How To Change Your Name Through California Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIf you are in the process of getting divorced, and prefer to revert back to the name you had before your marriage, it is possible to do so during or after the divorce. This process is generally a simple one. In case you have children, do keep in mind the impact which your decision to change your name will have on them. There is a greater chance that the children will continue to use the last name of the father post completion of divorce

Option #1: If divorce is already final and granted in California

You must complete the following steps in case the divorce is final or granted in California:

  1. Do contact the county court clerk where the divorce case is filed.
  2. Provide court clerk your case number, date of order or judgment or filing and case name. If it is possible, include copy of “Notice of Entry of Judgment (Family Law-Uniform Parentage-Custody and support) Form FL-190.
  3. Complete the “Ex-parte Application for Restoration of Former Name After Entry of Judgment and Order (Family Law) Form FL-395. Do include self-addressed return envelope complete with stamp if required.

The court generally processes the paperwork within a span of two to four weeks. If you are unsure about the time, do ask the clerk working at your local court for a time estimate. In case of any queries, ask your lawyer.

Option #2:  If divorce is not yet completed

  • In case you are getting a divorce in California and the process has still not been finalized, then it is possible for you to request the court to restore your earlier name. The best time to request this at the time of submission of divorce proposal (Form FL-180).
  • In case you wish to change your name to something else other than the original name, then you must follow steps to file “Petition for Change of Name”.

Option #3:  Petition for Change of Name in probate court

The court will take three months after you file the Petition for Change of Name the probate court, not family court. This involves a number of steps. You file the petition at first. After you do that, you will receive court date which can be six to 12 weeks later. You should meticulously follow all the needed steps. After your request is approved by the court, a “decree” or court order will be sent to you changing the name. Do understand that a few courts are busier than others and the process can be a little longer. The application could be tweaked a little if your name confirms your new gender identity, or in any other special situations. You must make sure you have read and understood everything.

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.  

3 Things You Must Know About Child Support

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child support attorney Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmAs you and your spouse are all set to divorce one another, one crucial consideration that both of you have to make is how your kids will be looked after you part ways. Here are a few things that you should know about child support.

Financial support for the kids

If you have dependent kids, you and your spouse must support them financially according to the requirements made by the law. As long as parents live together in a marriage, both of them support their children together. But when the couple divorced, they often are in an arrangement according to which a kid lives mostly with only one parent.

The parent with whom the child lives is referred to as having got the custody of the kid. Such an arrangement for children can be documented in a court order, which us known as legal custody at times or in their separation agreement. But the arrangement can also be decided without any court order or documented agreement. This is at times known as “de facto” custody. Whatever may be the way the agreement is done, the parent who has the custody has the primary responsibility for taking care of the child on a day-to-day basis and for incurring the ordinary expenses needed for bringing up the child. However, the other parent needs to help with such expenses. He or she can do so by giving money to the ex-spouse who has the child’s custody. This is what is popularly called child support.


A parent refers to biological father or mother, a step-parent or even an adoptive parent. A step-parent who once got married to a person with kids and has demonstrated an intention to consider those kids as members of her and his family is considered as a parent too.

Whose responsibility it is to pay for child support?

It is a legal responsibility of all parents to provide support for their dependent kids as much as it is in their capacity to do so. A parent who has been awarded the custody of the children by court typically had to incur a majority of the daily expenses for raising the kids. He or she may be eligible to get child support from the other spouse. The court may allow this child support to continue even in certain cases when the custodial parent decides to remarry or lives with a different person.

How much amount will be pride to the parent with custody is typically decided on the basis of the guidelines for child support. Sometimes both the parents may have the legal responsibility to pay for child support for the same kid. For instance, in case a parent who got the custody decides to separate from their common-law spouse who is not the biological parent of the kid or marriage, the other birth parent of the child and the said step-father could have a legal obligation to pay for the support of the child.

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 Psychology of Cheating

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmDesire is the main cause of misery, said, Gautama Buddha. However, is desire a reason enough to break a marriage? According to psychology, no individual willingly wants to do the wrong thing. We all have a conscience and we all know cheating is bad? Then why do people do it? More than 90% of married people believe infidelity is wrong. Yet, 30%-40% marriages in California end in divorce due to infidelity. Science believes there are psychological reasons behind why this happens.

Individual reasons

People always try to justify their actions. The reason the saying ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ stands good is because people assume their actions are justified. A person when commits infidelity justifies his/her actions to convince himself/herself that he/she did right. Like a smoker, when he/she says his/her uncle smoked 20 packs a day and lived to be 100, a cheater minimizes the significance of his/her actions.

