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.  

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.  

Are The Kids Suffering In A Failed Marriage?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County child custody; The Maggio Law FirmThere are several divorcees who refer to themselves as “victims” while they were married, particularly if abuse was a reason for getting divorced from their spouses. Abuse does not only include domestic violence but it also includes a horrifying phase of dictatorship and dominance while being married. Only when there was an end to the marriage that these spouses regard themselves to be free. However, what happens when the abused now realizes that their kids are also being subject to the same sort of behavior?

Time and again, it has been seen that the courts would like to ensure that the children should be in touch with both their parents, of course for the best interests of the latter. However, there are some cases the result may be not so good since there are tales of abuse or neglect. The question is what should a suspecting parent then do?

Do not be quick to draw conclusions

If your kid shows symptoms of being neglected or being abused, it is crucial to be composed. Though, this is easier said than done since false assumptions can just aggravate the situation. Only because a spouse was abused by his or her ex-partner does not necessarily mean that the kids are being targeted now.

There are cases where a child may express unhappiness in seeking attention or to manipulate the existing situation.

Trust their gut feelings

A parent should contemplate the subtle signs that hint towards child abuse. A divorced parent should never ignore their instincts. Abused and divorced parents have already gone through abuses in the hands of their former spouses and so they have a fair idea of those symptoms. When parents separate, kids may respond differentk0ly. A divorce may not know about the kid getting nightmares all of a sudden, wetting bed or performing badly in academics may be the outcomes of being abused or separation.

Get in touch with an expert

If the child is really being abused, it may not be a wise idea to handle the situation all alone. Rather consult those people whose expertise will be helpful. There are several divorce lawyers who also specialize in matters related to child custody. So, since the safety of the child is at stake, such parents should approach those attorneys who deal with cases related to child protection services. However, there is no such assurance that such cases will come out with proofs of abused. An experienced lawyer has the necessary expertise to channelize a case towards instant action.

However, all child-related issues may not necessarily mean abuse or neglect. Both the parents are equally responsible for upholding and working in their children’s best interests. In the case of child abuse, what matters most is to trust the gut feelings and get help before things get worse.

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.  

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.  

Advice On How To Tell Your Husband You Want A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmHave you made a decision to file for a divorce lately but do not know how to approach your husband about it?  This is a dilemma for women who want to end their marriage but are at a loss to how they can start the procedure.

Arriving at a decision to end the marriage

There are many women who may be thinking to end their marriage for some time now. In fact, there are several scenarios where the wife has been seriously contemplating it for some months. But, there are some women who spend years trying to go through the merits and the demerits of sticking to a marriage before they come to a final decision. However, it is not a bad strategy at all since making a decision to get divorced should not be done at haste or at the spur of a moment. However, in some cases, the husband of a woman may be completely oblivious to the fact that his wife is unhappy and has been so for quite some time now. So, when she comes out with her decision to end the marriage, it may be unexpected for him and he could be taken by surprise.

How should a woman break the news that she wants a divorce?

If you have reached a point when you have already contemplated and slept over the matter for long and have eventually made up your mind to go for a divorce, check out some of the tips below on how to tell your husband about it.

  • You need to prepare in advance about what you should tell him when you already have planned for it, there will be less scope of distraction while the discussion will take place.
  • Do not lose your cool but be vocal about your intention in a calm and firm manner. You should remember you are stating your husband on a matter, which has been already decided.
  • Try not to discuss the subject when either of you is using drugs or has been drinking.
  • You should use statements with the word “I” in them. This is more positive and less accusing in gone when you use the word “you” while discussing the issue with your spouse. For instance, “I have decided that we should end our marriage. I arrived at this decision after much thought about the issue”. The word “you” makes your husband feels that you are accusing him?

In case you are worried that your husband will not take it nicely when you break the news, you can ask him for meeting you in a restaurant or some other public place. Be prepared that your husband may get saddened, furious or shocked when he hears that you want to divorce him.

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.  

When Should You Opt for Mediation Over Divorce Litigation?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange county divorce mediation attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIt is never easy to go through a divorce. This it true even when you are splitting from your spouse in the most amicable manner. Moreover, it can be emotionally taxing while coping with the logistics. The stress is further compounded by expensive and lengthy court proceedings. A desire for getting out of these stressful formalities that are associated with a traditional divorce process is resulting in an increasing number of couples going for an alternative form of dispute resolution: divorce mediation.

When should you consider mediation as your choice?

Divorce mediation is regarded as appropriate in those situations when both the parties are ready for negotiation and do not have qualms about compromising with each other. While it is true that all the differences and disagreements will be there to resolve while the mediation process is going on, there are many couples who are really okay to sort out such differences by interacting with each other. These couples will derive the maximum out of a mediation process.

Now, there will always be cases where the only option is to go for a litigation. It is a logical process to go through a trial when one of the parties is not ready to budge from their unreasonable demands, hostile to the other party or is not ready to negotiate. Such issues are common in scenarios like abandonment, abuse or adultery. Mediation is not likely to succeed in these cases and it is necessary for the court to intervene.

How does divorce mediation function?

The process of mediation is a way to resolve a dispute where there is no intervention from the courts. It is a scenario when a couple is okay to communicate directly and discuss all the crucial issues that surround their impending marriage dissolution. This hammering takes place during a mediator’s presence. The issues may range from spousal support, agreeing on matters regarding their children, resolution of visitation and custody issues to retirement and division of the properties.

When an impartial mediator or a third party is present, the couples are not negotiating details on their own. A mediator’s role is to facilitate communication and chair over such discussions between the two parties. He or she attempts to offer neutral and unbiased guidance to both the spouses and eventually guide them to draft a divorce agreement acceptable to both of them. The expenses related to the mediation procedure is ideally split between both the spouses.

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 Dealing With Conflict During Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmDivorce is a hard time especially when couples are involved in a conflict with each other. There are many reasons as to what can give rise to a conflict. It could be about property, debt division, custody battle, alimony and a range of other issues which are commonly dealt with during a divorce. It is the job of a mediator to ensure that both parties have a mutual understanding before the divorce proceeding takes place. However, most of the times, it depends on the husband and wife to resolve the growing conflict between them.

If you’re heading for a divorce but finding it hard to resolve issues with your spouse, then the following tips might come in handy.

  1. Hire a good divorce mediator

The first thing that you need to do is hire a good and experienced divorce mediator who can help resolve the issues between you and your partner. However, unless you offer help from your side, it will hard for even the best mediator to reach a common ground.

  1. Focus on yourself

Before you start playing the blame game, make sure you’re not at fault. If you are, then try correcting them. If you’re not, then stay away from pointing fingers or blaming your partner for every minor mistake that lead to the divorce. Listen to your friends and family for advice and keep things to yourself.

  1. Try finding the common ground

One of the best things that you can do to ensure that unnecessary conflict is avoided is to find a common ground which you and your spouse can agree upon. Make it in the form of an agreement and include in it all the necessary things which you both need to deal with. Try to discuss the matter with your spouse and if he/she is not willing to talk to you, then try to do it through common friends or family.

  1. Don’t overreact

It is hard to complete a divorce proceeding with a straight face but overreacting to every small issue won’t take you anywhere either. If anything, it will mar your chances of getting a good divorce.

Conclusion

Divorces are hard and it gets harder when there are unresolved conflicts involved. First, make sure that you are not at fault and then everything else will work out. Hire a good divorce mediator to help you out in case nothing works out.

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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