Creating Successful Parenting Plans After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmLife after divorce can be tough for those who have trouble coping up with their new lifestyle. They often have a hard time managing finances and time. Another important thing that they have trouble dealing with is children. A divorce may affect children in a negative way or it might not affect them at all. Sometimes, it’s very hard to understand the situation. Making good and smart parenting plans is one way of handling it. A parenting plan is equivalent to a guidebook for handling children after divorce. You must make changes but how and what changes should you make?

Creating effective plans

The first thing that you must keep in mind when making parenting plans is that the same plan won’t work for everyone. The ideal plan should contain all your children’s needs without compromising too much on your own comfort. Here are some additional steps you can follow to make the plan even better.

  1. Separate feelings from behavior

Feeling hurt, angry and depressed are common emotions after a divorce. However, none of them should be directed towards your children. If you want, take some time out for yourself until you’re mentally prepared to take care of your kids. But that does not mean you should ignore them. In fact, include them in your plan and go for a vacation or do some fun stuff together until your mind clears off.

Research has shown that children of divorced couples have a tendency to act violently due to adverse psychological effects. Never show your negative feelings to your children. Always remember that they are watching you.

  1. Protect your children

The very reason you are creating a parental plan is because you care about your children and don’t want anything bad to happen to them. Both you and your ex. should include plenty of time where your children spends time with both of you. Whatever problems you might have, keep them to yourself and don’t let them tarnish your relationship with your children.

  1. Make plans as a team

Before your divorce, your children were used to both of you doing things as a family. After a divorce, you should try letting your children have the same feeling. It is tough but at least you can make parental plans that includes doing activities as a family.

Conclusion

Parental plans play an important role in divorce because they protect a child from falling into negative environments. Creating successful parental plans involves the participation of both parent as a team.

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.  

Does your marriage qualify for an annulment in California?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Best Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmWhat is an annulment, and would it be better than getting a divorce? These are questions you should ask and know if you are considering divorce. Here are a few fundamental facts and essentials about getting your marriage annulled in California.

You can either have grounds to attain a civil or a religious annulment. Religious annulments can only be administered by a religious body like a church or an associated clergy member.

In a civil annulment, a family court declares null the validity of the marriage, which simply means that the marriage really wasn’t reasonably genuine or grounded.

Acknowledged grounds for an annulment in California

California Family Court supports the following legitimate grounds to request annulment:

  • Incest or blood relatives – Cases where the couple married are related by blood, the marriage isn’t ever considered legal or legitimate, and a family law court in California would grant an annulment without contest.
  • Bigamy – When a spouse is married to another individual before officiating vows on the second marriage, an annulment will be granted. Such cases are classified under bigamy or bigamous relationships which are unlawful.
  • Below the age of consent – In case the age of the partner requesting an annulment was under 18 when entering the marriage, an annulment would be granted by the courts.
  • Coercion – If either party was under duress when agreeing to marry the other, either physically or emotionally, the marriage can be annulled.
  • Mental illness or unsound mind – If either spouse is mentally challenged and is thus unable to understand and uphold the responsibilities and nature of a marriage, an annulment could be agreed on by the court. At times, severe intoxication could also be considered within an unsound mind argument.
  • Fraud – When either party has deceived the other in regard to the intention behind the marriage, being based on anything other than love, it can be annulled. A common instance of a fraudulent marriage would be one entered to gain citizenship.
  • Physical inabilities – An annulment could be granted if either party suffers from a physical condition that prevented the marriage to be consummated or if in case the partner suffers from an incurable condition that inhibits sexual intercourse between the couple.

The party requesting an annulment must provide sufficient proof and evidence to support claims that any one of the above listed reasons to be true at, and or, during the time of 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.  

Top Pitfalls To Avoid During Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmWhile it can be undeniably a painful process, divorce is nonetheless a major decision in any individual’s life and should be understood in depth before starting a divorce proceeding. Since things like properties, assets and children are involved, a divorce can become a complex process and should be handled carefully. Psychological problems like stress, tension and depression are common among new divorcees and measures should be taken to prevent such problems.

There are other problems which can and should be avoided during divorces. Below is a list of some of them and how they can be avoided.

Don’t underestimate expenses

Asset and property is a common procedure during California divorces. Usually, courts will divide assets equally between the couples and more than often some individuals end up having much less than they had earned. It is therefore important that you make a list of your earning and the amount you spend on expenses as a couple. Making a monthly budget is key towards financial protection during divorce.

