The Impact of Infidelity in Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediator; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce mediation in Orange County is not usually about the mediator asking the parties the reason for divorce. This is primarily because California is a no-fault divorce state, which makes the parties’ past almost irrelevant as far as mediation is concerned. Yet, there are some situations where the clients are willing to share the reasons of their decision to get an Orange County divorce with the mediators. One of the major reasons that clients share the reasons with their mediators for the ending of their marriage is infidelity.

Infidelity is one of the most fatal blows to a marriage, since it is not only an act of dishonesty, but it is likely to break the other’s trust to almost irreparable level. This is because Infidelity is an act that comes with a lot of emotions. This means that this reason has an impact on divorce mediation like no other reason is likely to do. The most important issue that infidelity creates in the process of Orange County mediation is the lack of trust that it creates. This is an important aspect, since the whole process of divorce mediation is based on mutual cooperation and consensus, and lack of trust is likely to hamper all that.

These dangers and impacts of infidelity on divorce mediation have warranted the introduction of safeguards to handle such situations. They are:

Screening

The first thing to do before the process of mediation starts is to make sure that the client is able to get through mediation or not. This is done through the use of screening. Before the start of the mediation process, the clients have a meeting with the mediator. It is only after the meeting that mediators are in a position to decide if the clients are up for mediation or not.

Full Disclosure

The key to having a healthy and successful divorce mediation process is making sure that there are full disclosures by each of the spouse before the mediation process begins. Full disclosure, simply put, is a declaration by the spouses of their assets, financial position, debts, expenses, and total incomes. The validity of the claims is shown thrown additional documents that are attached with the declaration. This allows regaining the trust of the estranged party on the process.

The Continued Presence of the Mediator

When you have two spouses in the room alone, one who has been cheated on the other and they try to talk, that is more often than not a recipe for a total disaster. To avoid such sticky situations in the mediation process, as it is made sure that the divorce mediator is present in the process at all times to make sure the clients are facilitated in their communications and resolution of their issues.

The Dilemma of Filing for Divorce – First or Second?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsIs it better if I am able to file for divorce before my spouse?

What is the benefit or drawback of filing for divorce first before the other spouse is able to?

These are common questions that people going through a divorce tend to ask their lawyers. Before the answer to that question is given, let’s be clear on something. Divorce is a serious and life changing decision and no one should be rushed into making such a decision. When you come to the conclusion that your best interests lie outside the marriage, only then after careful deliberations can you attempt at getting a divorce.

Now let’s come to the answer of the question, should you file for divorce first?

In our society, filing for divorce is seen in the same sense as trying to pick a fight. The typical thinking for a long time has been that if you are the one who is filing for the divorce first, then you are likely to be the one who wants out i.e. you are the bad spouse. This kind of thinking is what makes most spouses reluctant to file for divorce. Yet, there is another side to the coin too.

If you file first, it is believed that the process is in your hands since you are then going to be the petitioner. Yet, will the judge care about who filed first or second? Can the spouse who files first claim a sort of advantage in the case? The answer to that question is no. However, there are a few exceptions.

The Advantage On Venue Or Jurisdiction Of Filing First

What is the importance of words like venue and jurisdiction? Simply put, they show the power that the judiciary is able to exercise in the case. More often than not, there can be case where both the spouses live in different counties and therefore fall under the jurisdiction of different courts. This is where filing first can be to your advantage. If you are able to file first, your divorce case will be dealt with in your locality i.e. the Orange County and not the other county that your spouse resides in.

The Danger To The Child And Filing First

If you have reasons to believe or it is clear that your children are in danger because of your spouse, the wisest thing to do is to be able to file immediately. In cases where the spouse files first against the spouses who is threatening the children, the courts have discretionary powers to give an immediate sentence for the protection of the children. If you delay the case filing and then claim the danger to your children, the first question you’ll face will be about the delay in filing for divorce.

Filing for divorce first or second is an important decision, but it poses a question has no clear cut answer. If you are clear on your decision, it is best that you file for divorce as soon as possible to keep the marriage from going on unnaturally.

