Have You Considered Divorce Mediation?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIt’s nearly impossible to find two marriages that are identical and the same can be said of divorces. That’s why it is so important for couples considering divorce to start by researching their options: a collaborative divorce, a litigated divorce or mediation. Most are aware of the ideal represented by collaborative divorce. The trick is making it happen during a time when agreeing on important matters is more difficult than ever before. The inability to successfully manage a collaborative divorce ends with many couples in litigation. Yet there is another option that too many couples do not seriously consider: divorce mediation.

Divorce mediation occurs when a divorcing couple works with a neutral “mediator” in order to come to an agreement on all aspects of the divorce. In the ideal situation, the mediator should be an experienced family law attorney, but first and foremost the mediator must be neutral. They should not be an advocate for either party involved. It is also recommended that both parties consult with their own attorneys during the mediation and prior to signing the final divorce settlement agreement.

Before skipping the option to handle a divorce through mediation, consider the benefits that it offers:

  • Mediation can result in a better long-term relationship by avoiding court room battles.
  • Mediated divorce can be easier on any children involved since mediation typically leads to more peaceful proceedings.
  • For many, mediation is the fastest route to an agreement between parties.
  • In most cases, mediation reduces expenses associated with divorce.
  • Mediation keeps the control in the hands of the divorcing parties rather than the court.
  • Allows for discretion during the divorce process. A litigated divorce is public.

While mediation offers a number of advantages, it is not always the best answer. If you are attempting to determine if mediation is a likely solution for your divorce first sit and honestly answer the following questions. Do you think it’s possible your spouse may be hiding assets/income? Do you think your spouse is abnormally domineering/do you have trouble speaking up and voicing your opinions? Is there a history of domestic violence in the relationship? Do either you or your spouse have drug or alcohol addictions? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, a mediated divorce may not be successful.

Weigh your divorce options carefully. Every divorce is different because every couple and every family is different. If you are able to work together with your spouse to make decisions and both of you can be honest and reasonable, mediation can offer many benefits, but if you have doubts, there are other options. For help figuring out the options best suited to your specific circumstances, please get in touch with one of the experienced family law attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.

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 Create a Parenting Plan that Works

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmWhen a family goes through a divorce or a separation, there are a number of changes that occur. Some are huge changes that affect the entire family on a day-to-day basis. Others seem small amidst the upheaval, but can actually have long term, lasting effects and directly influence other events in the future. That’s why so many co-parents find it difficult to come up with a parenting plan that actually works. They’re in new territory. They aren’t sure what to expect.

Parents attempting to put together a parenting plan that will function for the long-term have many factors to consider, but it is possible to create a parenting plan that works.

Creating a Parenting Plan that Works:

  1. Keep the Children’s Needs the Top Priority
  2. Carefully Consider What You’re Willing to Fight For
  3. Regularly Check Back On the Plan & Revise When Necessary

It’s important that parents are realistic in their expectations of their partner and in their expectations for themselves and make sure the parenting plan works for the entire family while favoring the children’s needs. One of the most common mistakes made by new co-parents putting together an initial parenting plan is to overlook the mundane. Most take great care to fully address the major concerns: physical custody (where the child resides) and legal custody (who is responsible for making important decisions such as healthcare and education and religion, etc.) Yet once the major concerns are taken care of, some simply assume the rest will fall into place.

Since most conflict will occur during or as a result of day-to-day, mundane actions, these seemingly mundane details should actually receive a great amount of attention and care in order for a parenting plan to work. For instance, don’t overlook specifics like drop off and pick up, activity and extracurricular arrangements, holiday planning, etc. In addition to scheduling of time and transportation, new co-parents will also need to include agreements on shared parenting expenses and child support as well as co-parenting communications and how to manage the decision-making process as co-parents (particularly if co-parents share legal custody).

Addressing every little detail may seem over the top to new co-parents, but it significantly decreases the likelihood that there will be disagreements down the road. Minimize the stress of co-parenting with the most effective parenting plan possible. Get in touch with an experienced family law attorney at The Maggio Law Firm today so we can assist you in putting together an effective and positive parenting plan that will work for you and your family.

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.  

