5 Benefits of Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmSome people consider mediation fairly new, but it’s actually been around quite a while. The term mediation refers to an alternative dispute resolution process. It was first used by the ancient Greeks when there were difficult disputes between village members. The first recorded case of mediation occurred in 522 A.D. (or C.E.) When mediation became necessary, the two disputing villagers would turn to a village elder who would guide them to a resolution. The elder would lead them in a discussion ending in a solution they could both agree to uphold and then record the resolution so the parties could move forward peacefully.

Mediation and the mediation process has evolved since the time of the ancient Greeks, but it still aims for the same admirable goal: a mutually agreeable resolution. Today, mediation is used to resolve a wide range of issues from a simple dispute between neighbors to assisting world leaders in coming to agreements that would avoid war or other discord, but we see if used most often as a means of coming to a mutually agreeable resolution when two parties are getting divorced.

5 Benefits of Divorce Mediation:

  1. Mediation Puts the Children First: Divorce is hard. It’s hard on both parties involved. But it’s even harder on their children. They experience enormous stress about an uncertain future: worries about where they will live, feeling as if they are somehow at fault, being forced to be “in the middle” of a battle between parents. Every letter, phone call, text message, and demand sent back and forth between divorce attorneys can increase the adversarial nature of the divorce. Divorce mediation minimizes this negative aspect of divorce and can greatly reduce the amount of stress that the children involved need to handle.
  2. Mediation is Private and Confidential: Court is a public forum. Anyone can sit in the courtroom and watch the events unfold during your divorce case: friends, family, neighbors or strangers. When divorce is handled through the courts, it is a public show. Many greatly appreciate the fact that divorce mediation is not open to the public, but instead offers some privacy during a time of intense stress and personal upheaval.
  3. Mediation is Faster and More Efficient: The courts are busy. They have a lot of handle, not enough staff to handle it and an ever-increasing workload. Getting a court date to resolve issues related to your divorce could take up to a year in some cases. And that’s before you take into consideration that two different divorce attorneys need to be available and agree to meet on the specified date and time provided by the court. It is a scheduling nightmare. In some cases, getting divorced can end up taking years. Divorce mediation, on the other hand, offers the benefit of being much quicker and more efficient. This is not only beneficial, but vital in some cases as a long, drawn out battle in court simply may not be feasible.
  4. Mediation is Fair and Empowering: When taking your case to court, divorcing parents lose a lot of their power. The power is in the hands of the attorneys representing them and, in the end, the judge who hands down their final decree. With divorce mediation, parents are actively involved in creating the terms and are present during negotiations. They still hold the power in their hands.
  5. Mediation has a Higher Rate of Compliance: Possibly most beneficial in the long run, divorces handled through mediation typically experience higher rates of compliance. No one likes being told what to do. It could be as simple as that. When people are able to have a say in what is happening, they are more likely to accept it moving forward. This can avoid a lot of drama and stress (and potential expense) in the future as managing non-compliance after divorce can be even more contentious than going to court for a divorce in the first place.

If you want to hear more about the benefits of divorce mediation, get in touch with an experienced family law attorney at The Maggio Law Firm today so we can help you determine if divorce mediation is the best answer 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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

Advice for Stay-At-Home Mothers Facing Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Child custody attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmBoth you and your spouse have had your own distinct roles when you were a mom who stayed at home. While your husband went out to work, you did your part inside the house and things were going on nicely. But now that you are going through the divorce process, you may want to do various things to ensure that your divorce is a smooth one. After all, you have to get ready for your life ahead after your divorce. Check out the following smart tips while facing a divorce.

Tip 1: Get in touch with an experienced financial advisor

When you consult an experienced financial advisor, they can be of a big help to assess your potential settlement choices from the perspective of future planning as well as cash on hand. He or she can guide you in investing any non-retirement or retirement funds that you get as a settlement amount from your divorce. A financial advisor can also assist you in putting together a budget that can help you to find out the amount of money you will require after the divorce and often helps you to stay away from any kind of financial difficulty.

Tip 2: Consult a good accountant

You may have had an accountant who guided both you and your spouse when you were married. However, now that you are getting divorced, you will need an account exclusively of your own.

You should have an accountant of your own for various reasons. An important reason is there could be certain occasions during a divorce when you will need an accountant for reviewing your potential settlements. An accountant can also help you in understanding the tax consequences while guiding you in matters that are usually in your interests. So it is time you have a different accountant of your own and stop sharing the sand accountant as that of your husband.

Tip 3: Get your house appraised

A big mistake some couples commit is when they let a mediator guess the worth of the home they were living in. It could be highly likely that your house is the biggest asset for you. Hence it makes sense to get it valued properly rather than relying on certain websites who are into conducting valuation of the properties. When you fail to do so, you may end up in different types of troubles as Internet values may not be the actual ones. In case you are thinking of purchasing the home from your spouse or vice versa, you may have to ascertain that the sale price of the property is a proper and fair one.

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 Help Your Kid through Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmAs thousands of couples decide to end their marriages every year, their kids are also affected in the process. But their reactions will depend to a large extent on their personality, the circumstances under which the parents decided to separate and their age. Kids often get affected when their parent’s divorce. Often, the first reaction these children go through is that of sorry, anger, frustration, sadness, and shock. However, these children can deal these feelings in a better way as they know how to cope up with stress. As an end result, many of them are more tolerant and flexible when they become young adults. At such trying times, the most crucial things both the parents can do are to help their children steer through it by taking the following steps:

Important steps

  • Try to minimize disruptions in the daily routines of their children.
  • Make sure that legal talks, heated arguments, and visible conflicts happen away from the kids.
  • Do not be negative in front of them. Conversation with close friends and private therapy sessions should not take place inside the house.
  • Both the parents should be involved in the lives of their kids. Indifference will hurt them more.