Men are proven to attempt infidelity due to the increased levels of testosterone in their body. At the same time, women tend to rely more on emotional thinking and therefore are led towards infidelity.

Situational reasons

A person might not necessarily be inclined to having an affair, but situations and environmental circumstances often amount to cheating. In few cases, people have found to commit infidelity as a form of seeking a thrill in their life. In others, they seek the emotional or physical void in their present relationships, leading to divorces.

In certain situations, dissimilarities among the couples lead to an inclination towards infidelity. In cases where one partner has a higher paying job, is more successful or more educated than the other, infidelity is common. This gives rise to a sense of superiority and the idea of the two individuals not being of equal level, giving rise to the dissatisfaction that can cause an imbalance.

Staying away from divorce

Communication is key in most cases. Communicating one’s perspective on infidelity and reinforcing the idea maintains a reality check for both partners.  Defining boundaries as a couple defines the meaning of infidelity which often fades due to self-justification. Ensuring that your partner communicates his/her needs from the relationship helps cater to those specific needs. Tackling infidelity is an intricate process and re-establishing trust and understanding will help save your marriage.

If you are facing infidelity, consult a therapist and try couple’s therapy. Leave divorce as a last resort if the mistakes can’t be resolved. Once you have decided to go ahead with the divorce, make sure that you hire the best Orange County Divorce Attorney/Orange County Divorce Mediator.

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.

4 Tips for Successful Co-Parenting

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmFor many couples, a custody battle is a big headache and they try to avoid it as much as possible. For this reason, many settle for joint custody arrangements. However, even joint custody arrangements can become maddening and exhausting, especially for couples who have had a strained relationship.

There are divorces where neither of the spouses wants to be fully responsible for the child. It usually happens when both parents are working and none have the entire day to look after children. For such parents, co-parenting is a great option but sometimes even that can become tough. If you are one such individual, then here are some tips that will help you with your co-parenting.

  1. Collaborate with your ex

The best way for parents to make co-parenting successful is to collaborate with each other and focus on the needs of the child. Having a bitter relationship with your ex can cost you a lot financially and emotionally. According to recent reports, children who witness bad divorces are more likely to be affected by anxiety and depression among other problems. Costs can also be shared equally and the burden of responsibility gets lessened.

  1. Create a plan

Creating a long-term plan always works when you don’t know how to go about co-parenting with your ex. Have a talk with your ex and let him/her know what you intend to do for the child in the next 10 years. Your plan should include basic requirements like education, school or college, nourishment, health and shelter. It should also include family time as it contributes to a child’s growth.

  1. Communicate effectively

Ineffective or low communication is probably the reason why you and your partner are not together anymore. Set aside your differences and talk to your ex about your child’s future. Communication often helps one understand the problems faced by the other person and how it can be solved.

  1. Share things equally

Co-parenting is all about sharing everything equally between two people. It includes responsibilities, costs, time and problems. Equal sharing takes a certain amount of load from each of the parents’ shoulder and allows them to focus on important things related to the child.

Co-parenting is never easy and for some it is challenging. However, effective communication and collaboration can have magical effects. Additionally, you should create a plan and work towards your child’s needs. Sharing everything, which is part of co-parenting, makes the job easier.

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

Financial Tips You Need For Sailing Through Divorce Smoothly

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThey say time is the greatest healer and the wounds of your failed marriage will also get healed with time. Sound and professional advice from an Orange Country divorce attorney can help you to understand the process of a divorce in a much better way. Guidance from a professional therapist on the other hand can help in reducing the emotional scars left after your breakup. When you understand the divorce process thoroughly, this major transition in your life will be easier to handle. Having said so, check out some of the following financial tips to sail through your divorce process smoothly.