Are You Prepared If Divorce Is Your Only Option?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmWhat should be your next course of action when a marriage counselor is unable to convince you and your spouse to patch your marriage up? You can follow the path of many such couples who decided to settle their issues through a mutually consented divorce. Divorce is never an expected event in a couple’s married life of brings in a big impact on the financial positions of both the spouses involved.  When the divorce is obtained through mutual consent, both the wife and the husband try to settle their financial separation on certain terms and conditions, which are usually acceptable to them both, in fact, the details and the mode of such a settlement is in the in hands of the husband and the rife. A settlement for divorce can either include assets and money or can be done rigor them. The partners simply need to reaffirm their agreement in the court. Thus, in case divorce is the only option left before you, you must be prepared with the following steps.

Have a discussion with your partner on the financial details

While emotions do come in while you are separating, do not bring them while settling the financial matters. Even before you start discussing the various financial matters; it makes sense to understand the cash flow first. Thereafter you should sit with your spouse and try to figure out all the assets and savings like two mature individuals.  Your next step should be to list dine all these savings and assets’ market value. You can get in touch with a financial consultant or planner to get your assets valued properly. The distribution of savings and assets should be on the basis of how much each spouse had contributed, in case they did not succeed to arrive at an agreement on dividing them.

Splitting the assets

After you gave jotted down your assets as well as liabilities and their current market value, it is now time to split them. When the assets are being divided, you need to take into consideration what role will be played by each partner. The reason for this is while your spouse could be bearing all the expenses while you may be contributing for the savings.min case the rife is not earning sufficient money to support herself or she is unemployed, the husband needs to give her alimony. This could be applicable though she could be having her own income but her earning is not adequate to ensure a similar standard of living like her husband.

Child care

In case the couple has children, things may be more complicated.  Spouses may come to an agreement on a particular staggered payment or a lump sum amount to be paid to the person who will have the child’s custody. It can even be a payment made on a monthly basis with an incremental increase, taking into account the increasing cost of living.

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 3 Reasons for Divorcing Your Partner

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmArriving at a decision to get divorced from your spouse could be quite a tough one. In a majority of cases, divorces happen due to certain marital problems, which may have solutions and yet the two parties involved in the marriage do not have the necessary skills or urges to resolve them. On the other hand, there are certain marital problems that may make you knock the door of a divorce attorney’s chamber and subsequently file for a divorce. While the decision to divorce should be taken seriously by the parties concerned, there are some scenarios where it appears to be the only solution.  Following are some of the top reasons why couples head for a divorce.

Adultery or infidelity

Infidelity has an uncanny similarity to domestic abuse. In fact, is such a behavior that is likely to keep repeating itself. While a spouse may cheat for various reasons, if you are the prey to such an act, you should realize that there cannot be a valid reason on your spouse’s part to do so. While it is not impossible to restore your trust even after your spouse had an extra-marital affair in the past, if the latter is a recurrent cheater, it is time you should do a self-evaluation of the justification of living with somebody in a marriage who does not have any regard for the marriage vows or for you

Emotional or physical abuse

Of your spouse has hit you once, chances are that he or she will repeat the act again. Try to come out of a marriage that is all about hitting punching or shoving. You should not make any excuses for your spouse who hit and hurt you. And never take the blame on your shoulders someone you has been hurting you physically or emotionally. Violence is an act done with the intention of exerting control over someone else. Such act is not carried out if one truly loves his/her spouse. There can be different forms of domestic violence. You could be emotionally or physically abused by your spouse repeatedly. Name calling, diverting someone, screaming and yelling can never be acceptable behavioral forms.  You must leave for the sake of your kids and also for your own sanity and safety.

Economic tensions

A divorce may occur due to financial infidelity on the part of a spouse. When your spouse spends and wastes money recklessly while the entire family is going through an economic crisis, he or she is said to have commuted financial infidelity. For instance, your spouse may be addicted to gambling or wastes money on shopping but hiding things from you.  Your spouse may have a high credit card debt but you could be unaware 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.  

Doing Your Homework To Make Divorce Mediation Successful

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmWhile divorces and legal separation are commonplace these days even after years of togetherness, it is important to ensure that the process is carried out smoothly without further hatred and ill feelings towards one another. Today, many couples decide to embrace mediation for sorting their marital issues in a civilized way while parting so that they can save their money and have no misgivings. Such goals are easier to fulfill when both parties are ready to opt for a mediation while their divorce is underway.

