kids grow older, they start developing a closer bond with their friends. In fact, there will come a time when they would rather spend more time with friends than with their parents. An easy step that can resolve this mental dilemma is to invite your kids’ friends home while trying to brush off any rejection or hurt you could be feeling. Permit your children to ask their friends to stay over for the night at your place or simply let them hang out. This way, their dad’s home will appear more enjoyable for them when they mature.

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

Being a Single Mom & Mastering Parenting After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

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

Gather your support system

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

Readjust your priorities

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

Get rid of the guilt

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

Pick up a hobby

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

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

Ways of Controlling the Cost of Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

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

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

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

You should have realistic expectations

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

Be flexible to negotiate

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

Come out of the joint accounts

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

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

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

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

4 Ways to Streamline and Simplify Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmRegardless of whether it is mutual or you need to fight for it, a divorce is never going to be easy. There will be tears, broken hearts, devastated families, insecure finances,etc. However, fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to ensure minimum stress for yourself and simplify the entire process.

Get a separate bank account

One of the first steps that you must take right after filing your divorce petition is getting yourself a new bank account in your name. There have been cases wherein one of the spouses drained the entire savings from their joint account with their partners. Although you partner will eventually have to repay your share as per the court judgment, it will just be messier for you to deal with.

Begin negotiations right away

Experts say that it is really a great idea to make your attorney meet your spouse’s legal rep right away from the very beginning. While you might not realize it now, much of the divorce litigation is simplified if the parties involved are in agreement with each other. Also, it allows you to iron out any pesky issues that might eventually turn out be grave conflicts later on.

Devote adequate time to the divorce process

You must understand that your transition to a new life will require a lot of time and effort on your part. The sooner you realize it, the better. A divorce is much like a second job where you need to spend additional energy in meeting with the professionals, gathering your documents, straightening your finances and so on. It will be easier for you to deal with the situation if you are not treating it as a loathsome burden.

Plan for a motion smartly

There are a lot of people who file a new motion every second week for the most trivial of things. This can not only annoy your judge but also expend a lot of your energy and time on the proceedings. As is a provision, you can file a single motion for relief from a number of things in one go. It is, therefore, a good idea to wait until you have gathered a few different issues to address and only then file the motion. In addition to this, try not to file a relief for every little conflict and stick to the major disputes only.

Most importantly, hire a reputed and experienced attorney who is not there only to make money off of your marital crisis, but can sincerely help you sail through your litigation process with ease.

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

 
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