Advice for Divorcing Parents – From a Child’s Perspective

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody mediation Orange County; California Divorce MediationDear Mom and Dad,

Please think of me when you think about getting a divorce. I love you loads but you must remember that I am going to get affected by your decision. I don’t know why both of you can’t get along, but now that you can’t and want to have a divorce, can you at least take a few steps that will help us. I just do not want our family to suffer during this time.

The points I want you to follow in your divorce are:

·         The Present is Important

Taking a leaf out of history will help you, but living in the past and continually dwelling on it is likely to give rise to nothing but hatred and enmity. When and if you keep concentrating on what happened in the past, you are likely to continue to fight with the other parent. The best way to avoid this is to focus on what is at hand, the present, and how you can maximize the situation to everyone’s advantage.

·         Look Ahead to the Future

A divorce can be a bit like the dark tunnel that one sometimes has to go through. There is very little known about how and what the future holds for you. The best way for you in this situation is to look ahead to the future and plan for it all the while the divorce proceedings are going on.

·         Put Yourself In My Shoes

The spouse that you want to leave is also my parent. I love both of you dearly and I want the same from both of you. I would like the love and care of both my parents in their own separate way of course, but I need to be loved by both. I want to spend some time with you and sometime with the other parent so that I don’t miss either one of you.

·         Don’t Criticize My Parent In Front Of Me…Please

You are the world to me, but so is my other parent. I don’t want to have to choose between the two of you and I respect and love both of you. It would be a great gesture from your side if you don’t hurl abuses at my parent in my presence. I know you might be upset, but they are good to me and I love them as much as I love you.

·         Choose a Peaceful Way to get Divorced

I don’t like courts…everybody seems to be arguing, fighting, it’s just too unsettling and uncomfortable. I don’t want to be in that environment. I want you to adopt a divorce method that involves you talking to each other and getting divorced. I have heard that’s called Orange County divorce mediation and I want you to use mediation to settle the divorce.

Love, Your Child

Debunking Divorce Mediation Myths

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsEver since the rise of the process of divorce mediation and its subsequent popularity among couples wanting to end their marriage, a few myths surrounding the phenomenon have also come into being. The leading myth that is attached to divorce mediation is regarding certain types of couples not being able to get the best out of divorce mediation in a way that other couples can. This, however, is nothing but a myth and has no real substance in reality. All kinds of couples can try divorce mediation and be able to get a cooperative, coordinated, and communicated divorce for themselves.

Here is a list of a four of the leading candidates that have been said to be at a disadvantage in regards to divorce mediation and their myths debunked.

People That Have Assets

There is a common myth that people that have assets should avoid Orange County divorce mediation, since the mediation process is unlikely to work efficiently in cases where assets are involved. In reality though, the facts are quite the contrary.

In reality for couples that have significant amount of assets, divorce mediation is likely to be a better option than litigation. Litigation proceedings are long, time-consuming and costly, which will need the spouses to utilize their assets to finance the case. In divorce mediation, however, both the spouses will be able to save tens of thousands of dollars in terms of litigation costs and still be able to amicably agree on the division of assets without an ill feeling involved.

People with Children

Living with divorce parents is unlikely to be an easy experience for the child, yet what is more damaging for such a child is having to see his/her parents fight it out in court and for the divorce to become a long drawn out process. While the myth is that divorce mediation is not effective when children are involved, the reality once again is different. .

Mediation is the best way for parents to end their marriage if children are involved, since mediation allows for amicable, hassle free resolution of issues and disputes.

People that have hired a Lawyer

It is believed that people who have already filed paperwork for divorce in courts and hired an attorney cannot try their hands at divorce mediation. This, however, is not true.

Divorce mediation can be used at any stage by the spouses as long as they are willing to contribute to the resolution of the dispute. The fact that you have hired a lawyer will affect the mediation in no way. If you want, you may ask your lawyer to represent you in the mediation or even keep him/her by your side for help.

People who want to do it themselves

Increasingly, people are trying to save on costs and want to do things on their own. While there have been rumors that mediation is not for people who want to do it themselves, such rumors are baseless.

Divorce mediation is a process that allows the people to be able to represent themselves and even decide the solution among them.