Do settle joint debts as soon as possible

The sooner you clear joint debts during your marriage, the better will be your financial status after divorce. After a divorce, your finances and investments can become a huge debt if you don’t keep a track of how much each earnings of you own in the family.

Don’t allow friends and family to have maximum control

Often, individuals who go through divorce rely too much on friends and families for advice. It is always a good thing to have friends and families during troubled times but too much dependency is not good. It is possible for emotions to cloud sensible judgement and you might end up making bad decisions.

Do try saving your marriage before you file for divorce

Why head for a divorce at all if you can save your marriage? Well, because it’s easier said than done. And that is why mediation lawyers and firms exist. Mediation can help identify key areas of discord and provide the best possible solution for them. You and your spouse should take out some time to see a mediation lawyer and try sorting out things if possible.

Don’t ignore the children’s needs

If you have children, then you already know how important they are in a family. Children are the first ones to get affected by divorces because it’s not every day that they see their parents staying apart. Research has shown that children of divorces undergo psychological problems and perform poorly in games and academics. Children should be your first and most important consideration if you plan to get a divorce.

Conclusion

Divorces can become ugly if individuals are unprepared for what’s in store for them. Hire a good lawyer and understand in detail what you need to consider before getting divorced.

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 Issues To Include In Determining Child Support Orders

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.It can be quite complex to cope up with the various major decisions to be made in consultation with your former spouse after your divorce. Some of these could be how to divide the expenses of your children, getting adjusted to a new living condition and visitation arrangements. Things could get messy sometimes. The calculation for the base child support is usually done according to the guidelines laid down by the state where you are residing. It is on the basis of these guidelines that parents need to come to an arrangement on how the child related expenses should be split between both of them. Though it may appear that the allocation of payment responsibilities are simple and fast as far as child related expenses are concerned, certain topics may get overlooked during the planning phase. It makes sense to plan for the future of your child as many expenses come later in their lives.

Costs related to child care and summer activities

The child support payments that you are likely to receive from your ex may not cover expenses related to childcare. So, both the parents should address and manage these costs all through the year. There are several after school childcare or daycare facilities that bill only to one parent. So, both the parents need to share such expenses. You need to keep track of these monthly fees by maintaining proper records so that the shared costs can be managed in a better manner.

Equal division of medical expenses

Many people do not realize that medical expenses can come up from unexpected quarters and so it is imperative that you have a comprehensive payment plan so that conflict with your former spouse can be avoided as much as possible. This plan should include the ways in which your ex and you will handle insurance. It should also outline who will be responsible for paying the premiums. While these minor expenses may seem insignificant initially, when one of the parents has to pay most of them, conflicts and arguments are unavoidable. Medical payments and records are. Racial for the parents so that they can track the payments made. Additionally, there could be certain unexpected incidents that are not planned by the divorced parents. These events may include a fresh prescription, sick days, which could be accompanied by extra costs or emergency situations.

Costs for the present and future education of your children

Both the current as well as future plans for your children’s education should be included in the financial discussion that you have with the other parent.

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

Divorcing And Dating At Age 50 And Older

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmIf you’re getting divorced at 50, dating often comes across as a ludicrous thought. The good news is that more than 60% of divorced people over the age of 50 in California are found to be dating or in a committed relationship.

There are a million factors to keep in mind while dating after you’re 50. And let’s be honest, nobody is getting any younger, so going slow is not really an option. It’s a common notion that men find love with younger women, but, in reality, senior dating is quite healthy and common.

There are a few factors to keep in mind while dating at 50:

Give yourself time to heal

A divorce can most often be very painful and deeply scarring with painful memories to deal with. It’s important to let yourself heal and get a closure with issues you have regarding your divorce. If necessary, consult a therapist to heal those painful memories and give yourself the closure you need to begin your second life.

Check-in your baggage and start afresh

Let’s face it, at 50 you’re bound to have some baggage. You’ve lived an adventurous life so far and it’s a matter of pride to show off your war scars. So, don’t cling onto your regrets as a burden, just write it out as experience. After all, your date out there has a lot to discuss about his too!

So put away that baggage and start afresh. You could just be a 16-year-old going on your first date, except this time, you have a lot more stories to tell.

Make your ex a part of your past

Whether you are still close to your ex or you prefer keeping no contact at all, when you’re dating, keep him/her off the table. You may have repressed a lot of anger and frustration by things associated with your ex, which may give way to reacting poorly over a pet peeve you have with your date.

Focus on having fun

You are dating again for a reason. It’s time to focus on what you want from your relationship. Let your hair down and be honest. Work towards getting a date who is looking for the same from a relationship. And while you’re at it, make sure you have a whole lot of fun!

