The Importance of Financial Disclosure in Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsFor most couples that have been part of a divorce, finances and declaration of the financial situation of the spouses is vital to the mediation process. All through this blog, we’ll talk about why financial declaration is vital for couples to carry out.

A divorce mediator should help their clients complete their Preliminary Declarations of Disclosure forms before the mediation process begins, which includes the Schedule of Assets and Income and Expense Declaration forms.   For those of you who are wondering about the importance of these forms and the reasons as to why they are filled, here are a few answers that will help you out:

If you neglect to properly complete your Financial Disclosure, your Agreement can be nullified

California divorce mediators want the couples to have an agreement at the end of the mediation process. This agreement should be fair and equitable to both parties so that it can be adjudged as legal in the Family law courts.  According to the Section 2107(d) of the California Family Code, a judge can set aside any such agreement if there hasn’t been complete financial disclosure. Mediation and sorting your issues out can be a strenuous and tedious task. Nobody wants a simple mistake like non disclosure to destroy their mutually agreed on terms.

It can be a calming influence

Going into divorce is just like going into a dark room. There is a considerable amount of uneasiness and stress underlying in the minds of both the spouses. The most important reason for this is usually the uncertainty over financial security and wellbeing. The best way to avoid such situations and make the divorce easier is by getting the couple to talk about their finances candidly. A good Orange County divorce mediator will make sure financial disclosure is the first thing couples go through  so that calmness and certainty can prevail.

A bed rock for Cooperation

Divorce mediation unlike litigation requires harmony, peace, and collaboration between both the parties in order to be fruitful and beneficial. Transparency and good faith are the roots of an effective California divorce mediation. This transparency and good faith can only be achieved when the couples are open about one of the personal aspects of someone’s life, i.e. their finances. If each spouse is upfront and honest about their finances, there will be a greater cooperation and team work among the divorcing couples.

Makes your decisions better

What is the key to a good decision? Information! The more knowledge you have about something, the higher the chances of you making a better decision. Financial disclosure allows the couples this leverage of information. The more they know about each other’s financial positions, the more equitable an agreement they’ll agree on regarding financial security.

Love and Life After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsThe process of divorce can be bitter more often than not. When the time comes for couples to end a relationship that they had willingly wanted to pursue, emotions can sometimes get the best out of them and lead to a hateful attitude between the spouses. For example, when a couple that has been married for a very long while finally separates, there is likely to be a strong sense of betrayal and disloyalty between them.

It is important for couples who are going through an Orange County divorce, or want to go through with it, to know that divorce isn’t only just between the two spouses. It has a far greater affect on a large number of people from both the families. Your divorce will determine the reactions of your family and friends. A bitter divorce that is full of mudslinging, accusations, and resentment will mean that the separation of the two families will become as bitter as the divorce itself.

There are two ways for a couple to end their marriage and seek divorce. One is through the litigation process in courts and the other through California divorce mediation. In litigation there is always the sense of competitiveness and rivalry which, when coupled with the tensions in the divorce, can become an almost unbearable volcano of emotions. Divorce mediation, on the other hand, is considerably different. Orange County mediation is built on the principle of cooperation and peace among the spouses. California divorce mediators are trained to facilitate and promote harmony among the spouses and encourage them to settle their differences through discussions.

Love is an important part of one’s life. According to most poets and intellectuals, it is an expression of the human side of a person. As such, love is an important component in any couple’s life. Yet classifying love to only exist between the two spouses is unfair. Love is a feeling of admiration which during a marriage is bound to exist between the couple and their families. The sense of togetherness and oneness are all signs of mutual admiration between the couple that shows that love exists.

After divorce though, for most couples their bitter end means that the feeling of mutual admiration and love almost seems to evaporate. How can this fate be avoided? Choosing Orange County divorce mediation will help you facilitate and experience an end to a relation that is amicable and not bitter. If the end of relationship is amicable, the mutual admiration between the spouses will continue.

The Many Costs of Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsSome parties come to divorce mediation in Orange County and elsewhere because of the cost advantages of this process over litigation. This is a valid reason since divorce mediation is considerably more cost-efficient when compared to litigation as there is no need for two separate attorneys and court fees.  As such, the financial considerations are understandably the reasons why people come to divorce mediation. There are, however, other costs as well that justifies considering divorce mediation over litigation.

Cost of Emotions

This isn’t a monetary expense, yet it is a heavy cost that most couples have to pay in the litigation process.  Mediation, on the other hand, is your chance to significantly minimize the emotional costs. Why? Good Orange County divorce mediators are adept at handling the emotional side of divorces and will be good comforters to you. Unlike the aggressive court proceedings, here the mediator will tend to keep a tab on emotions and make sure the mediation is carried out in a peaceful and calm manner. When you are emotionally charged, especially if you have kids,, breaking down emotionally isn’t an option. A good divorce mediator will act as a calming influence in your life and help you get through the rough patch unscathed.

