Signs That Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Lawyers Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThe assets owned by you typically come under various heads such as a business, your primary residence or primary home, a professional practice, cash value of your life insurance coverage, pension funds, retirement funds, shares, savings, bank accounts and other property investments. Rather than depending on the integrity of your spouse or only relying on the fair conduct of the court, it is a sensible approach to watch out for these strategies and signs to know whether your spouse is trying to hide marital assets are not.

Check out the following key aims for your spouse to hide assets during a divorce:
1. To claim that expenses are greater than they are in reality
2. Highlight that their income is lower than it is
3. Exaggerate debts to show that they are insolvent

These are the most common tactics in a divorce:
1. Transfer asset ownership of marital assets to close friends or family members and ask them to hold until the divorce is finalized
2. Hiring a conspirator for manipulating the timing of invoicing creditors or income
3. Hiding unrecorded cash secretly
4. Extract recorded cash in the sly to apply complex accounting schemes

Check out some of these most common tricks used by spouses to hide assets:

1. Making advance claim for entitlement
2. Keep complaining about high debt or lack of money to stay away from later suspicions
3. Placing money on a casino account if the person is fond of frequent gambling
4. Announcing all of a sudden that their business has failed
5. Receive settlements and accounts at a private mailing as areas or postal box
6. Try to be secretive or tight-lipped about financial matters

1. Delay in signing fresh contracts that could lead to increased income
2. Including friends or other family members on the payroll. Alternatively, pay them in lieu of their so-called consulting services that they are supposed to pay back at a later point of time
3. Pay more than what is actually due to pre-pay vendors or creditors that they refund once the divorce comes through
4. Purposely overlook reimbursing business-related expenses till the divorce is finalized

1. A spouse may sell marital assets to the friends or family members who pose as independent buyers. The profits, if any are shared once the divorce proceedings are over
2. Assets can be transferred to friends and family. Later on, once the divorce comes through, they are reversed
3. A sudden and overwhelming decline in the value of business or marital investments or assets can be declared by a spouse to minimize suspicion

1. Procure or maintain full control of the banking information, passwords and bank accounts
2. Open bank accounts in a friend or child’s name to conceal funds
3. Set up several business or personal fans accounts to transfer funds

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 Take Good Financial Decisions During A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmAs a married couple you might have enjoyed a certain sense of financial security. Whether you were being supported by your spouse or you had two incomes coming in, it is always easier when you have someone to share the responsibility with. Going through a divorce could affect your financial situation in unexpected ways and if you are not prepared for them life could get very difficult.

Here are a few ways you can make good financial decisions to help you during a divorce:

  1. Mutual consent and shared lawyer fees: At the very start of your divorce you could find yourself shelling out a lot by way of legal fees. If you can talk to your spouse and you can both agree on a mutual consent divorce you could even hire one lawyer between both of you. A single lawyer who represents both your interests also means that you can split the cost between you two, or you should consider using a divorce mediator to work out the issues in your divorce.  Mutual consent could also avoid lengthy court proceedings which will reduce overall costs.
  1. Asset division: According to California law any property or other assets bought during marriage are considered community property and should be divided equally between partners. If you decide that you want to keep the house you might have to pay your ex for their share in the house which might not be economically feasible to you. You might want to look at the option of selling the house and dividing the amount equally between both of you.
  1. Child support: If children are involved you should consider your options for child support. If one parent has full custody an agreement should be worked out where the other parent provides financial support for the children. Even in cases of shared custody and co-parenting and arrangement can be made where the parent who earns more could help the other parent out financially.
  1. Get insurance: If you are receiving child support and alimony from your former spouse you are at possible risk of them not being able to pay you at any point. Your ex could lose their job or suffer and injury which might prevent them from working for a while making it difficult for them to pay you. You could have an agreement that requires your ex to be insured against such incidents so that they can continue with the payments.

There are many areas you might overlook while getting a divorce which could place a large financial burden on you in the long run. It might help to hire a professional to assess the situation and give you sound financial advice before you make any decisions.

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.  

Steps to Take While Preparing for Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIn case you and your spouse can come to an amicable settlement on all issues minus the litigation, your divorce invariably become less costly and easier. However, if that cannot be accomplished, you need to ensure that you hire an experienced divorce attorney who is willing as well as capable of litigating your case in a court.

