Mediation Guidelines for Divorcing Parents

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorney in orange county; California Divorce MediationTo most people that have not had a divorce, Orange County divorce seems like one of the hardest most complex legal cases. They believe that the California courts and the Orange County divorce mediation services are enemies of one another, with neither of them accepting the other’s jurisdiction. This however is not the case. The family courts in California have programs that are designed to allow parents to mediate their custody issues to try and solve them out of court.

This is more common in cases of child custody where both parents are in disagreement as to the child custody arrangements. The judge will look to give them a chance at an amicable decision before making up their mind and deciding the case on his/her own. The court of law in California has a few guidelines that it expects divorcing parents to follow when they are looking to get divorced.

These can be things like making sure that the mutual respect between the two spouses is maintained, the spouses listen to each other before deciding on their line of action and most importantly to put the needs of the child above those of anyone else.

In a typical Orange County divorce mediation, the mediator might interview the child, if that would help the parents make up their minds in terms of agreeing on a single parenting plan. While the child will be questioned, it is strict guideline by the court that the approach of the interview must not be one that makes the child choose sides.

While the interviews of the child may be optional, then mediator is likely to interview both parents either simultaneously or one by one in private. According to the guidelines the choice of what type of interview is to be done rests on the spouses/parents. In cases of domestic violence or for couples that have a bitter history or restraining orders, a one by one interview in private works best.

Once the interviews are over the mediator will have a clear picture of the situation, he must then facilitate and encourage the two spouses to converse and sort out their differences amicably between themselves. According to the FSC guidelines the contents of the mediation are generally confidential in Orange County unless ordered otherwise by the court.

While this mediation can be called a type of mediation, it does not enjoy the same freedom as Orange County divorce mediation that is independent of the courts.

The Role of the Mediator in Orange County Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorney; California Divorce MediatorsOrange County divorce mediation is fast becoming one of the leading ways for people to get divorced and end their relationships. The role of mediation has increased in recent years with more and more people looking for an empowered mediation process that is flexible and cheap in its workings.

One of the most important things to note in mediation is the role of the Orange County divorce mediator which is starkly in contrast to the role of the Judge in litigation cases. The job of a divorce mediator is to simply act as a bridge between the two warring spouses and make sure that they are able to reach an amicable resolution.

Here is an outline of the workings of the Orange County divorce mediator from the start of the mediation right up to its resolution.

  • First and foremost, the mediator will sit down with both of the spouses and talk to them about their issues. The mediator will look to identify those issues that you and your spouse have the least dispute on. Once they have been identified, the mediator will make sure that the spouses work on that issue to solve it as soon as possible and get it out of the way.
  • The second and most important part of the mediation stage is the custody and visitation issues. Children are the most valuable assets in a divorce and hence most spouses will have major disagreements at this point of time. The job of the mediator will be to outline a few of the best custody and visitation plans that they can come up with and also highlight to the spouse the differences between joint and sole custody.
  • With the custody matters of the child now out of the way, the mediator will make sure that the couples focus and discuss the issue of child support and spousal support. At this point of time, it is upon the spouse to decide what amount of spousal and alimony support they agree on. The Orange County divorce mediator will simply highlight a few set formulas to determine these numbers if the spouses are finding it difficult to agree amongst them.
  • After child custody and support payments have been agreed upon, the mediator will turn the attention of the spouses to matters of debts and assets. While the decision making authorities will continue to the spouses, the mediator will make sure that each spouse has made full disclosures and is aware of the differences between separate and community property.
  • Once all the issues have been dealt with and agreed upon, the mediator will then draw up a settlement agreement that would contain all the points agreed upon by the spouses. This document once it has been drawn up will be signed by the two spouses to make it official.

Celebrities Turning to California Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorney in orange county; California Divorce MediationDivorce has become something of norm in the society today with people increasingly looking to end their relations irrespective of their long standing associations with one another. Increasingly, the entertainment industry which is popular for its off and on brewing romances is seeing established married couples heading for divorce.

The case of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner has been one of the most popular ones in recent times. Yet there are other cases of celebrities turning to divorce mediation when things in their relationship started to reach a point of no return.

