What To Expect When Negotiating With a Hostile Ex During Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmThe way your estranged husband or wife behaves with you during negotiating for divorce settlement may have a direct effect on the amount of settlement you will eventually receive eventually, although exceptions do exist. Check out some of the things you can expect from a hostile ex during the divorce process.

Not being able to control his or her negative emotions

Nothing can be bitterer during a divorce than a husband or a wife who is emotionally installed. In case your spouse fails to keep his or her negative emotions within check and fails to use logic, you could be in for a big legal trouble if you are not cautious. Moreover, you need to contemplate that you will have to discuss your financial matters with a person who’s being irrational with his or her behavior and thought process. People with such unstable behavior are completely unreliable are not capable of handling their own finances in the first place. So, you can hardly expect to think about someone else’s financial issues. You may have to hire the services of an experienced divorce attorney apart from consulting a reputable psychologist to help you understand the irrational behaviors of your spouse.

Did he or she held the financial power while you both were married?

Was your spouse the primary bread winner while you were married? Do you feel he or she will try to take everything within their control? Has your ex hired the services of a good divorce attorney who is highly experienced in handling high-conflict divorces? If the answer is yes, do not expect them to change and renounce their ownership so easily? In fact, your divorce can make them more ruthless and ferocious while trying to retain emotional as well as political power over you.

In case your spouse is affluent and has hired a renowned divorce attorney, it could be a tough time for you unless you equip yourself with the same kind of attitude and legal arsenal.

Your spouse is anxious to get a divorce immediately

For instance, your spouse has been into a new relationship and as such want to extract everything possible to build their new life. So they want to end their existing marriage as quickly as possible. A ‘right now’ divorce may lead you financially and emotionally shattered. While your ex is trying to build a new life with his or her latest love interest, it can be quite money intensive. In scenarios like this, you should anticipate as well as get ready for a fierce battle while the divorce process is on.

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 A Divorce You Did Not Want

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThe repercussions of divorce can be quite severe for many who are affected by it. When a divorce is undesirable or unwanted, it can even drive some affected couple to become insane after all, you have given years of your life to the marriage, brought up your kids with much care and love and given unconditional support to your spouse. So, when the person you loved so much simply walks out from the marriage the agony can be heart-wrenching. Follow the below-mentioned things to avoid when you are at the receiving end of an undesirable divorce.

Stop discussing your ex constantly with your family members and friends

It is better to think less about your former spouse and when you talk less about him/her, you can achieve your purpose easily your emotions and pains will be easier to control when you talk about it but do not do it with everyone around you who shows an interest to know about your personal details. Rather, it is better to consult a reputable therapist or a close and dear friend and stop discussing your ex with all others about your feeling and divorce.

It is better to not call your former spouse

Just because your spouse listens to your voice over the phone does not mean that they are going to return to your life all over again. This is particularly applicable when you are testing or dialing them many times on each day. Since it was your ex who desired to get divorced and you gave them what they had asked for, do not get in touch with them unless it is very important. If your former spouse does not return to you, even you need not look back and try to throw yourself at such a person. Even though your marriage could not be restored, you should try to have your pride and self-respect intact. However, the exception to this rule is when you have minor kids from your marriage and you need to text or call them to discuss child-related matters.

Stop over-analyzing on what was not right in your failed marriage or how you could have behaved or done things in a different manner

You should definitely try to pinpoint as well as learn lessons from your past mistakes that you committed when you were married. Once you have managed to do so, it will not be as difficult to forget your painful past. What is done cannot be undone even you keep analyzing about your past. Over-analyzing will only give your self-pity and low self-esteem that should be avoided at all cost.

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 Prepare For Your Divorce Hearings At The Courthouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce lawyers in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmFamily court for divorces can be quite a scary place particularly for all those people who are in it for the first time in their lives. The success of a particular court hearing matters a lot to the divorcing party and so they should start preparing for it much before the actual day of their court hearing. The discussion that follows aims to explain the things to expect when a divorcing party arrives at a family court for their hearing.

Understanding the etiquette of the courtroom and the players

Whenever you arrive at a family court specializing in divorce cases, you should realize that there will be numerous other divorce attorneys and litigants who are waiting for their turns in the same courtroom. You should sit quietly and patiently while waiting.  You need to behave politely while the court clerk and the bailiff in the courtroom.  These people are also in control of deciding the sequence in which the cases are heard on a particular day. You should be sitting quietly and watch the judge dealing with the other cases while the court proceedings are on. Such an observation is invaluable as you can understand the kind of evidence or facts the judge is expecting specifically in a certain situation. You will also get time to understand the judge better.