  1. Familiarity with the divorce cost is highly crucial
    There could be wide variation in the divorce costs depending on case to case. If you are well-off and do not have a prenuptial agreement in place, your divorce expenses may shoot up drastically. The reason for this is you will have to spend for a forensic accountant or hire several divorce experts to help your case. It could be also possible that you have started a business quite recently while you were still married and your spouse may become eligible to fifty percent of the total business worth according to community property laws of California. When you do not have any significant assets or minor children from your marriage, your divorce case can be a straightforward one. But when you are one of those parents who is anticipating a battle for child custody, you should understand that if your divorce is more expensive, you will have less money to look after your kids. When a custody battle simply drags on for months, it is possible that you may end up spending more money out of your kid’s college savings.
  2. You should be ready for a situation where you will need to pay alimony
    In case you have been the primary breadwinner in the family whereas your spouse stayed at home for many years for carrying out the domestic responsibilities, the court may direct you to pay alimony to the other party. However, it is not assured since in California, spousal support is typically awarded for 50 percent of the duration of the marriage. The exception is when the marriage was of long duration that is considered as 10 years or more. In case your marriage lasted for 10 years or more than that period, the court may award spousal support without any end date to it.
  3. Prepare a budget for post-divorce time
    Usually, men have a tendency to worry about paying the various expenses related to a divorce like spousal support, child support and attorney fees, However they overlook saving for their personal expenses like health insurance, housing, food, vehicle loan, gym fees and so on. On the other hand women can become extra comfortable and dependent on spousal support though there is no certainty whether the court will award them that or not. Rather than anticipating spousal support, it makes sense for the women to plan how they will support themselves financially after the divorce is finalized.

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

Tips To Have Healthy Communication with Your Former Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmDo you have children from your marriage to your former spouse!  If the answer is yes, then it is extremely important to maintain a civil and courthouse relationship with your former husband/wife. It is quite necessary that the parents hide their differences and work for their children’s welfare.  In case there is resentment within you or proper communication does not exist with your ex-spouse, you will not lose anything. Rather your kids can be impacted negatively.

There are several such studies that prove divorce does not damage the kids. Rather parents who are irrational after they part ways may damage their mental states. So, try not to be a parent like that. When you put efforts to creating a productive and dress relationship with the other parent, the healing process will be after getting both the involved parties and it will be easier for you and your children to move ahead in life. The following tips are useful to keep your negative emotions toward your former spouse at bay.

Define clear-cut boundaries and try to stick to them

You should communicate with one another properly and establish proper boundaries and scopes for the responsibilities you need to carry out in the lives of your kids.  Both of you need to understand that you should value your relationship with each other for your children’s sake and hold that relationship in high regard. When you define proper boundaries about your co-parenting relationships after the divorce to move forward, it will help in creating a positive atmosphere, which will help to alleviate the stress and tension of coping up with issues related to child custody and visitation

Consult a good therapist

Are you having a tough time while discussing crucial issues related to your kids? It is better to take guidance from a third and unbiased party in such scenarios. So do not hesitate to approach a therapist, a friend or a clergy who is close to both you and your spouse.  When your former spouse is not willing to be a part of it a therapy after the divorce, you should go ahead alone for it. The conflict between both of you can reduce when you learn new and important skills and know ways of responding to situations, which may trigger a conflict. You can learn how important it is when you do not engage in a conflict with your ex-spouse and how to control your emotions of you want to retaliate when provoked. It is important to forget your past so that things go smooth in the future.

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

What Happens To The Company You Run With Your Spouse After Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County Divorce Attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmMany married people did not even think in their wildest dreams that would get divorced one day. This is especially true when the spouses work with one another. Irrespective of what decision you arrive at, these are some of the important things you need to sort out in your business while your divorce is underway.

You need to be clear about creating divisions between emotional, financial and legal issues

Any divorce is not just a legal split between married couples. When both of you are working together, you should be serious about sorting out ways of dealing with your business, any kids you may have from your marriage and finances in the best possible manner. More importantly, you should make it a point, to begin with segregating these issues, desirable outcomes and needs.

When you are on the verge of coming out of your romantic relationship, there is a tendency seen to let personal concerns complicate the business relationships. So take some time to establish what your specific requirements and desirable outcomes are in different areas with distinct and concrete plans and goals.

Do not be on the journey all alone

Though you may be somewhat prepared now to receive financial and legal aid, remember that it will be a great morale booster when you have some people by your side to support you emotionally. Some experts even recommend counseling. In case you and your former spouse continue to work together but raking up emotional issues from the past in your work, it can be quite tough to manage a business effectively. It is recommended that you form a team comprising of professionals, family, and friends who can help you to get over your emotional and psychological dilemmas.

Take a break from your work

Irrespective of how amicably you parted from your spouse after the divorce. There is bound to be a transition period. So, take some time off from whatever you had been doing previously and try to introspect what you actually want, rather than acting on an impulse and trying to stick together stubbornly or breaking up your business. After all, time does heal everything.

