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.  

Key Topics You Should Discuss With Your Divorce Attorney

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmAlthough, it would mean more legwork and forethought on the part of the clients, yet the investment will definitely pay off when they do a little homework before approaching a divorce attorney. Such an endeavor will lead to less billable hours as well as a good agreement that will safeguard them at present and in the coming days. When you are going to meet your divorce lawyer, here are some of the things to discuss with the attorney.

Property

Any property that the couple acquires during the course of their marriage is known as a marital property. Some examples of marital property include household furnishings, furs, jewelry, furniture, cars and marital homes the owner of a particular property will be determined on where the spouse resides on a common law property or the state’s community property.

In case a married couple buys property and both their names are present on the deed or the title, both the spouses will be eligible for 50 percent share of the property in for community property. Thus assets that are acquired by the spouses during their marriage are split into equal parts irrespective of whose name is there on the deed or the title.

Child custody

This is arguably one of the highest contested issues that you will encounter while your divorce proceeding is going on. Based on the state where you reside, physical or legal custody of your kids could be awarded on the basis of the best interest that is the emotional and physical well-being of your kids.

Spousal support

One of the most controversial issues in a divorce is the alimony that is rapidly changing with time. There may be variations in the way alimony is awarded by a court depending on the state where you filed for the divorce., some of the factors, which a court may consider while determining the alimony are duration of the marriage, educational qualification of the couples, age of the couple, emotional and physical health of the couple, the couple’s standard of living while they were living together, earning capacity and the employability of the couple and who is bringing up the children.

Child support

If the parent’s divorce, it is still their legal responsibility to ensure proper financial help for their kids until the latter emancipate. In other words, child support is an obligation, which both parents should take up. A court order will clearly outline the amount that should be contributed by each parent. It can be also done through a negotiation and thereafter mentioned in a written agreement.

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.  

Handling Divorce Grief in Your Own Way

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmA divorce or a separation can indeed be an emotional and highly stressful experience in one’s life. Your entire universe may go upside down irrespective of the reason for your separation and whether you were willing for it or not. A breakup can create a host of unsettling and painful emotions. You could be not only grieving at this stage but also feeling apprehensive about your future, isolated, and baffled. However, there are several things that you can do at your end to handle your divorce grief; let this tough time pass and move on in life with a fresh vigor, optimism, and hope.

Why can divorce be full of misery for many?

Although your relationship could have been rocky for quite some time, a breakup or a divorce can be quite painful as it not only symbolizes the loss of a partnership but also of the commitments and dreams both you and your partner had shared. Any love marriage begins with a lot of excitement and positive hopes for a bright future. But the moment a relationship crumbles, people go through profound disillusionment, grief, anxiety, and stress. A divorce or breakup throws you into unexplored territories. There are so many changes in your life with respect to your responsibilities and routine, relationship with friends and extended family, your identity and even your home. A divorce can also introduce a great sense of uncertainty about what lies ahead in life.

Handling divorce or breakup grief

  • Understand and appreciate that there is no harm in having different feelings. After all, it is not unusual to feel tired, angry, confused, frustrated and/or unhappy.
  • All these emotions can be pretty intense. There could be anxiousness within you feeling apprehensive about your future. You should start accepting that feelings like these are bound to change over a period of time. Although your relationship with your spouse was unhealthy, it can be scary to venture into an unknown arena.
  • You deserve a break now, so go for it. You should allow yourself the luxury of functioning or feeling somewhat less than your usual level for certain period. It is possible that your work productivity is lower than usual at this crucial phase of your life. Plus, you may not be affectionate towards others in the manner you used to be for a while. After all, you do not have any kind of superpower. So take time to go through the healing process, re-energize, and regroup.
  • Do hand holding at this critical phase of your life. You should share your emotions either with family and close friends who can help you to get over your grief during this period. Try to be a part of a support group so that you can speak to people who are going through a similar 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.  

Activities To Engage In or Discard to Lower Divorce-Related Stress

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmFrom the time you have filed a divorce petition, there are lots to worry about. You are still figuring out how to move your kids between two different households, trying to coordinate with your divorce lawyer or a mediator or both, handling your children’s emotional needs and coping up with the emotional stress you could be going through, and so on. Even experts say that a divorce is one of the biggest stressors of life. Hence, it is imperative that you put your best foot forward to ensure that your stress is minimized. There are certain activities you should drop and certain others you should continue doing to deal with your stress.

WHAT TO DISCARD: 

  • Conventional dinners

Drop the practice of having traditional dinners. Instead, try to go for snack dinners. Take out your plate and fill them up with healthy food products such as peanut butter, rolls, peanuts, grapes, apple slices, applesauce, and cheese slices. There should be a proper ratio of carbs, vegetables/fruits, and proteins in your diet. Thus, you now have a well-balanced but easy to gather dinner ready within a few minutes.