Something that all country music lovers will be aware of is that the wife of one of the leading country singers, Trace Adkins, has filled for divorced. She reportedly demanded a settlement amount that is worth close to $20 million. The huge amount that was demanded in the settlement was one reason, many observers started to believe that the couple would be embroiled in a bitter legal case. Yet, in a matter of months, the lawyer of the performer announced that the couple had agreed on a settlement amicably with each other through an Orange County private mediation.

The attorney of Mr. Adkins was clear on the fact that the agreement had been reached amicably, but was not willing to share any details of the settlement between the two spouses. The mediation settlement that has been concluded and agreed between the two spouse will not be workable until and unless it is approved by the family law court.

The couple had been married for over 16 years, and their marriage bore three children. Trace Adkins has always been one of the household names in the country music industry with his very first album having a platinum debut that had around five hits. Since then, he has gone on from strength to strength in his career having been nominated for a host of Grammy Awards.

According to various media outlets, the spouse of Trace Adkins, Rhonda, asked for primary custody of the children in addition to child and spousal support and then fees of her attorney to be paid. While the terms of both the parties were starkly against the other, the couple during their divorce mediation decided to reach a compromise. The primary reason for them to make a compromise was to make sure that their children were protected from the media glare that comes with high profile celebrity divorce court cases.

The case of Trace Adkins and his wife and how they decided to make sure that their dispute and its resolution remained private is a lesson in Orange County divorce mediation for all of us. It shows how the use of mediation can rescue couples from even the stickiest of situations and the bitterest of conflicts by talking their issues out in the presence of a mediator.

Is There Such A Thing As A “Friendly” Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorney Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsThe emotions usually associated with divorce are hurt, hatred, and bitterness. This is primarily because the most common display of divorce is in family law courts where each of the spouses is ready to fight the other spouse for all possessions. The picture of spouses fighting in courts on everything from asset distribution to child custody etc. means that the general perception of divorce is one of torment, torture, and unforgiving trials.

Divorce not Litigation

Orange County divorce in reality is simply the name given to the legal separation of two spouses from a relationship that they were unable to continue. Divorce does not have to mean hate or torment. There are a large number of ways that divorce can happen, the fact that litigation and court proceedings are common ways doesn’t make them divorce themselves. In reality, there are other methods such as Orange County divorce mediation that are on the rise.

Divorce Mediation – Friendly Divorce

Orange County divorce mediation is increasing day by day in its importance as a means of ending a ,marital relationship. Couples are turning to mediation for divorce because they are looking for a divorce that is able to legally end their relations without invading their privacy after a set limit. Mediation is also a more amicable and cordial way of dealing with the issues that arise out of divorce.

Issues such as child custody, visitation, and spousal support and alimony payments tend to be fiercely fought out in court but can be solved over table talk in mediation. Orange County divorce mediation can be considered the embodiment of the concept of a friendly divorce. A friendly divorce aims to make the process of legal separation between the two spouses more amicable.

In mediation, the Orange County divorce mediator sits alongside the two spouses to make sure that they are able to discuss and dissect hard hitting issues of divorce. While sparks can sometimes fly even in mediation proceedings, it is the role of the mediator to make sure that the discussion doesn’t detract and that a comfortable atmosphere prevails throughout the proceedings.

Traditional vs Friendly

Traditional divorce i.e. litigation is completely different to Orange County divorce mediation. In traditional mediation, the lawyers are representing the two spouses, and their job is not to create a win-win situation, but to make sure their client “wins.”  In comparison, mediation involves only the mediator and the spouses. The mediator will take a lump sum fees at the start of the procedure, has no stake in stretching the duration of the mediation, and tries to create a situation where both parties walk away feeling satisfied over the distribution of assets.

Setting an Example

Often divorces have children involved. When children are involved in a divorce, a friendly divorce becomes much more important since the conduct of their parents will set an example for the child to follow. It is best that whenever you choose to divorce, you choose mediation since it allows you the chance of an amicable, friendly divorce.