Appreciate the type of a court hearing

All hearings are not of equal importance in a family court. A party involved in a divorce case should be aware of the kind of hearing that is coming up. Plus, they should know the kind of expectation during such a hearing. There are many occasions when a court schedules hearings whose aim is to simply provide status updates to the court on the progress of certain discovery and how a specific case will settle. Other hearings can be for a settlement meeting to make an attempt in compelling both the divorcing parties to come together and negotiate.

Clothing should be appropriate based on the nature of hearing

As soon as you realize the type of an upcoming heating of yours, it is important for you to introspect on the kind of message you are going to communicate to the judges. So for instance, you are seeking alimony, things may backfire even you appear at the court wearing a designer label and an expensive and stylish bag.  On the other hand, if the hearing is to settle child custody issues, you should endeavor to dress up like a mother or a father so that the judge gets a favorable impression about 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.  

The Role Of A Child’s Therapist In A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce lawyers Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmDivorces can be depressing and counseling is the best way to cope up with the situation. Apart from the adults, children, sometime require counseling. For children, counseling plays the same role – coping with the situation. Also, when children who get upset over their parent’s divorce are counseled, they become more emotionally stable. But it’s easier than it sounds because unlike adults, children show a wide range of emotions and therefore handling them becomes difficult. Age and development plays a major role in children who are trying to adjust to a divorce.

Counseling for children falls under two broad categories. The first one is group counseling and the second is individual divorce counseling.

Group counseling

In the first type, the counselor selects children whose parents have gone through a divorce and forms a group. Next, he/she talks to them like one would talk to a small class. Different issues are addressed and the counselor tries to understand what the children need and how he/she can provide them. Group counseling is mostly beneficial for kids over the age of 12. Children in this age group understand better when they are in a group because then they don’t feel isolated. They don’t think that they are the only one who is going through such a situation. Also, it makes it easy for them to bond with complete strangers.

Individual divorce counseling

Individual divorce counseling is mostly given to younger children. But in some cases, it works well with teens and adults as well. Children who require counseling that will help them in the long-term benefit from this type of counseling. The counseling session helps relieve stress and counselors teach children how to release their emotions. As a result, the children develop coping skills to better deal with stress and depression.

The little research that has been done on individual counseling has shown that children do show signs of improvement after their counseling sessions. Children have also shown to develop positivity and increased performance in academics and other activities.

Conclusion

Counseling plays a vital role in helping couples battle depression, anxiety and a variety of emotions. It is being increasingly used in children to help them cope up with their parent’s divorce. Be it in a group or on an individual level, counseling children has helped them gain a variety of positive characteristics that will be useful in the long run.

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.

Divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.Divorce 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.

Is Foreign-Held Property Subject To Division In California?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Best Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmOne of the biggest headaches of divorce is property and asset division. Although California has strict guidelines for marital and separate property, it still becomes confusing as to which property belongs where. A clear distinction is that property that was purchased during marriage becomes marital property and property which belongs to an individual becomes separate property.

For foreign held property, it becomes a matter of state laws and the country or state where the property is located. California is a community property state and property and assets are divided equally between both parties. However, it may not always work for foreign held properties because California laws may not be applicable in other states or countries.

Community property

Foreign properties can be treated as community properties if you purchased them while you were in California. In that case, it will be treated either as marital or separate property depending upon when the property was purchased and under whose name was it purchased. California laws apply to you and your property and it is difficult to say whether the state or country will interfere with such laws. In most cases, it shouldn’t be a problem and you can treat your foreign property in the same way as you would treat other properties.

Quasi-community property

If the property was purchased in a foreign location while you were out-of-state, it is generally treated as quasi-community property. In such a case, California laws may not be able to reach the state or country where the property is located and must be treated with care. It’s best to work with an experienced divorce lawyer for such cases because often, things become complicated.

Conclusion

The question of how foreign property gets divided depends more on the individuals involved than the property itself. Also, the place from where the individual purchased the property also matters a lot. If the property was purchased when the individual stayed in California, it will be treated as a community property. Else, it will be treated as a quasi-community property. In either case, it’s a good idea to sit with a divorce lawyer experienced at handling foreign property disputes and settle out things like property, finance and debt division in foreign locations.

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 avoid unequal distribution of property during a California divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmProbably one of the most contentious tasks for any couple to agree on would be the division and distribution of property and assets during a divorce. Making through the assets separation in mutual agreement without the need for additional intervention is certainly a welcome situation for both spouses.

If in case you’re unable to settle the issue of property distribution with your spouse, a California family law judge will have to do it for you.

To begin with property distribution in a divorce agreement across the United States is conducted via state law. Asset division follows either community property or equitable division state laws. California is a community property state.

How is property divided?

Marital assets can be distinguished into Separate and Community property.

Community property is everything co-owned by a married couple, or all property obtained and collected during the marriage, regardless of efforts and skill put in by either spouse.