A major goal of any divorce process is to ensure that there is an equitable division of both assets and debts accumulated during a marriage. To make sure that you receive your deserved share, it is vital to know what is owed as well as what is owned by you. Thus, it is a 2-step process.

Ascertain what you own

There are some marital assets about which there are no doubts at all. It is obvious that any vehicles and financial accounts and the marital house are assets, which should be distributed equitably between the two concerned parties. However, there are some assets that may not be so obvious and can include items such as pension plans, belongings or inheritances that were accumulated or acquired during the course of a marriage, and artwork.

It makes sense to list down all the possible assets. Collect all relevant documentation related to all the assets along with details like where and when the assets were bought, their current values, and if they were purchased jointly or individually. It is imperative for you to keep a copy of recent appraisals of your real estates. Show all the documentation to your lawyer. However, you should maintain a separate copy for your convenience.

Ascertain what you owe

While ascertaining what you need to pay, it is immaterial who has taken the debt. Any marital debt will be divided on the basis of which party is financially more settled to be able to pay off the debts. It does not matter the debt is in whose name. The simplest technique to ascertain a marital debt is to fetch your credit report’s copy. All your existing debts are typically outlined in that report. After determining the details of debts that exist, you should procure statements on all those accounts where the due balance is reflecting. While your attorney should have this information, you should also have a copy of them for filing purpose.

Set up your own credit

In case you do not have any credit only in your name, it is high time you set up some as early as possible. This can be easily done by getting a credit card in your name alone and not owning one jointly. There are women who face a tough time buying their own car or house as they have been spending all their years without any sole credit in their names. While the credit that you had for all the past years with your husband will be helpful to him after you attain a single status, your credit will be very little to keep such payments up.

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.  

Dealing With Abuse During Marriage

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmA couple goes through several ups and downs in their relationship when a marriage becomes rocky and is a troubled one. Contrary to what many people would like to believe, some key causes of divorces are infidelity, domestic violence, and emotional or physical violence. There can be different forms of abusive behavior such as financial, physical or emotional. Such behavior can have a negative impact on the stability of a marriage while the abused partner may go through a disturbed mental state. If you are a woman, read on to know the different forms of abusive behavior and ways of handling them.

Verbal abuse 

When your husband uses filthy language and tries to demean you or screams at you frequently or treats you shabbily in the presence of his family members or friends, they are clear symptoms of you being verbally abused. It is high time when both of you should sit together when you should tell him to stop such demeaning treatment immediately. You should let him know that such behavior is affecting your relationship deeply.

Physical abuse or domestic violence 

Such abusive behaviors are usually meted out when your partner tries to dominate and control you. There is clearly an anger issue with your husband and so he is trying to use violence as a tool to control you and resolve matters according to his terms. Your husband will even try threatening you when in his abusive best and try to put you down. Such behavior can depress you and can even demolish your self-confidence. In case you are subjected to acts of domestic violence by your spouse, your first and most important step would be to identify it as early as possible. You should never tolerate such acts and take corrective measures to remain safe. It is crucial to communicate what is happening with you and involve a reputable marriage counselor when you feel such issues can be sorted out through therapy. However, if nothing improves, then it is better to end your marriage at the first available opportunity. After all, every woman should respect her sanity and worth.

Financial of economic abuse 

Keeping a close tab on every penny that you spend, not allowing you to have a separate bank account, forcing you to make certain career options and forcing families so that you are unable to pursue your job are some of the examples of going through a financially abusive relationship or marriage. It is a major concern for all those women who depend on their spouses financially.

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. 

What Can And Cannot Be Considered As Income For Child Support

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child support attorney Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmDivorce is always a difficult period for the couple going through the procedure. The proceedings, however, are much harder if there are children involved. Children below the age of 18 are involved in the unpleasant business of divorce despite their unwillingness. Divorce settlements often do not proceed smoothly especially when there are issues revolving around child support. Debates often arise when it comes to calculating the percentage of an individual’s income that goes into child support. Confusions can also arise when it comes to determining the type of income that can and cannot be considered as child support.

Income considered as child support

Generally, income is a broad term that encompasses the monetary benefits an individual attains from work, pensions, dividends, rental properties, trust funds, and so on. When it comes to divorce settlements for individuals who own businesses in Orange County, California, income is calculated by subtracting the expenses incurred in the business from the gross revenue generated by the business. Courts may also extend the calculated income to include any monetary benefits that are instrumental in reducing the living expenses of an individual.