Lack of Attendance on Job/Business

This is a monetary expense just like the financial costs. In court cases and litigation processes, each spouse will have to make court appearances. These court appearances can range from a few to many, as all hearings are usually necessary to attend. The hearing is scheduled after seeing the availability of the judge and both the spouses’ attorneys. This means that the spouses will have to attend the hearings on the date set irrespective of their schedule. In most cases their job and their business will be neglected on such days, and this can be really costly. In contrast, in divorce mediation, the dates for the process are set according to the availability of both the spouses and are flexible to change.

Out-of-the-Blue Financial Hardships

Starting a divorce through an attorney means that each spouse has likely paid an initial retainer fee. The retainer fee is the advance of all the meetings and calls that the attorney will have and charge at an hourly rate. However, it is common in court cases for clients and attorneys to contact one another multiple times. This means a spouse is likely to have very high legal fees.  A spouse may also be needed to pay extra amounts for accountants and other experts that are called in to help resolve the case.

An Introduction To How Divorce Mediation Works (PODCAST)

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce Mediators

Welcome to California Divorce Mediator’s PODCAST offering an introduction of how divorce mediation works. 

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Some Hard Facts About The Current Divorce Process In The United States (PODCAST)

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Welcome to California Divorce Mediator’s PODCAST explaining some of the hard facts and harsh realities about the current divorce process in the United States.  

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Love, Family & Life After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsThe process of divorce can be bitter more often than not. When the time comes for couples to end a relationship that they had willingly wanted to pursue, emotions can sometimes get the best out of them and lead to a hateful attitude between the spouses. For example, when a couple that has been married for a very long time separates, there is likely to be a strong sense of betrayal and disloyalty between them.

It is important for couples who are going through an Orange County divorce, or want to go through with it, to know that divorce isn’t only just between the two spouses. It has a far greater affect on a large number of people from both the families. Your divorce will determine the reactions of your family and friends. A bitter divorce that is full of mudslinging, accusations, and resentment will mean that the separation of the two families will become as bitter as the divorce itself.

There are two ways for a couple to end their marriage and seek a divorce. One is through the litigation process in courts and the other through California divorce mediation. In litigation there is always the sense of competitiveness and rivalry which, when coupled with the tensions in the divorce, can become an almost unbearable volcano of emotions. Divorce mediation, on the other hand, is considerably different.  Divorce mediation is built on the principle of cooperation and peace among the spouses.  Divorce mediators are trained to facilitate and promote harmony among the spouses and encourage them to settle their differences through discussions.

Love is an important part of one’s life. According to most poets and intellectuals, it is an expression of the human side of a person. As such, love is an important component in any couple’s life. Yet classifying love to only exist between the two spouses is unfair. Love is a feeling of admiration which during a marriage is bound to exist between the couple and their families. The sense of togetherness and oneness are all signs of mutual admiration between the couple that shows that love exists.

After divorce though, for most couples their bitter end means that the feeling of mutual respect almost seems to evaporate. How can this fate be avoided? Choosing Orange County divorce mediation will help you facilitate and experience an end to a relation that is amicable and not bitter. If the end of relationship is amicable, the mutual respect between the spouses can continue.

How Divorce Mediation Saves Your Family From Financial Ruin (PODCAST)

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Mediators Orange County; California Divorce Mediators

Welcome to California Divorce Mediator’s PODCAST explaining how divorce mediation can save the financial future of your children and your family.

Play

Advice On Effective Communication With Your Spouse From A Divorce Attorney

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange-County-divorce-mediators; California Divorce MediatorsMost fights and disagreements in a relationship usually start by verbal tirades against one another. Effective communication is vital for the health and success of a relationship. Communication, however, can’t be limited to either verbal or non verbal. The cause for most fights is a lack of effective communication.

Imagine someone is saying something pleasant to you and you start to give them an angry stare. The other person is likely to feel perplexed and confused. This shows how verbal communication needs to be coupled with non verbal communication to fulfill the goal of communication.

Here are a few tips on effective communication with your spouse so that you avoid fights and disagreements in your relationship that can ultimately lead to a divorce.

1. Be Crystal Clear

When you are communicating with your spouse, you need to speak your mind clearly. If you talk fast, you need to go a little slow and if you are hard to comprehend, you need to repeat it multiple times so that there are no misconceptions that are left after your message. While most people find it annoying to repeat themselves again and again, it is unavoidable at times. You have to realize that the effort you are putting into effective communication is never in vain.