Check out how you can do your homework prior to mediation so that the possibility of getting success is higher:

1. Emotional preparedness
While it may be an obvious one but there are occasions when people cannot keep their emotions under control while discussing about their finances, marriage or children. You should understand that mediators will not be surprised when they find frustration, fury or tears from both sides. There are some people who may have been concealing their true feelings until now and are stunned to see them coming out in the open. When such emotions surface before others, mediation can get stifled. But you should not let your feelings prevent a fruitful mediation. It is important to take a deep breath and gather your emotions and thoughts. You may even request a brief respite.

2. Preparedness with figures
When you want to opt for a mediation for discussing finances, income and properties, a thorough preparedness becomes a necessity. If you want to adopt a number you feel is accurate such as the worth of your marital house, attend the mediation session with the relevant documentation to establish your viewpoint and facilitate the progress of mediation in a smooth manner. Many spouses are known to feel comfortable and relaxed while arriving at an agreement related to finances when they are confident about their figures. Thus, a discussion on proper calculations backed by concrete figures can make the mediation process an effective one.

3. Be prepared to listen more
While it may sound cliche and immature, the framework for any fruitful mediation is to listen to the words of the other party carefully while the mediation is going on. When you listen patiently and prepare your responses carefully. your mediation can be more productive.

Professional Orange County divorce mediators are present to facilitate, assist and guide their clients so that both the parties can have a highly productive discussion and reach an agreement at the end. When both parties are willing to work together in a harmonious manner, the likelihood of a successful and effective divorce mediation can go up significantly.

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.  

When A Parent’s Behavior Causes Parental Alienation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County child custody; The Maggio Law FirmChild custody battles are the worst and it gets even uglier when both parents start accusing each other of wrongdoings. There are many factors that are involved in deciding the custody of a child and the most important of them is the child’s preference. In states like California, a child’s preference decides who he or she will stay with. Parents understand this and therefore try to woo their child into staying with them. It sometimes results in talking bad about the other parent so that the child stays away from him/her, this is known as parental alienation. If you’re someone who is having a hard time going through a custody battle, keep the following things in mind so that you don’t get accused of parental alienation.

Deliberately keeping the child away from the other parent

If your spouse is deliberately keeping your child away from you, it is a clear case of parental alienation and can be used in court. If you feel that your spouse is interfering when you are trying to spend time with your child, it can also be considered as a form of parental alienation.

Teaching your child to stay away from you

Some parents go to the length of talking bad about one parent in front of the child. It creates a psychological pressure on the child and he/she stays away from the other parent. If you notice a change in behavior in your child when you meet him/her, it could be due to parental alienation. Not only is it a crime committed against the parent, the child is also put under psychological trauma. Later on, it gives rise to more serious problems.

Making you look bad in front of the kids

Your spouse may also try to make you look bad when your kids are around. It naturally creates a negative image of yourself in the child’s mind. It is a case of parental alienation and by making you look bad, your spouse wants to take custody of your children.

Parental alienation is wrong and can be used in a court during custody battles. Since California courts can give importance to a child’s preference, sometimes parents deliberately use parental alienation to win custody battles. If you feel you are a victim of parental alienation, hire an experienced Orange County divorce attorney and have the issue addressed.

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

4 Tips for Successful Co-Parenting

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmFor many couples, a custody battle is a big headache and they try to avoid it as much as possible. For this reason, many settle for joint custody arrangements. However, even joint custody arrangements can become maddening and exhausting, especially for couples who have had a strained relationship.

There are divorces where neither of the spouses wants to be fully responsible for the child. It usually happens when both parents are working and none have the entire day to look after children. For such parents, co-parenting is a great option but sometimes even that can become tough. If you are one such individual, then here are some tips that will help you with your co-parenting.

  1. Collaborate with your ex

The best way for parents to make co-parenting successful is to collaborate with each other and focus on the needs of the child. Having a bitter relationship with your ex can cost you a lot financially and emotionally. According to recent reports, children who witness bad divorces are more likely to be affected by anxiety and depression among other problems. Costs can also be shared equally and the burden of responsibility gets lessened.

  1. Create a plan

Creating a long-term plan always works when you don’t know how to go about co-parenting with your ex. Have a talk with your ex and let him/her know what you intend to do for the child in the next 10 years. Your plan should include basic requirements like education, school or college, nourishment, health and shelter. It should also include family time as it contributes to a child’s growth.

  1. Communicate effectively

Ineffective or low communication is probably the reason why you and your partner are not together anymore. Set aside your differences and talk to your ex about your child’s future. Communication often helps one understand the problems faced by the other person and how it can be solved.