Why Mediation is the Preferred Way to Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorney in orange county; California Divorce MediationWhen two parties are unable to sort out their differences and live together while barely tolerating each other’s presence, the best option for such a couple is to look towards the solution of divorce. Orange County divorce is the name given to the method of divorce after separation of two spouses. Divorce tends to involve not only the division and breaking up of what was once a nice and healthy relation. It also ends up dividing the rest of the things that are attached to the couple such as their assets and children.

The Problem with Divorce

Owing to the affinity that people hold with their belongings and their children, divorce can often be one of the hardest decisions to make and stick to. While most spouses are looking to get rid of their spouses, they are reluctant to be exposed to the glare of the general public in the Orange County family law courts. This has been one of the leading reasons that while traditional Orange County divorce continues to be the main means of obtaining a divorce through the courts, there has been a change in the methods of getting divorced.

Alternatives on the Horizon

Increasingly, people are now looking towards alternative dispute resolution methods such as Orange County divorce mediation to make sure that their privacy is maintained. Divorce mediation as a process holds its roots in the concept of alternative dispute resolution that looks to lessen the workload on the courts and allows them to focus on more troubling cases where mediation is not a viable option.

Divorce Mediation

Orange County divorce mediation is a process that is designed to make sure that both of the spouses continue to keep cordial relations with each other. Spouses are allowed to hold their fates in their own hands during mediation, with any agreement at the end of the mediation process requiring both of the spouses to mutually agree on its contents.

This has also been one of the leading reasons that spouses have started to turn to mediation instead of litigation. Since it can offer them a greater level of privacy as well as control over their fate, which otherwise would have rested in the hands of the family court judge.

Effective Legal Separation

Orange County mediation has often been referred to as a method of divorce that is meant to be only applicable and not necessarily legally binding. This means that the prevailing perception is that Orange County divorce mediation is not a proper form of legal separation. This however is far from the truth. Simply put, the courts in California have moved to make sure that mediation continues to lessen their workload. They have through their judgments made sure that Orange County mediation agreements are legally binding and enforceable through courts.

This has meant that couples can now mutually and amicably decide on their fates after divorce and handle personal issues such as child custody, asset distribution and support payments out of the public glare.

Divorce Mediation for the Modern Family

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsAs time goes on, it seems that change is the only constant, and every aspect of life is undergoing a more modern transformation. The rapid speed at which these changes are happening has rendered several segments of the society unable to cope. Therefore, such segments have become incompatible in many regards to these changes. This is particularly true for some aspects of family law.

The Changes to the Family in Modern Times

The scale of changes has meant that divorce laws have started to be questioned by recent developments. A few of these notable changes can be:

  • A generation or so ago, women having full time jobs was not as common as it is today. Now they are working outside of their houses, with many households having not one but two incomes.
  • A few years ago, there were only a few states in the US, one of which was California, which had legalized same sex marriages. Yet, now with the recent decision of the Supreme Court making it legal throughout the US, the family laws such as those of divorce seem incompatible.

Incompatibility of the Law

These changes mean that the scope of the modern family has changed drastically. The California divorce and family laws for example are not meant to handle the complex issues that are arising as a result of these changes.

How do you determine the custody of the child between two same sex parents only one of whom is biologically related to the child? While the child may view both of them as parents, legally only one of them is the real parent owing to biological relations.

In addition, in homes where there are two sources of income one from each spouse, property division can be a serious issue, because neither party would want to settle for a smaller share or a share they don’t feel is proportionate to their contributions.

Mediating the Solution

Instead of using the courts to solve disputes, if we turn to Orange County divorce mediation, the needs of the modern family can be catered to, with decisions made based around common sense, mutual wisdom, and the needs of the family.

If both of the spouses can talk it out and make sure they understand each other’s point of views, Orange County divorce mediation gives them the chance to make a legally binding decision as they see fit, irrespective of its compatibility with the law. This, however, will only be applicable as long as both the spouses are mutually agreeing on the provisions of the agreement.