Rebuilding Trust If You Were Cheated On

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorney Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsA large number of couples have looked towards ending their marriage, and get a divorce to begin a new life filled with new experiences. Divorce is one of the hardest emotional experiences for a couple to go through, because it marks the end of a relation that was meant to have lasted forever. This emotional trauma of a divorce is likely to increase more if the reason for the divorce is infidelity. Infidelity is a concept that is looked down upon in most societies. It involves a spouse cheating on his/her spouse by having relations behind their back with someone else.

When a spouse finds out about such activities of the other spouse, the first thing that hits the spouse are the feelings of betrayal, hurt, devastation, and shock. In such cases, where one of the spouses has broken the trust of the other spouse to pieces, it is important that you clear the air with your spouse all the while still getting divorced from him/her.

If reconciliation is not an option for you, the best way for a spouse to end the relationship after infidelity is to participate in Orange County divorce mediation. Divorce mediation is one of the fastest-growing divorce methods. The increase in the number of people looking to solve their issues and absolve their marriage using this process is due to the cooperative and communicative approach used in this method.

It is true that having been cheated on is one of the worst feelings in the world, and the magnitude of the hurt and the anguish cannot be measured by anyone but the person that feels it. That being said, for you to be able to heal yourself of this blow, and to be able to get out of this trauma, you need to have communication with your spouse. Especially if your marriage involved kids, the level of cooperation needs to stay up at all times between you and your spouse and the best way to ensure that is by ensuring that the communication continues and your issues of hurt are resolved.

Tips To Get Over Being Cheated On

  • Try and get as much rest as possible in this time, don’t try to over work yourself to run from the feeling, since it is likely to continue to stay with you for a long time.
  • Make sure alcohol, etc. are avoided.  You need to have as clear a mind as possible.
  • Think about your feelings and write them down. Writing down your feelings will allow you to express them better to your spouse during your divorce mediation sessions.
  • Take some individual time with the mediator (if your spouse is okay with that) or with an independent attorney to try and make sure you are clear on all aspects and are able to seek their advice with respect to your situation.

Can I Kick My Spouse Out Of The House?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediator;s California divorce mediatorsBuilding a relationship based on love and trust is one of the hardest, most arduous tasks in the world, yet it is the breaking of the bond of marriage i.e. a divorce, which can be even tougher. Divorce is one of the last options that couples can turn to when they can no longer save their relationship. The process of divorce, however, in most cases, is likely to take a bit of time with the process going on for weeks or even months in the Orange County family law courts.

In the time between filing a divorce and the decision of the divorce coming, the dealings in between spouses can tend to be ones that have an increasing level of discomfort and uneasiness between the spouses. A situation like that is particularly compounded when through the process of getting an Orange County divorce; the spouses live in the same house.

Thus there are often question asked in this regard by annoyed spouses who can no longer tolerate the presence of the other spouse. They ask whether they can kick their spouses out of the house. That is easier said than done, because in the absence of domestic violence, the court will generally not kick out the other spouse where the parties both own the home.

Here is a lowdown on the answer to that question in a bit more detail:

How to Kick the Spouse Out on Emergency Basis?

To be able to get a good measure of how this is possible, we need to take a look at what the law says in this regard. According to the California Family Code Section 6321, the court can issues and ex parte order that will allow them to exclude a party from a dwelling irrespective of who owns the property as long as the person who has care and custody of the child is being protected by this order.

For such an exclusion to happen though, the court needs to be shown either of the three things to make sure the other spouse is excluded. These three things are:

  • The proof that the property making the claim to oust the other party from the dwelling under the law has the right to possession of the premises.
  • The proof that the party that is being asked to be excluded has threatened or assaulted any other party, or child, with either of the parties.
  • The proof that the presence of this party is likely to result in emotional, mental, or physical harm.

How to Kick the Spouse Out on a Non-Emergency Basis?

The availability of the process to kick the spouse out of the house is not only limited to emergency situations. In non-emergency situations, the process is similar to the one in emergency situations only that in normal situations a threat of violence, mental, physical, or emotional damage still needs to be proven to the judge.

How To Determine If Your Case Is Appropriate For Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California divorce mediatorsThe rate of divorces has continued to go up in the last few decades with couples increasingly looking to end their relations due to issues such as lack of compatibility, understanding, and infidelity. The rate of increase in Orange County divorces has meant that people have now started to look for alternative ways to make sure they are able to end their relationship without having to go to court for settlement. One of the best alternatives in this regard is the use of Orange County divorce mediation.