Separate Property on the other hand covers everything owned by a spouse before marriage. Generally not divided during divorce agreements, separate property is retained by the owner spouse.

Separate Property

Here is a short list of assets that fall under separate property

  • Any inheritance or a gift awarded to a particular spouse, even if received during the marriage.
  • Property obtained before marriage, for instance, a savings bank account, etc.
  • Pension earnings proceeds received before marriage.
  • Businesses owned before the marriage.

Community Property

In the state of California property and assets accumulated during the marriage is separated equally between both spouses.

Community Property State Law doesn’t call for division of each object, but an estimated net value of jointly owned property is divided equally. For instance, a spouse can be given the family residence, while the other receives the business.

Basically the couple shares everything equally, the property and the debts. At times, families have to sell the house and share the proceeds earned, of if a spouse would like to continue living in the house, they would then need to buy the other half.

There are cases where separate property can get muddled in with community property in something called commingling. In this case it is difficult to tell the difference between what once was separate property from community property.

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 Get Back On Track After A Bad Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmA marriage or a relationship is a partnership where two persons lead one life. After a certain point in life each person can start to become dependent on the other. For individuals who are overly dependent on their spouse, the word ‘divorce’ is a nightmare.

In the wake of a divorce, it can be hard to get your life back on track but it’s very important that you do so, because getting back to living a meaningful and fulfilling life is what is most important at this point.

Let your emotions flow

Most individuals find it difficult to talk about their emotions after a divorce. Holding back feelings can have an adverse effect on your psychology and your health. Since, you are trying to move on and lead a new life it’s very important that you don’t drag extra baggage as you move away from your divorce.

Consulting and talking to a therapist helps if you feel severely depressed and lonely post-divorce. A therapist will help you identify the exact problems you are facing and provide a way to cope up with them.

Rework your finances

One of the worst parts of divorce is the financial problems that you must face due to property and asset division. Rebuilding your financial life should be a priority. You should start by calculating your assets and expenses. Make a list of your liabilities and what part of your income is saved at the end of each month. If you’re unemployed then it’s best that you get a job.

Keeping a track of your finances will shift your mind from negative thoughts and will allow you to focus on more important things.

Rediscover yourself

After a divorce, you’ll find plenty of time for yourself. So, rather than isolating yourself from the world, go out and discover a new side of yourself. Go for a vacation, get a new haircut or treat yourself to something nice. It is extremely important that you spend time with yourself and rediscover a new side that you haven’t experienced before.

Conclusion

Divorces are tough especially if you’ve lived with someone for a long time. It is obvious that going through a bad divorce will affect you both mentally and physically. It is therefore important to change your life and start afresh. Let go of your emotions and talk to people that matter. Focus more on your finances and building a new life through new and different experiences.

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.  

Methods of How To Proceed With Getting Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThere is a perception among many people that a divorce can be only obtained through litigation in the court.  However, in reality, here are four key ways to obtain a divorce from your spouse.

Mediation

This is an extremely effective way to resolve disputes, which may pop up when two people are all set to divorce and is a great alternative to litigation in the court. The role of a divorce mediator is to act as an unbiased neutral party and help the couples to resolve the issues that have come up due to the decision of a divorce so that they can reach a settlement that is agreeable to both. In order to make the process of mediation a successful one, both the parties should be ready to negotiate on all aspects of the divorce settlement.

Divorce litigation in court

When you as well as your support are unsuccessful to arrive at a consensus or fail to mediate on issues like spousal support, child support or property split, you may give to knock the doors of the court as a next step. However obtaining the divorce through a court can be pretty costly. Both of you will have to hire divorce attorneys to fight for your case in the court, Moreover, you gave to pay filing fees and court fees and pay the attorney you have hired. The fees of an attorney will depend on which part of the country you are residing.

Collaborative Divorce

When you and your spouse opt for a Collaborative Divorce, you and your spouse need to have a financial specialist for divorce, a child specialist if you have children from your marriage and redo attorneys. Though a Collaborative Divorce may be costly, it is less costly than a long and bitter litigated divorce in the long term. In this process, you need to pay all the specialists according to the hourly rate they charge. However, you need not pay filing fees or court fees unlike a litigated divorce.

Pro Se or DIY litigation

This kind of divorce litigation dignified that you will be doing a self-representation for your divorce case, in Pro Se litigation, you need to follow the same procedures that you would have followed had you hired a divorce attorney to represent your case. The difference here is that the responsibility of filing and filling out the legal forms rest with you. The only expenses that occur in this type of litigation are to pay the court costs and filing fees. In order to go through a do it yourself divorce, you should be well conversant with the divorce laws of your state. However, you need to note that getting a divorce without hiring a lawyer could mean a lot of hard work. But it is the best option for you when you are unable to afford the fees of an 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.  

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.  

 
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