4 Secrets to Having a Successful Remarriage

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce lawyers in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmTo most people in society and who have gone through a divorce, a divorce is considered as the end of the chapter of one’s married life. This however is not the case. Irrespective of the method of divorce you have gone through, whether it is an Orange County divorce mediation or litigation. Once you have divorced does not meant that you are doomed to be alone and shouldn’t remarry.

As the popular saying goes “The show must go on” so must your life. If you are willing to continue to live your life happily and successfully while keeping your past behind you, there should be no barrier to such a noble thought. In this article, we give you a few secrets that can help you form a successful second marital relation after the setback of the first.

Make Sure Your First Marriage Is Put To Rest

The only way you can build a successful relation in your second marriage is if you have put your first marriage to rest. Putting to rest here means making sure that legally there are no cases pertaining to your divorce and that you are emotionally and financially over your divorce. People who have gone through an Orange County divorce mediation to end their first marriage will usually find this easier to do.

Take A Look Back At The Reasons Of Failure Of The First Marriage

There is a reason that your first marriage ended up the way that it did. Hence you should look back at your first marriage’s mistakes and reasons for divorce and try and make sure they aren’t repeated in this marriage. A first marriage should work as a prototype where you can highlight your own weaknesses and issues and start to work on it for a better future.

Be Sure To Sort The Finances Out At The Start

The financial side of things in second marriages can be tricky with child support payments and alimony payments affecting your finances. As long as that is increasing your finances, it may not be as much of an issue as it would if you are the spouse that has to make these payments. In that case, it is best that you are open with your new spouses and that you talk them through your financial situation to avoid future issues.

Don’t Take The Baggage Of Negativity Into The New Relationship

Unless you have gotten a divorce through Orange County divorce mediation, the fights and the bickering in your divorce proceedings will leave you with a large amount of negativity in you. The key to making a new relationship work is to make sure that the negativity from your previous relationship is not taken out on the new person in your life. The new spouses that you are planning to live with had nothing to do with you previous divorce and you should make sure they don’t bear its brunt either.

The Role of Alternate Dispute Resolution in Orange County Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorney; California Divorce MediatorsThe increasing levels of divorce in Orange County and the rest of the U.S. can be termed as alarming at the very least. The increase in the number of people opting for an Orange County divorce has meant that the system of family law has all the more recently been flooded with cases of divorce to deal with and dispense. These cases of divorce can range from being complex to simple, long trials cases to short agreement affirmation ones.

A New Solution

Irrespective of the type of the case, the Orange County family law court have become the center of all things divorce over the past few decades. The rising number of cases, and the delays in proceedings etc, has meant that people are now looking for easier avenues to settle their divorces in. The search for these easier avenues has meant that newer divorce procedures are being adopted that are both legally compatible and significantly different to court proceedings in their functioning.

Over the years around the world with the rising number of cases and disputes pending in courts, methods of alternative dispute resolutions were developed to cope. These methods of alternative dispute resolutions much like the name suggest are methods of resolutions that do not involve the courts in the process in any which way (except for implementation).

Alternative dispute resolution, much like its use in other areas of law, has increasingly started to be used in the Orange County divorce cases. Before we look at that though, here is a list of few methods of alternative dispute resolution that have been readily used.

Methods Of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Some common dispute resolution methods are:

  • Collaborative divorce
  • Mediation

All these methods of alternative dispute resolutions have and are playing their part to try and lessen the burden on the courts with respect to legal disputes. Among these methods, mediation is the method that is best suited for resolution of cases of divorce.

Divorce Mediation

Orange County divorce mediation is starting to gain a foothold in the avenues of divorce in California. Mediation is a branch of the alternative dispute resolution tree but is significantly different and more cost-effective than collaborative divorce.

Divorce mediation, despite being tasked with trying to lessen the workload of family law courts, is starkly different in procedure and style to courts. Mediation as a process is more about empowerment and freedom to the spouses to be able to reach a conclusion themselves. The role of the Orange County divorce mediator is to facilitate the couples and make sure they are on the right track in terms of their discussions. Unlike the courts which have to decide cases, the mediator is more than happy to take a back seat and let the couples decide their fate on their own.