Divorce mediation is a method of obtaining divorce that is considerably different from the usual method of mediation, since the core of this method is consultation, consensus, and compromise. The use of the three C’s has made divorce mediation one of the most peaceful and easy going way of settling marital disputes and allowing for divorce settlements to be drawn up without rubbing either of the party the wrong way.

Having said that —while divorce mediation is one of the preferable ways for the general public to end their marital relations—, there are a few types of divorce cases that are best left away from mediation. Here is a list of a few of situations where divorce mediation is unlikely to be the best option.

·        Cases Where Physical/Emotional/Child Abuse Is Involved

The concept of mediation cases is to create an environment of harmony between the soon-to-be-ex spouses, so that they are able to sit down and talk their differences out amicably without having to drag the courts into the personal matters of a couple. In domestic abuse cases however, more often than not, it is better for a couple to not use divorce mediation and instead rely on court proceedings. The primary reason for this is that cases that involve any kind of abuse are likely to involve protection orders for the abused spouse or child and full investigation into the claims, these tasks are best left to the courts.

·        If one of the Spouses is bent on delaying the proceedings and not ready to cooperate

More often than not there are tons of cases where one of the spouses is ready for the divorce process while the other is hell bent on trying to stop the other spouse from doing so for a variety of reasons. In cases such as these, it is best for the couples to try and use the courts instead of divorce mediation services. The reason for this is that mediation services are run on the basis of cooperation and commitment, if either of the spouses is disinterested and lacks the necessary will to find a solution; it is likely to be extremely hard for the mediator to try and continue and keep the mediation going in the right direction. The courts however can make sure with the use of their orders that both of these parties are honest and interested in the matters at hand.

Divorce Mediators Adopting the Skills of a Therapist

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange county divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsIt has almost become a cliché for divorce to be sighted as a tormenting experience that leaves an emotional scar on the spouses involved in it. Yet it is true, divorce can be particularly challenging for spouses most of whom are going through the process for the very first time. They say couples have a fear of the unknown when they go through marriages, yet that fear can be diminished by the love and support of each other. When couples go through divorce though, this fear of the unknown comes back to haunt them and their relationship crumbles, which means there is no one to comfort the other.

At this time, spouses often seek refuge with their therapists or psychiatric experts to enable them to escape the emotional torment of a divorce. Orange County divorce mediation has the ultimate goal of being a way through which couples can reach an amicable solution to their divorce with legal standing. Divorce mediations depend on three people and three people only; one is the mediator and the other two are the spouses. Typically, the task of a mediator is to facilitate the couples through discussion, and enable the smooth resolution of affairs.

Increasingly though, mediators have started to adapt the skills of a therapist and its approach and have tried to encompass the therapist’s style of working in their job description as well. Orange County divorce mediators have started to opt for therapy courses and even take part in professional therapy qualifications, in order to make sure they not only cater to the legal side of their clients, but to also help them emotionally.

The job of a typical therapist is to build relationships and emotional connections. Normal therapists are given education, experience and training in aspects that involve dealing with families and their issues. They are often required to have thorough grasp on the lifestyle of a family, in addition to having the ability to recognize the dysfunctional behavior and when they need to be changed through an intervention.

The job of an Orange County divorce mediator, on the other hand, is to break and build relations. The mediator owing to his/her line of work needs to be able to understand the intricacies of the couple’s relationship. When the skills of a therapist are integrated with the mediation skills of a divorce mediator, you are likely to get a complete legal and emotional solution provider. The mediator who has therapy skills will have the legal acumen as well as the ability to encourage, discourage and control the emotions of the spouse from getting the better of them.

Sometimes, divorce mediation processes can become emotionally charged or may reach a level of confrontation that is likely to hurt the overall process. In a situation like this, divorce mediators can act as a breath of fresh air to cool the atmosphere down and make sure the couples reap the best of divorce mediation.