People going through divorce or separation require lots of emotional support from their families, clergy, professionals and friends. However, these adults should never seek support and help from their children though they may appear ready to do so.

Break the news gently

The moment you are completely sure of your divorce plans, you should speak to your children about the decision to separate. Yes, it will be not an easy task to break this news. In case it is possible, it is better if both the parents are present while the news is shared. Make sure that you adopt a neutral and unbiased tone and do not express your emotions of guilt, anger or disillusionment while telling them about your separation. Of possible rehearse how you are going to break the news from beforehand so that you go not lose your temper or become upset during the discussion.

You should discuss the matter in accordance with the temperament, maturity, and age of your kids. But one statement should be common. Whatever took place between both of you; your kids are not responsible for that. This is because a majority of the children feel that they should be blamed when things did not work out between their parents. So, it is extremely crucial that the parents reassure their kids about this.

Rather tell your children that at times the adults do not agree on things or their love for one another change and so they decide to live separately. But also tell them that children will tie the parents forever no matter what happens.

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

Top Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Orange County Divorce Lawyer

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

best divorce attorneys in Orange County; 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 generally 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 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.  

Is Divorce Affecting Your Mental Health?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmThose who have been through a divorce actually realize that it is hardly a picnic. At least, the statement is true for most of the divorced couples. Both the emotional as well as the legal process can take a toll on your physical and mental well being. When you find yourself entangled in a divorce that is full of drama and high conflict, your case may drag on for an indefinite time period. Further, your mental health can suffer due to your emotional turmoil. Research has proved that a divorce can even affect your heartbeat and sleeping habits.

Plus, there is plenty of uncertainty, which comes as an additional baggage with your divorce making you feel insecure today or even in the future. Based on your unique circumstances, it is possible that you need to move all of a sudden, resume work after many years when your sole focus was on your home and kids. You may even have to survive with fewer funds than before. When you are aware of the mental health issues that may pop up during your divorce, you can be in control over your emotional and physical health and are able to take all such steps that can prevent excessive damage.

Divorce and anxiety

There are ample case studies to prove that divorce may expose the involved parties to a higher risk of a mental state such as anxiety. This emotional state may be reflected by chronic worry, increased physical agitation, panic attacks, restlessness or fearfulness, and irritability. It is normal to be busy with the various details and intricacies of your divorce, relationship issues with your former spouse and thinking about those negative issues that you may have to cope up with next. Anxiety can lead to a feeling of obsessiveness while causing havoc to your everyday function, sleep, and concentration. In case you feel that you are suffering from high degrees of anxiety while your divorce proceeding is still going on or after your divorce, you should either get in touch with your physician promptly or try out any or all of the following natural remedies.

Search for support groups or a professional counselor

  • Pursue some new hobbies
  • Exercise regularly
  • Form new friendships
  • Get engaged in meaningful work
  • Volunteer to help others
  • Get in touch with your friends and family for support

Divorce and depression

Depression occurring due to a painful life event such as divorce is not same as clinical depression. The former is referred to as situational depression of adjustment disorder. However, both situational depression and clinical depression may manifest in a similar manner.

Depression after a divorce may also happen due to some other factors. These are as follows:

  • Avoiding one’s friends and family
  • Staying away from responsibility
  • Engaging in conflict or fighting
  • Performance becomes poor at workplace due to inadequate or no focus

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 Run A Family Business With Your Ex-Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmStatistics claim that the United States alone has about one million businesses jointly run by couples. At the same time, as many as 9,00,000 divorces get filed each year in the country. Now, that also means that several marriages where a husband and wife run a joint business form a component of their marital assets will also end in divorce. But there need not be any dissolution of a business partnership just because the marriage has ended.

If a marriage gets dissolved and there is an involvement of a jointly-run business, then the options available are limited and may be associated with their own set of complications, Firstly, such a business could be sold; secondly, any one of the former spouses, who is a partner too can buy the share of the other partner; thirdly, the divorced couple can also continue running the business jointly.

Check out the following tips if you and your ex-want to run your jointly owned business even after your split.

Mutual recognition is crucial

In order to run such a business in an effective manner, both the parties should respect and realize the contributions made by the other party and acknowledge that each one of them added their valuable skills to their business. They must also recognize that such skills still have high importance and will continue benefiting their business in the future. While it is not necessary to praise your former spouse every now and then, it is also important to recognize your stakeholder’s contribution in the jointly-owned business

Role definition is a must

It is possible that the once married couples cum partners may not be attending similar meetings or continue managing the same affairs. When one is looking after business operations and the other partner is into sales, things are manageable. However, if both the partners manage the daily operations of the business, things may not work out. It is a normal phenomenon to find that divorced couples may not see eye-to-eye on several issues. Hence, it makes sense to minimize situations where direct interactions may take place.

Partners should show maturity

There are some behavioral traits, which can help to make this work. When a marriage gets dissolved it is normal for the exes to be not in the best of terms. Hence, it is important for both of them to exhibit more maturity by keeping their emotions in check so that the business benefits at the end.

To stay as business partners even after the dissolution of a marriage partnership may work reasonably well if both the partners work hard and continue contribution in the same manner as they used to while being married.

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 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.  

 
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