One of the advantages of using mediation is that any decision taken can be implemented to in courts if there are issues developing later on with the mutually accepted decision.

Advantages of Getting A Prenuptial Agreement in California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top divorce mediators Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsOnce of the leading reasons people get into divorce is because of the monetary windfall the less privileged spouse can get from his/her wealthy counterpart. However, there have been legal methods developed to make sure financial benefits are not a motivator for divorce. One such act is the introduction of a prenuptial, also known as a pre-marital agreement, between the spouses at a sufficient time well before the wedding date.

What is a Prenuptial (Premarital) Agreement?

A pre-nuptial agreement is an agreement that the spouses have prepared weeks or months before the wedding. Simply put, this agreement outlines the number of assets or the percentage that either of the spouses will be entitled to in case of divorce. Such agreements tend to allow the wealthier spouses to keep hold of much of their estate, instead of having to share considerable chunks of it with their spouses.

Advantages of Prenuptial Agreements

Over the years, with the number of wealthy people increasing, the use of prenuptial agreements has become more of a norm rather than an exception. Here is a list of a few advantages of getting into a prenuptial agreement.

·         A Prenuptial Agreement Can Protect Financial Stability

This is the primary reason most people want a pre nuptial agreement in the first place. In cases of divorce that are run and tried for in the Orange County family law courts, the law wants the assets owned by either of the spouse to be shared among both the spouses. This would be a disadvantage to you if you’re the party with the larger number of assets. Once you get into a pre-nuptial agreement though, you are better able to protect your assets.

·         Reduces Unnecessary Conflict

When it comes to divorce cases, there are large number of conflicts that can develop between the spouses owing to monetary disagreements and problems with asset distribution. This not only will stretch the divorce case further, but is also likely to have an adverse affect on the children that are part of the marriage.

When spouses get into a pre nuptial agreement, they are already deciding on the percentage of asset distribution and what each spouses will be entitled to after divorce. Once a prenuptial agreement has been signed, both the spouses will be aware of their worth and the assets that they will have a control over if the relationship ends. Knowing this would not only deter the divorces done to gain ample money for them but also help in little asset distribution conflicts among spouses in family law courts.

Protecting your Assets in Divorce without a Prenuptial Agreement

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Premarital agreement orange county; California Divorce MediatorsMost California and Orange county divorce cases have assets at the core of the fight between the two spouses. The importance of assets to each of the spouse is paramount since the word assets is used to describe all kinds of properties, personal, commercial, and even business stakes. The reason both spouses are willing to give their all in divorce cases is because they are looking to have the largest amount of assets for themselves.

Increasingly, spouses have started to get into pre-nuptial (premarital) agreements to make sure that their assets are protected from that dreaded day in divorce court. Some spouses however cannot agree on pre-marital agreements to have their assets protected. Here is a list of a few other options that such spouses can use to make sure their assets are protected despite not getting into a pre marital agreement.

Make Sure You Keep Your Funds Separate

This step is fairly simple and will allow you to escape lots of complexities in your divorce case moving ahead. If you have separate funds that belong exclusively to you, and were in your possession before you got married, make sure you keep the money that you had prior to your marriage in an individual account. This will allow it to be easily distinguished from the joint assets.

Separate Your Separate Property

One of the most important things in the assets category tends to be property. Property is often the most valuable of all assets and therefore will be fought over with the most commitment by the spouses. The best way to make sure that you protect the property that you have had in your possession even before the marriage is to keep it separate from your joint property with your spouse. This is trickier than handling separate funds.

If you have separate property that belonged to you even before you got married, the best way to keep it away from your divorce proceedings is to manage all its expenses from money from your pre marriage wealth exclusively. Any use of mutual funds to pay off the properties recurring expenses could drag what should have been your exclusive property into your Orange County divorce proceedings.

Making A Trust To Protect Assets

One of the easiest ways you and your spouses can protect their assets is by creating a trust before marriage. A trust will mean that there is a clear determination by the spouses to keep some parts of the property separate. When a trust ownership is involved in assets cases of divorces, judges will be more willing to accept that the spouses intended to keep certain aspects of the assets separate from the division.