Recent laws also classify financial gifts received from an individual’s parents as income.

Details on how much of a person’s income actually goes into child support are explicitly stated under the California Family Code Section 4050. Usually, the amount that goes into child support is calculated by taking into account the incomes of both parents, the time the child spends with each of the parents, and any tax reductions that are applicable. An estimate for the amount to be paid can be calculated using the California Guideline Child Support Calculator that is based on California Child Support Guidelines.

Income that cannot be considered as child support

Deciding income that cannot be considered as child support is a difficult task. It varies according to state laws and sometimes according to what the court decides. Despite uncertainties, there are certain types of income that are not eligible to be considered as child support according to Orange County laws. Benefits arising from life insurance policies, any income that is speculative, stock options that cannot be liquidated, and settlements from disputes relating to personal injury cannot be considered as income for child support. Gifts like cars and household items that are not monetary in nature are not considered income. These are a few situations where the resulting monetary benefits are not considered an actual stable income. Each of these situations is subject to change depending on the final decision taken by the Court.

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 Keep Your Cool While Divorcing Your Narcissist Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmWhen your marriage ends, it can be a real life-shattering experience. Although, you could be the one who is taking the first step for procuring a divorce, it is normal to go through emotions like sadness, moments of doubt and feeling like a failure. But when you are taking a divorce from your narcissist spouse, there could be other emotions too, such as frustration and fury. It is a big challenge to live with an individual who is suffering from Borderline Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Divorcing such a person can be even tougher.

You need to realize that any person who has BNPD actually suffers from a real disorder. Your spouse has developed a non-empathetic, controlling, dominating and self-absorbed personality. His nature could be a response to some sort of traumatic incidents in his childhood. When you have eventually decided to take a divorce from your narcissist spouse, you are certain that changing his attitude is simply next to impossible. So, now that you have decided to bid adieu to your marriage, how can you heal yourself as well as your family?

Be prepared for a shift in dynamics

Remember how your spouse attracted you into a relationship? You found him so charming and friendly initially and he was never short of flowery speeches and compliments.

It was the first time when you felt he loved you so much and no other man is capable of such love and affection. However, as time passed, you observed that this loving and normal behavior changed to that of an individual who never considers your views and opinions, has become dominating and lies quite frequently. Every time you made an attempt to address these issues, he tried to convince you that things will alter for the better. However, that never happened. You have finally understood that it is impossible for him to mend his ways. So, it is better to get ready for a shift in the paradigm.

Your soon-to-be and narcissist spouse will try all possible things to demonstrate his strength on you. It will be difficult for him to accept that you have decided to leave him for good.

You will need a good team by your side

It is crucial for you to have a strong team by your side so that you can manage the divorce proceedings in a smooth manner. You should hire an Orange County divorce lawyer who is experienced in dealing with spouses having borderline narcissistic personality disorder.  Such an attorney knows the important things to watch out for. They also know ways of avoiding the traps your former spouse may set for you. You should also get in touch with a good mental health professional who can provide you with an ideal opportunity for expressing your fury, disappointment, and frustrations.

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 Issues Included In Divorce Settlements

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmA divorce settlement can be quite a complicated one when the number of financial issues is more in number. If it is the case with you and your spouse, it is better to get guidance from a tax planner or an experienced accountant before you finalize your divorce settlement’s terms and conditions.

Key issues in a divorce settlement

Based on the scenario that may vary from couple to couple, a divorce settlement could cover some of the following issues:

  • Life Insurance
  • Retirement Plans
  • Investments and Bank Accounts
  • Split of marital assets like vehicles, vacation home, and house
  • Debt that has been accumulated while the couple was married.

Here are some of them in detail for you to understand then properly.

Distribution of marital assets

The real concern here is how the house or the vacation home of the couple can be split between the two. Now, they can be taken care of in a number of ways:

  • There could be refinancing of the house so that one spouse can purchase the other party’s interests.
  • One of the spouses can get the outright ownership of the house.
  • The couple may decide to sell the house and then the sales proceeds are divided between the wife and the husband.

Investments and bank accounts

In some cases of divorce settlements, one party will retain the own ship of their matrimonial house while the other spouse may get cash from their joint investment accounts or bank accounts. The spouse who has been awarded the said property as a divorce settlement should take the necessary actions to make sure that there is adequate cash flow at their disposal for covering the living costs.