  • Electronic gadgets

It has been often proved that certain devices are not good to depend on as babysitters. However, at times, when children are thoroughly bored, the stress level of the mom is maximum or there is a doctor’s appointment at the last moment, some devices may help. But over-dependence on electronic devices is not good for health in the long run. Try to avoid them just before your bedtime as the blue light being emitted from them may cause havoc to your kid’s sleep.

WHAT TO CONTINUE: 

  • Chatting with your children

By this time your children are aware that you are going through a rough patch. When you validate their feelings and discuss issues with them openly in a loving and positive way, you will enjoy a healthy relationship with them during this tough time.

  • Bedtime routine with kids

The right kind of bedtime routine you follow with your kids can make them relaxed while being a great stress-buster for them. Maintaining a consistent schedule even while you are stressed can bring in comfort while minimizing stress-related insomnia. Researches have proved that it can alleviate the stress levels of the moms too.

  • Have dates with family at night

You can have family date nights with your children though there could be financial constraints now. However, many big cities offer plenty of free activities that you can indulge in with your children. The least you can do is go out for a picnic in the nearby park or take them out for a walk after completing dinner.

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 Divorce When Mental Illness Is Involved

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmIt can be a difficult and complex decision to divorce your spouse, who is ailing from a mental illness. The decision frequently involves ensuring that proper diagnosis and treatment are carried out for the affected spouse first. The healthy spouse also has to think about the logistics issues while separating and have a check on the emotions that they have for splitting from somebody who is not well. Plus, there could be strong guilt and social pressure that may act as an obstacle to take the final call on divorce. Perhaps, it is the outcome of exchanging wedding vows in a traditional ceremony.
While breakups are not easy, ending a relationship with a spouse suffering from a mental illness or a personality disorder can delay the decision of opting for a divorce. Now, that can be quite crazy.

Indecisiveness about taking the final call

There are several in incidents when guilty wives or empathetic husbands are in a strong dilemma to come out of an abusive relationship or an impaired spouse. There can be various causes such as mental illness, addiction to sex, alcohol or drugs. The struggle is a tough one since they may still have tender feelings for their spouses and also value their marriage vows. However, often such feelings are one-sided.

Such women and men keep searching for answers painstakingly on how to cope up with a spouse who is a bipolar personality a passively aggressive partner or a narcissist. These people seek out reasonable techniques to handle unpleasant situations. In a majority of cases, the area of concern remains the same although the actual diagnosis may vary. After all, they have to handle a partner who is in a position to appreciate reality and hence fairness, honesty or compromise may seem to be a far-fetched dream.

Challenges faced by spouses of mentally ill partners

Aggressive litigation and stonewalling are a couple of big challenges that are frequently faced by the spouses. It is often believed that people try to hire an attorney who is like them. So, it is likely that a vengeful partner may end up hiring a divorce attorney who is hostile and aggressive. Such attorneys can aggravate the illness of their clients. Additionally, when these clients have more wealth, they can get nastier and eventually end up destroying their families.

Although courts may not be of much help even now to protect such families, professionals like Orange County divorce mediators, coaches and therapists can create tools for helping people cope up with their high-conflict divorces.

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 Common Causes of Conflict in a Marriage?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmAll marriages go through conflicts and so you will be hardly surprised when you go through the following sources of discord between you and your spouse. After going through them, you need to consider the ones that are applicable for you and your partner.

Children

Check out the following kid-related conflicts that may come up between you and your spouse

  • Ways of discipline them
  • Many parents enter into a competition unknowingly to get the approval of their children
  • Degree or magnitude of disciplining the children

Work

  • When a spouse works for excessively long hours
  • Not earning enough despite working for such long hours
  • When a spouse needs to travel excessively for work

Money

Here is a reason of spousal conflict that reflects plenty of stuff such as trust, power, and control. There are many such cases where one of the spouses misused or misled their money and consequently broke the trust. In fact, the feeling could be as traumatic as a spouse feels when he or she is betrayed by their partner. Money also offers options. These choices become more when plenty of money is involved. When there is less money, options become limited while the stress level can be high due to lack of it. That is precisely the reason why many therapists and marriage counselors advise the couples to be careful about acquiring debts, especially at an early stage. The initial years and months in any marriage can be stressful for doing the normal adjustments, which are required to be made. So, couples should not incur early debt and increase the stress further

In-laws

It is one of the sensitive subjects since it is all about the family. There are several occasions when the in-laws may interfere too much leading to situations of conflict in a marriage.