  1. Share things equally

Co-parenting is all about sharing everything equally between two people. It includes responsibilities, costs, time and problems. Equal sharing takes a certain amount of load from each of the parents’ shoulder and allows them to focus on important things related to the child.

Co-parenting is never easy and for some it is challenging. However, effective communication and collaboration can have magical effects. Additionally, you should create a plan and work towards your child’s needs. Sharing everything, which is part of co-parenting, makes the job easier.

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

Tips To Have Healthy Communication with Your Former Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

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

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

Define clear-cut boundaries and try to stick to them

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

Consult a good therapist

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

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

Steps for Getting an Annulment from Marriage

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce lawyers in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmDo you feel your marriage could be illegal, invalid or you got married by fraud? If that is the case, it will be useful for you to know how to annul your marriage. The court can declare a marriage to be null and void. This is known as an annulment of a marriage. There dab annulment of a marriage when it does not follow the criteria needed for a marriage in the United States. When an annulment is ordered, the marriage contract becomes void and it is looked upon as if the marriage never happened in the first place.

Here are the steps to get your marriage annulled:

Step 1: Collect evidence

You must mention the reason for which you perceive that your marriage is not valid in order to get your marriage annulled. The court may annul your marriage in case your marriage is deemed illegal or void for any of the reasons mentioned below.

  • Your spouse or you are yet to attain the age of consent.
  • You find out that your spouse is also married to another person.
  • You are related to your spouse.
  • You had been coerced or compelled to get married.
  • Fraudulent means were used to obtain your consent for marriage
  • You find out that your spouse is not able to consummate your marriage or is impotent.
  • You did not have a sound mind at the time of the marriage due to the effects of alcohol or drug or insanity.

Step 2: File the paperwork for your annulment

The annulment action should be filed against you in the country where you reside. In case your marriage took place in some other country, you can also file your petition there. Different state has different requirements for marriage annulments that lay down the specific guidelines to file the action and when you need to file. The requirement of the time period will depend on the laws of both the states as well as on your case. A petition for annulment is quite similar to a divorce petition. You should also complete all other necessary paperwork and furnish proof to prove your marriage is illegal or voidable. This documentation can be obtained from the website or through the clerk of your local court.

What are the other alternatives of annulment?

Similar to a divorce, an annulment takes a time of a year or so to be granted by the court. At times, getting a divorce is faster than trying to prove that your marriage was not valid. For instance, if you want to get an uncontested divorce, you need to just cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason. The term indicates that both of you are not getting along.

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

What Happens To The Company You Run With Your Spouse After Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County Divorce Attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmMany married people did not even think in their wildest dreams that would get divorced one day. This is especially true when the spouses work with one another. Irrespective of what decision you arrive at, these are some of the important things you need to sort out in your business while your divorce is underway.

You need to be clear about creating divisions between emotional, financial and legal issues

Any divorce is not just a legal split between married couples. When both of you are working together, you should be serious about sorting out ways of dealing with your business, any kids you may have from your marriage and finances in the best possible manner. More importantly, you should make it a point, to begin with segregating these issues, desirable outcomes and needs.

When you are on the verge of coming out of your romantic relationship, there is a tendency seen to let personal concerns complicate the business relationships. So take some time to establish what your specific requirements and desirable outcomes are in different areas with distinct and concrete plans and goals.

Do not be on the journey all alone

Though you may be somewhat prepared now to receive financial and legal aid, remember that it will be a great morale booster when you have some people by your side to support you emotionally. Some experts even recommend counseling. In case you and your former spouse continue to work together but raking up emotional issues from the past in your work, it can be quite tough to manage a business effectively. It is recommended that you form a team comprising of professionals, family, and friends who can help you to get over your emotional and psychological dilemmas.

Take a break from your work

Irrespective of how amicably you parted from your spouse after the divorce. There is bound to be a transition period. So, take some time off from whatever you had been doing previously and try to introspect what you actually want, rather than acting on an impulse and trying to stick together stubbornly or breaking up your business. After all, time does heal everything.

Your roles need to be defined

Not only does your relationship need refining after the divorce, but you should also embark upon drawing clear boundaries around your various responsibilities and roles at work. Proper identification of the task each person will be doing needs to be properly defined. This will facilitate in ensuring that you do not give to micromanage one another.

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

 
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