Go ahead and enter phase 2 of your life!

Dating after a divorce is definitely daunting. Take baby steps and seek the relationship you deserve. Step into the new chapter of life. There’s very little to fear given the immense experience you have with making relationships work. You are entering a new exciting stage of your life. Have some fun and find your soul mate.

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.  

Ways to Help Your Kids Cope After Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmWhen you are going through and also after divorce, here are some ways to be a good parent and limit the adverse impact on your kids due to your divorce:

Should engage in a harmonious co-parenting, which benefits your kids

There are parents who are known to co-parent effectively until the time their kids become 18 years old.  However, there are a lot of events in your children’s lives even after they turn 18 where both you and your ex-spouse need to be involved as parents. Your little ones will be graduating from their colleges one day, get married and become parents themselves. Thus, there will be several such occasions where divorced parents are still expected to continue co-parenting even after their kids become adults. You can get in touch with a reputable parenting coordinator so that an effective parenting plan can be devised to serve the requirements of your children and then, co-parent.

You should not complain about how things are at the home of the other parent. Moreover, do not intervene even if your kids remain awake till late hours at the home of their other parent. Effective co-parenting means to be cool with how your kids are taken care of in their other home and trust that your children are happy and safe while they are at your ex-spouse’s home.

Try to build up a civil relationship with your former spouse

Your kids should not be used as pawns by you to get even with your ex. Moreover, they should be kept out of any type of hurt feelings or problems due to your divorce or marital problems. Every mother and father has a deep influence in the lives of their kids. Children can only become healthy and good human beings when they are positively influenced by both their parents. Moreover, your children should have an equal contract with both you and their other parent even after the divorce. Do not try to alienate your ex where the children are concerned. When you truly love your kids, you need to ensure that they have everything they require though you do not share a good relationship with your former spouse.

You should not express your negative feelings about the other parent in front of the children

Look for an alternative outlet when you want to vent out your grudge and emotions about your ex, your friends, family members are a professional therapist can give you better support than your kids. After all, your kids are definitely not equipped to cope up with your negative emotions.

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 Happens To Property After A Split Between Cohabiting Couples?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

best divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmCohabiting couples are two individuals who stay together under one roof but are not married. Today it has become a trend to stay with each other before getting married and an increasing number of couples are following this trend. During cohabiting, couples accumulate property that is jointly owned by both of them. However, during a split, they have difficulty dividing the property. Property division is a headache even for married couples and can become confusing. Below are some of the factors that help property division for cohabiting couples.

Palimony

Common law marriage is not recognized by California which means that cohabiting couples do not enjoy the same rights as married couples. Cohabiting individuals are however entitled to palimony during a split. Palimony is the division of assets and finances between unmarried and cohabiting couples. Palimony is not part of the state law and depends mostly on an agreement made by the couples staying together. For palimony to become effective, the partner who made the agreement must prove that before living together some sort of agreement was made between the two regarding property division.

Cohabitation property agreement

Creating a cohabitation property agreement is a good idea especially in the beginning of a relationship. This provides a proof that a certain arrangement was made prior to marriage. In such circumstances, none of the individuals in the relationship can make a false claim related to property division. Usually, cohabitation agreements include details about specific assets and to whom do they belong. It also includes bank account, credit card and insurance details. The agreement is a record of property discussions that were made when both individuals were free of tension and stress.

Liability of debts

Unlike in marriage, where an individual can take care of his/her partners debts, unmarried partners are not necessarily responsible for each other’s debt. But if they hold a joint account or if one is the guarantor for the other, debts can be taken care by the other spouse. In most cases, each individual is responsible for their own debts.

Conclusion

Property division is an important issue during divorce and for unmarried couple things can become complicated when they lack proper understanding. There are palimony agreements and cohabitation property agreements that can be used to protect asset and property division. Debts are usually taken acre by each individual unless it is a question of joint account.

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 Watts Charges In A California Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce lawyers in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmWatts charges, also known as Watts credits, is often used in California divorce proceedings. The term was derived from Marriage of the Watts, a 1985 case.

What are Watts Charges/Credits?

A Watts credit is basically a charge that one spouse can make against another for half of a community’s asset in use, post-separation. The Watts charge is basically calculated based on the value attributed to the actual use of the property. For example, if the community asset is a home that one of the spouses is living in, exclusively, then the other spouse can charge the spouse living in the house for one half of the value ascertained for the house. The value in this case would be the use value or the fair rental value of the house in question. Therefore, the Watts Charge will be one half of this fair rental value, and that is the sum that is going to be charged by the spouse.