Time commitments

There are situations when overbooking may occur in a subtle manner, All of a sudden when you look around; you find that you are drowning yourself in commitments. It is better to calendar your time so that the air can be cleared and you can reconnect. You can plan such times while away on an annual retreat. In fact, you may feel out of control and somewhat lost without it. Such events can invariably lead to more conflicts and stress in a marriage.

Former girlfriends or ex-boyfriends

Today, social media offers a chance to get in touch with old and lost friends and in some cases reunite with those special and “dear” friends. You should be very cautious about situations like these. In case you experience tension in the house due to such relationships, you should close such accounts or unfriend them to move on with your life. After all, it is not the right time when you should defend your old but just good friends from yesteryear. It is possible to lead your life without the social media when it strains the trust factor in your marriage.

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 Know About Business Valuations In California Divorces

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmProfessional business valuations is an expensive task in any marital dissolution. The spouse who manages the business quickly realizes that techniques used to value the practice have no relation with the practice’s fair market value. The spouse can then in all fairness insist that no willing buyer can be found. There can also be concerns regarding “double dipping”. This comes as the same earnings used to calculate a value in such a practice can also be utilized for calculating the support. In case the practice has a value of marital efforts, it must also be divided.

In California, a number of cases have reviewed techniques utilized by experts when valuing any professional practice. One consistent factor common between all decisions is the court will honor any technique for valuing such a practice. This includes goodwill. These will remain true as long as value is legitimately established by the evidence.

General principles

A trial court, when determining the value of any professional practice, must find out existence and the value of a number of factors. These include fixed assets like furniture, law library, cash, supplies and equipment and a number of other assets like accounts receivable, costs advanced with collectability chances, work in progress that are partially completed, but not receivable billed, and also work which is completed, but not yet billed. The practitioner’s goodwill in his business as going concern and the practitioner’s liability related to the business.

Other general principles include the business nature and enterprise history from the time of its inception. It also includes the general economic outlook and also the outlook and condition of the particular industry concerned. The stock’s book value and the business’s financial condition also plays a  role. The company’s earning and dividend paying capacity are also important.

Value standard

Unlike when assets are to be divided in kind, Californian courts can be obligated to rule on assets values and then divide them equally. Considerable debate has been allowed to find the proper standard to use in valuing marital assets. This is more fueled by the imprecise use of court terms like “going concern value” or “investment value”. The worst term is “value”.

Treasury regulations in the United States define fair market value as price in which property will communicate between a buyer and a seller. They both should not be under any compulsion to sell or to buy. Both must also have relevant knowledge about the facts.

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.  

How To Reconcile After Filing For Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange county divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmYou have already signed the settlement documents but a part of you all of a sudden feels that you should not have finalized your divorce. Hence, you are anxious to know ways of reconciling your marriage. In case you feel that the issues in the marriage can be reversible and both of you can work towards resolving them, there is a possibility of reconciliation. The most crucial point to note here is that while putting in efforts to reunite with your spouse, you may have to begin all over. Thereafter, you may consider these ways for reconciliation after your divorce.

Talk as much as possible

Remember the time when you met your ex-spouse for the first time?  Both of you spoke and communicated a lot. You need to repeat the same process all over again. Speak to your ex-husband or ex-wife as much as possible. Email, text or call to discuss the issues that is crucial in their day. You should also show your enthusiasm in all those activities your former partner is interested in. Be vocal and compliment him/her. Tell your ex-spouse how much you missed them. Once the initial courting period ends, ask then for the first date. You should regard this date as an occasion as if you are young out with a new person.

Discuss the issues and concerns that haunted your marriage

Once you have established a rapport with your ex-husband or wife, you can start discussing the issues related to your marriage. The most appropriate time for doing this is when you realize that your ex-spouse is ready for commitment once again. After all, you round hardly want history to repeat itself once again. Else your new relationship may have the same conclusion like your previous marriage had. You need to be frank about discussing what went wrong the previous time Keep an open mind when you discuss the causes of the breakup. At times discussing these things can be tough and so counseling could be an excellent mechanism to bring out the concerns in the open so that you can work on them to sort out as effectively as possible.

Proceed gradually and be cautious

While it is easy to hurry up in re-establishing the rapport with your former spouse since it may feel like you are dating him/her for the first time like the old days, you need to apply caution. Do not get carried away by your emotions since things may crash. You should take one step at a time and keep a close tab on how things are progressing between the two of you. Though you should appreciate that it is a fresh beginning, do not forget that there is a past attached to it, which requires resolution and contemplation.

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.  

 
No Legal Advice Intended: This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. Full disclaimer.