5 Myths about Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsWhen a person decides to opt for divorce, they stand at a cross road of which method to choose to end their relationship. Ending a relationship is hard, which makes this one of the most important decisions that either of the spouse can take in their lifetime. Divorce mediation and litigation are two very different methods. When one thinks of divorce litigation, the focus usually goes to judges, lawyers, courts, and court fees. This is what litigation is all about, yet with mediation, things are very much different. A large number of people aren’t aware of the process of mediation and hence tend to believe in the myths going around.

Here are the 5 leading myths about divorce mediation:

·        Mediation won’t work for us, since it requires couples of amicable terms, and me and my spouse quarrel daily

This is definitely a rumor and is far from reality. Orange County divorce mediators are trained to perform in volatile situations and develop an atmosphere of calmness  around. Divorce mediation is all about having the couples talk it out; there is no such requirement of the couples being on amicable terms. More often than not, divorces are bitter; if amicability was a requirement, none of those divorces would have been successfully and peacefully transitioned to divorce through mediation.

·        I can’t have an attorney if I decide to mediate

Different spouses approach divorce mediation differently. Some like to come alone into the mediation process, while others want their attorney to participate with them. Divorce mediation is made to help the couples have flexible out of court settlements between themselves. This however by no means disallows the use of attorneys. In many cases, spouses do use their attorneys for the mediation discussions.

·        Mediation requires a large upfront payment

This is one of the leading misconceptions that have been doing the rounds regarding divorce mediation. Divorce mediation, just like other forms of mediation, is a process that is affordable. Typically, the mediators are likely to charge you an hourly basis pay with flexibility of timing allowed at your discretion. This allows the spouses to increase or decrease mediation time according to their budget.

·        Children get hurt irrespective of the method of divorce

This is not true. Litigation is a process that encourages competition and pits one spouse against the other, thus enhancing the sense of bitterness between the spouses. This when viewed by the child is likely to affect him/her adversely, while in mediation the circumstances change considerably. Divorce mediation is all about communication and compromises allowing for more cordial spouse relations and hence more peaceful affects on the child.

·        Mediation takes as long as litigation

Quite the contrary to this myth, using mediation allows the spouses to save time. Divorce mediations are purely between the spouses, which means that the amount of time is likely to be less than court cases which have lots of legal procedures, etc. The fact that the parties talk directly to each other allows them fast pace the resolution speed.

A Guide for Divorcing Spouses to Make Informed and Voluntary Decisions

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce rates have been on the up over the past decade or so and the reason for this range from petty to major life changing events. What is more important than looking at the reasons of divorce is to take a look at emotional torment that divorcees have started to cause. Divorce is the end of relationship for the couples; a relationship that they had pledged to stay true to for the rest of their lives. When such commitments are broken, there is sure to be a bad taste and a sting of emotions felt that may range from guilt to anguish to anger.

Make a Smart Choice About How to Divorce

It is because of the severe pain and feelings of torment that increasingly couples have started to choose divorce mediation over litigation. Unlike litigation, mediation is a process that allows the couples to sort the issues out themselves while also having divorce mediators to try and make sure the discussion stays on the right track. The choice of the process of divorce is a particularly important one, since it can decide how you are going to be affected at the end of it, both emotionally and financially.

Orange County divorce mediation, unlike litigation procedures that inculcate a feeling of competition between the spouses, encourages a feeling of coordination, mutual respect, and communication. The longer the divorce takes to come to an end, the more hurt the spouses get. Mediation is one of the fastest methods of dispute resolution, coupled with its low costs and it is real winner. Another important consideration to take into account is the impartiality of the person other than the spouses involved in the procedure. Divorce mediators are neutral and committed to resolving the issues that is in favor of, and acceptable to both the parties involved.

Communication is the Key to Effective Decision-Making

Effective communication is the key to solving a variety of issues. Couples that are involved in divorce mediations need to be at their best in terms of communication capabilities with the other spouse if they are to maximize the potential of mediation. Communication is one of the most important elements in divorce mediation. The couples need to have as much conversation directly with each other as possible and also have the courtesy to listen to the point view of the other spouse.

Orange County mediation warrants the spouses to have detailed communication between them to be able to understand each others’ problems, constraints and factors that govern their decision making. Only then the spouses can have effective communication between them and will they be able to solve the issues and reach an effective conclusion that is acceptable to both.