Exceptions to Watts Charges

There are however some exceptions to the Watts Charge. The Watts Charge cannot be enforced if:

  • The fair rental value of the community asset was already taken into consideration while determining spousal support.
  • The community asset was given as a gift to the spouse
  • The spouses had earlier signed an agreement that negates the Watts Charge

How to prove Watts Charges

In order to prove Watts Charge, the spouses would require an admissible evidence of the value of the asset in use. For example, in the earlier used case of the house/residence, the spouse proving the Watts Charge will need to testify to the fair rental value, monthly, of the residence. Although the spouse can testify himself/ herself, it would be better to have an expert witness testify. This is so as the spouse may not have the subject matter expertise to share their opinion on this particular subject. The kind of expert required to testify, mainly depends on the kind of community asset in question. For example, a residence valuation will require a different expert from that of business equipment or of artifacts.

Watts credits is a complex issue and you should only apply for them when you are sure you qualify to do so. It is recommendable to seek legal counsel with a California divorce advocate and decide on the matter after a private consultation.

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.  

Gray Divorces Can Still Affect The Life Of An Adult Child

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmDivorces are never easy and each divorce has its own set of challenges. Gray divorces have become common nowadays and it has its own problems. Property division is one problem for every individual who divorces after the age of 50. Another problem is dealing with adult children. Adults behave much differently than kids do after their parents’ divorce. Despite being mature enough to understand what a divorce means, adult children often hate to see their parents staying apart. Since their childhood, they have seen both their parents living together and suddenly when they get divorced, the entire environment that they have always known changes.

Ways in which divorces affect them

Families play a huge part when it comes to divorces, especially those involving children. Children look up to their parents for love and support. But when they witness a divorce it deeply affects them. After a divorce, they don’t know whom to turn to for comfort.

Older children understand more about their parents’ divorce than their younger counterparts. They are sick and tired of having everyone explain to them what a divorce is and why it is needed. Moreover, they also understand that after the divorce they have to stay with only one of the parent. Emotionally and psychologically it becomes difficult for them to cope up with this idea.

Adult children have their own way of showing sadness and parents must understand that. They need to give enough time to their kids to cope up with the situation. It can affect studies and academic performance of the children.

Adult children know that a divorce means a change in their lifestyle and this can be tough for some to deal with. After a divorce, they realize that they won’t be seeing their parents together and this means a change in how things were in the house. The lifestyle change can have serious psychological effects on them.

Conclusion

Gray divorces come with many problems but none so big as dealing with adult children. Children are easily affected when their parents split. Adult children see divorces differently than younger children and the effect on them is also different. For some, the effects are very minimal but for some there are serious psychological effects. Parents who are undergoing gray divorce should understand that divorces are not only about them but it is also about their children.

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 Survive A Divorce With Children

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

family law attorney Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmAre you one of those thousands of parents whose marriage is breaking down but also have kids to think of? In such scenarios, the decision to end your marriage is not so simple. After all, most of your family members and close friends have been advising you to continue with the marriage for the sake of your children. But is that the right decision to make? Should you continue with a stressful marriage or will you be happier if you can call quits? Your children will also prefer to come out of continuous bickering and lead a more peaceful life.

There are many children who have witnessed their parents getting divorced and have survived the ordeal. With time, they have got adjusted to their new life. How well the kids will adjust will depend on how their parents handled the divorce and treated them after the divorce came through. Check out the tips below to learn how to come out of a marriage with kids.

You should be frank with your kids 

Though it is not essential for your kids to be aware of the minute details of your divorce and the stressed relationship with your spouse, you should be open about the things that are affecting them. If your kids ask you certain questions, you should lend your ears patiently and try to respond. Try to help them build up their level of confidence during this sudden and new stage of life. Let them know that no matter what happens, you will be always by their side. At times, your children may have concerns. So make them feel completely at ease by creating special moments, making them relaxed and share their worries.

Out of court negotiations are always a better alternative 

Although you and your estranged spouse may not be in the best of terms while your marriage is ending, both of you should make the best possible efforts to ensure that the children have a smooth transition in their life. Your discussions should be conducted in a clear and calm manner on matters like issues related to your children. It is better if you can settle all your issues out of a court.

The key points should be discussed with the children 

In order to ensure that the transition is a smooth one, you and the other parent should present a united front in front of your kids. It is easier said than done since it will be tough for both of you to come to a consensus but your main focus should be your children. Both of you must convince them that getting divorced does not mean that you will love them less. You need to ensure they are aware that your divorce is not their fault.

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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