Your roles need to be defined

Not only does your relationship need refining after the divorce, but you should also embark upon drawing clear boundaries around your various responsibilities and roles at work. Proper identification of the task each person will be doing needs to be properly defined. This will facilitate in ensuring that you do not give to micromanage one another.

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.  

Misconceptions About California Spousal Support

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmMany couples facing divorce in California have certain false notions ingrained in their minds related to spousal support (alimony) payments under the laws of California. Check out some of the most common misconceptions about spousal support payments below.

# 1: Receiving alimony payments is a compulsory right

You need to realize that it may not be mandatory for your former spouse to pay you alimony while your marriage gets dissolved or during proceedings of legal separation. In fact, the reverse may be true. The final discretion lies with the courts on whether to direct for spousal support or deny it altogether. There should be a cautious consideration and evaluation of the legal factors to assess whether the earning capability of both the involved parties are sufficient to continue with the same standard of living as they had while their marriage was intact. It should be done before a court denies or orders spousal support. Some of the factors that are considered by the court for making a decision are as follows:

  1. How much contribution was made by the supported party for attaining an education, a career position, a license by the said supporting party or training.
  2. The degree to which the future or present earning capacity of the supported party is impaired due to the unemployment periods, which were incurred while the marriage was on so that the supported party could spend time to discharge domestic responsibilities.
  3. The supported party’s marketable skills and the job potential for those skills.

Other factors that the court must consider are as stated in California Family Code section 4320.

#2: A computer program can determine the “permanent” (long-term) spousal support amount to be made

You should know that a computer support program used to determine temporary spousal support and child support such as DissoMaster or Xspouse cannot determine how much alimony payment you should receive long-term, i.e. beyond your divorce.  After all, Family Code section 4320 must be considered by the court to ascertain the amount of spousal support. The misconception originates from the knowledge that computer programs, which enable a judge to calculate child support and temporary spousal support has a function for determining, long-term spousal support too.

#3: Spousal supported is assured for life after ten years

Just because you are married for 10 years or more does not guarantee that the other party has to pay you spousal support indefinitely or for life.  The spouse receiving support has to make efforts to become self-supporting.  A marriage of more than 10 years in California simply means that the court has continuing jurisdiction over the issue of spousal support but the circumstances of each case during the marriage and afterwards play a big role in determining how long spousal support payments may be.

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.  

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Filing For Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmYour marriage is crumbling and you are in a big dilemma. It could be possible that you are the person to finally decide whether you should split or stay together. Alternatively, it is likely that your spouse told you that he or she wants a divorce from you.

There are many articles or sources that unfortunately make the assumption that when a couple has stated they want to split, both of them are prepared for a divorce, However, many divorce coaches and professional therapists will tell you that it may not be true for many of the cases that they have come across in the course of their careers. Typically, when a couple initiates the divorce process, it is possible that one or both of them may not be completely prepared for their divorce. The decision for procuring a divorce can be one of the most critical decisions for a couple to arrive at since its consequences can continue for their entire lifetime or for several years. The decision is so crucial that needs a higher level of attention than is typically given by the professionals or the concerned couples.  Here are some questions to ask yourself before taking the final plunge:

Are you still attached to your spouse emotionally?

Many couples are found to declare their intention of a divorce though they may still nurture strong feelings for one another. However, they have been going through a power struggle in their relationship leading to a lack of closeness and intimacy. If it is the same case for you, it will be better to work with your spouse on your relationship before calling it quits, or else your feelings of agony and loss may get the better of you and you are likely to be more miserable once your divorce comes through.

Are you simply threatening your spouse or really prepared for divorce?

A spouse may often threaten divorce, particularly when there are heated marital arguments. Check out some of the following reasons:

  • A serious wake-up call hinting that the marriage could be faltering
  • Out of frustration and fury
  • You want that it is time your partner takes you seriously and you are looking for a real change
  • To acquire control and power over your spouse so that you can make them see your perspective

What is your key reasons why you might want a divorce?

If you possess any other agenda apart from splitting, it is a hint that you are yet to be ready to go for a divorce. In case you are nurturing a hope that your partner will change through the divorce and be nicer to you, you should recognize how much hurt you can cause by taking such a drastic step.  Consider marital counseling first.

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.  

Advice for Stay-At-Home Mothers Facing Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

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

Tip 1: Get in touch with an experienced financial advisor

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

Tip 2: Consult a good accountant

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

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

Tip 3: Get your house appraised

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

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


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