2. Own Your Thoughts

Very few people have the ability to judge the feelings that sometimes creep into you. To be good at communication, you need to have a clear head and for that you need to know what you are feeling and take clear stances on what you like or dislike. If you think during a discussion that something is not right, you should not compromise and agree to it, instead you should say what is in your heart. If you do not speak up, your emotions will get bottled up and will increase your chances of a meltdown.

3. Be Expressive

Bottling up your feelings will always be harmful to you one way or another. The key to effective communication is saying whatever you feel like saying. If you have underlying feelings of discontent, they are likely to show on the non-verbal communication front. Even if the feelings are of love and appreciation, make sure they are expressed to make your partner feel valued.

4. Be All Ears

Any relationship is a two-wheel drive and for the car to function properly both the wheels need to be on equal footing. Being an effective communicator is going to take you far, but to go the distance, your communication skills and your ability to be a good listener should be polished. Relationships are about understanding one another and the best way to do that is to listen to the other person.

How Sexual Orientation, Religion And Handicap Affect Child Custody

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange-County-child-custody-attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsIn a child custody case, people sometimes wonder if a parent’s sexual orientation, physical handicap, or religious beliefs have an impact or effect on child custody.

Sexual Orientation

It is fair to say that Orange County, California has been known as having residents often with conservative beliefs. It is widely known that the officials, elected representatives, and courts have traditionally leaned towards conservative views. Yet, does it play a role in determining child custody? Since 1998, the Courts in California have held that homosexuality of a parent cannot be a determining factor alone in a child custody case. The judges in the courts deem heterosexual or homosexual behaviors irrelevant to the child custody because child custody depends on the betterment of the child. Unless the sexual conduct poses any real threat to the child, it is regarded as the parent’s private matter.

Religious Practices

This is another factor that is more a myth than a factor. Orange County family law courts are not allowed to deny custody or visitation to any parent because of their religious beliefs. There is, however, one condition. If the religious beliefs pose a threat to the child, that may be a reason against granting child custody to that parent. Courts are also open to let parents talk to their children about their practices as long as the religious practice involves no kind of illegal activity. The courts follow these rules because the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment protects the religious beliefs of the individual.

Physical Handicap

Can physical disability of a parent be used as a means or argument to stop the child custody being awarded to someone? That’s definitely not the case.  Disability can be considered in combination with other reasons to decide child custody issues, but only basing child custody decisions on disability is forbidden. The thing that courts have to consider is whether the parent can care for the child or not. If the parent, despite his/her disability, can care for the child, there is no reason for the court to not grant him or her child custody.

Who Really Needs To Know About Your Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce-mediation-Orange-County; California Divorce MediatorsFeelings of guilt, shame, disappointment, and fear of the unknown are common in people who are going through or have gone through a divorce. When a relationship starts to fall apart, the dreams of the couples are shattered causing most couples to feel like a failure while others may make themselves immune of whatever is happening around them by acting as uninformed. While such feelings are bound to exist, and are normal to experience, the news of your Orange County divorce needs to be told to a few people. Here are a few of the people who you should tell about your divorce.

Family

When we say family, we mean your immediate family. These consist of your children, your parents, and you siblings. The most important part is telling your children because this decision will have an ever lasting impact on their lives. Making sure you tell them in a way that they understand is vital. While they are being told about this decision, there has to reiterations to them about your love and care for them. Your parents and siblings will act as your buffer. They are likely to help you get through this difficult period and assure you of their acceptance of you and your decision.

Friends

Your friends mean your closest friends. These people have been closest to you for a number of years and just like all the other secrets you can share with them, they need to know about your divorce. Your friends are your main support group. They will help you avoid that feeling of being alone and hounded.

Financial Advisor

Your financial advisor should know that you are going through a divorce irrespective if it’s a divorce mediation or litigation. These are the people who’ll help draw up your financial list and tell you what you’ll need in terms of finances in the post divorce time. It is important that you and your financial advisor are honest about your assets because hiding assets and lying about them will only draw the divorce longer.

Business Partner

If you own any kind of a business in partnership, you need to inform your business partner(s) regarding your divorce. This is important because your divorce can have an impact on the division of shares and profits and other financial matters, and the other stakeholders in the business should know about it.

Estate Planning Attorney

Your estate and property are all part of your list of assets, and during a divorce these are likely to have an impact. Telling this to your estate planner is vital because they’ll help you in the planning for the future and figuring out the best picks in your divorce mediation agreement.

Irrespective of the method of divorce you choose, the myth that divorce should be secretive and kept between the lawyers and the concerned parties only isn’t true. To help you through a divorce both emotionally and financially, you need people and they need to be informed about your decision. While the method does not matter in terms of informing others, it matters if you want a smooth divorce.