Life Insurance

In many occasions, it is not unusual to see the inclusion of a provision in divorce settlements specifying that whichever spouse is paying for alimony r child support should have purchased life insurance policy so that the costs of such payments are covered in case of their unexpected death. In case you are getting those payments, you need to ensure that you also own that insurance policy. In order to ensure that the premiums of the policy are always paid on time, you must ascertain that you actually own it. This measure will help you to be sure that you do not have to face a financial disaster when something unfortunate happens to your ex-spouse.

Retirement plans

When a divorce settlement has funds from a particular retirement plan, it is better to get in touch with a financial advisor to ensure that you appreciate the impact of tax implications in this type of situation.

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 5 Things To Avoid Doing When Planning To Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmAnyone who has had a divorce will tell you that it is a tough process. The couples are often tensed and they often make unwise decisions due to emotions running high. After all, it is a stage when the spouses need to sort out emotional, practical and financial details. So, it is hardly surprising that there are many such couples who end up making big mistakes while getting divorced. Here are some of those tips on what you should avoid doing while filing for your divorce.

Do not get pregnant

If you become pregnant while your divorce proceeding is going on, things can be pretty complicated for you. In fact, and your pregnancy can even become a barrier in the way of your right to get divorced.

Do not say ‘No” to meet a therapist

Getting in touch with a therapist may help you to overcome your wide range of emotions that is normal for any spouse to feel while dealing with the trauma of divorce. In fact, it is not a bad idea at all to get professional assistance before you are extremely angry or depressed. You can not only share your inner feelings with an expert therapist but they are professionals who can help you to relax, guide you how to interact with your children in the changing scenario and ways of retaining your composure in the court. The most important help a therapist can offer you is to learn ways of becoming a self-dependent person!

Do not overlook the task of changing your existing will

Your will is not automatically revoked because you are getting a divorce. You must update the will in case you want to stop your soon to be former spouse from getting the privileges mentioned in your existing will. After all, a will can be redone at any time. However, in case you pass away before getting the divorce and you have not left anything for your spouse, he or she can file a lawsuit to recover a portion of your property.

Do not take out your frustration on the children

Your kids need a supportive and tension free environment to cope up with you and your spouse’s divorce. Try to talk as less as possible about the process in front of them. This way, you can give more time to your kids. Your energy needs to be refocused so that you can visit their school events, take them out to the zoo or got movies and help them out with their homework.

Try to avoid settling early

You may desire that your marriage should end as soon as possible. But that does not mean you will let go of your financial security. Create copies of the crucial financial documents, mutual fund statements, credit card statements, and brokerage and tax forms.

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 To Do When You Lose Your Child Custody Case

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county child custody attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmWhen you lose your child’s custody, it can be a terrible experience for you as a parent. It will be quite tough to come to terms with the fact that your court thinks that your kids will be better off with the other parent. When such a thing happens to you, there are certain steps that you may take so that there could be a reversal of the decision and you can win back your children’s custody. You can try out some of the tips mentioned below.

Do some serious self-retrospection on what went wrong

Take an unbiased approach on what prompted the judge to arrive at such a decision of awarding the custody of your kids to somebody else. Were you incorrectly alleged of neglecting your kids or child abuse? Or did you violate any court order? When you have a fair idea of why such a decision was taken, you can take proper steps for correcting the situation.

Take legal help

If you are serious about winning back your child’s custody, you may have to work with a reputable divorce lawyer who is experienced in handling as well as running similar cases in the past, start asking your relatives and friends for some good referrals to seek an Orange County divorce lawyer dealing in child custody cases.

Request for an evaluation

After you have hired a lawyer and have started completing the steps required by the court, you can request your judge to conduct an in-home evaluation for child custody. Such a step will give an updated assessment of your home to the concerned court that could also help in winning back the custody

Abide by court’s orders and instructions

You should not ignore anything that the court asks you to do. Do not miss any court hearing and avoid rescheduling appointments with the guardian of the child or a mediator ordered by your court.

Try to be compliant and patient

When you wait for the re-evaluation of the agreement related to your child custody, you should ensure that you are exercising your parenting and visitation rights properly. Try to stay away for all those things that could aggravate the situation further. You should put on your best efforts to be courteous and civil while picking up your children for the visits.

Contemplate on the possibility of some other custody arrangement

You can also think about considering other options of custody. Initially, you might have wanted sole custody but after losing custody, you may agree to the idea of shared 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 Orange County divorce process.  

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