What To Know About Uncontested Divorces

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsToday, many couples prefer to go through an uncontested divorce due to features like ease and promptness. Unlike contested divorce that may go through a longer process of several hearings in the court before the divorce can be granted.

Why uncontested divorce may get rejected sometimes?

However, though uncontested divorce is mostly preferred as compared to long and bitter legal battles, it will be surprising for you to note that a large number of applications made for uncontested divorces get rejected every year. The key reason for the rejection is the fact that a majority of such applications do not satisfy the concerned authorities that the couple has agreed on all the important issues.

The key point of the legal process is to ensure that all the issues are amicably resolved as per the state’s law and both the partners get a just share of the assets as well as the liabilities.

It is natural that the spouses will have thorough knowledge about their domestic and financial arrangements. That is the reason for the family law experts to stress on the point that both the spouses should meet and resolve all the issues amicably. However, if there is lack of agreement on any of the crucial issues, it is impossible for the uncontested divorce to succeed. The judge will then issue a date for the case of contested divorce of the same couple.

Merits of uncontested divorce

A big benefit associated with an uncontested marriage is that it can save both time as well as money. There are many such scenarios when an uncontested divorce is faster and costs less than all other forms. The key savings that the petitioner enjoys is the legal fees that are a major cause of expenses in the case as there is no reason to hinder or delay the proceedings, the entire process can be completed with two to three months.

Another main benefit in the case of an uncontested marriage is related to the relationship shared by the spouses after their divorce. There are many such divorced couples who hold grudges against one another and are bitter against their ex. Many a times, such hard feelings may trigger other cases in the court even after the divorce comes through  for what they feel are injustices made against them with respect to the divorce settlements. However, in the case of an uncontested divorce, the couples part in an amicable manner according to agreed agreements on child custody, division of properties among others. So, there are fewer chances of such legal battles after the divorce.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please clink this link to visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

The 3 Other Alternatives to a Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsAre you uncertain of whether you want to divorce your spouse or not? If it is so, you can relax since there are various other alternatives to a divorce, which you may consider. These are counseling, annulment, and separation.

Legal separation

If you opt for a legal separation from your spouse, your marriage does not end. However, it does make life easier to live away from your spouse when the situation is not right. You can also get a legal on ways of coping up with concerns such as child custody and finances while in a separation. There are a number of reasons why you and your spouse may want to opt for a legal separation. They include:

  • Not in favor divorce due to religious reasons
  • An effort to stay separately prior to going ahead with a return to your married life or a divorce.
  • Opting to separate till the time you satisfy the state’s requirements for divorce.

You need to understand that going for a legal separation does not mean your marriage has ended.

Moreover, such a state does not permit you to get married to another person. Legal separation is just a way for managing your child custody, finances as well as other relevant issues.

Counseling

When a married couple gets in touch with a mental health professional, clergy member or a counselor to get their concerns addressed, the process is called counseling. There are some widely-known reasons of divorces like communication gaps, financial differences and lack of physical intimacy that can be effectively sorted out with the help of a therapist sometimes. This is a good alternative when you want to remain with your spouse in the marriage.

Unlike a divorce, the couple remains married while the counseling process is on. Moreover, the said couple’s legal situations, childcare and financial situation also remain the same.

Annulment

It is a process that proves that the marriage did not exist from the very beginning.  You can annul your marriage for certain issues, which existed prior to your marriage. Such issues are now making your marriage invalid in the eyes of the law. Some of the potential causes for annulment could be polygamy, underage marriage, duress, and fraud.

Annulments can be distinguished from divorces as you may not be able to make claims for community property rights or spousal support, unless the other person qualifies as a “putative spouse” in California that could entitle that person to obtain such rights as if they were a legal spouse.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please click this link to visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Top Tips to Manage Your Finances after Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in orange countyManaging finances after your divorce are finalized is a big step in your new life. Since you have already gone through your divorce process, you know finance matters can make you highly stressful. For many people, the major cause of Rory and tension is that they will be devoid of their second household income. Moreover, there is a requirement to tighten your purse strings so that you can deal with a financially trying time. There are some others who struggle a lot post their divorce since their former spouses always handled the finance part. Here are some top tips for handling your finances post divorce.

Take a detailed stock of financial inventory

You need to ensure that you are aware of the condition of your financial standing after the divorce. It is the right time now to seek out for superior deals on the existing financial products to improve your finances or discard any product that is not performing well in the market.

Have a proper track on your expenses

When you know what and where you are do ending your money, you are moving in the right direction to keep the finances under your control. You can use a spreadsheet like an Excel or could use your mobile phone’s note application to start keeping a tag on every item that you spend. This way you can one where your money is flowing where and how you may start saving more money.

Prioritization is important

It is not unusual to start panicking about your financial position after your divorce is through. You start feeling overwhelmed with too many new developments in your new life. So, begin with what is really vital i.e. ensuring that you have enough finances to keep your children sheltered, clothed and fed properly.

Prepare a realistic budget

When you prepare a realistic budget, it will serve as a guiding force so that you can sail through the time coercion that immediately follows after a divorce without facing financial difficulties. Apart from where your money is young as discussed before, you should have a proper tab on your earnings too. So, examine your earnings and expenses to prepare a practical budget.

Update documents and accounts

Post your divorce you need to ensure that all your financial products gave the correct names mentioned in them. Such documents include your credit cards, Frank accounts, title deeds, wills and insurance policies.

You should not hesitate or feel embarrassed if you need expert advice if it is about handling your finances after your divorce. In case you feel that you require financial, legal and tax advice, simply go ahead and get the necessary consultation. However, make sure that the expert you consult is registered with the appropriate bodies.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Ways To Be Happy Even During Divorce Proceedings

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsA divorce can be a catastrophic experience, so being happy while the divorce proceeding is going on may seem a paradox. After all, isn’t a divorce associated with heartbreak, anguish, fear, anger, and confusion? But, it is in your hand to control your negative emotions during this critical juncture of your life and nurture positive emotions within you.

Even when a divorce can be an intensely emotional process, it will do you good to go through a different set of emotions. It will give you the much-needed relief from sadness when you experience a loss of any kind in your life. A sure-shot technique to come out of your grief is to keep your body in motion. You can try out any kind of physical activity including riding in a swing in your nearby park. In fact, you can get the much-needed relief while taking a break from certain emotions in a conscious manner.

Ways of being happy even during stressful time 

  • Spend some time on a trail hiking

Give yourself time to take a long walk in the midst of nature or enjoy hiking with your friends. When you are in close contact with the earth, it empowers you with several qualities such as beauty, time, and certainty. All these qualities can be a big support for you when you are experiencing a deep sense of loss, particularly during your divorce. It is also important to keep an eye on your footing as well as observe the nature and scenic beauty around you. Such an act will definitely succeed in distracting your mind. It will lead to the reduction of stress and lift up your spirits.

  • Indulge yourself with some strength exercises regularly

If you brood too much during your divorce and be sad every day, it is difficult for your body to retain the ability to engage and contract muscles and strength. So, it is essential for you to take out some time and do some weight lifting, push-ups, and squats; in fact, any kind of physical activity to experience your outer and inner strength.

  • Be playful and happy go lucky

If you make it a habit to move in playful and natural ways, your heart can open up and your spirit will be lifted too. If you do not wish to use a swing in the nearby park, find out what activity can make you feel playful and relaxed. Once you find it, just do it. On certain occasions, you may go on a hiking expedition and yet the sadness is still within you. When you are playful though your heart is heavy, it can open the floodgate for a variety of emotions.

With passing time, you will realize that your sadness will also decrease. Precious moments such as being on a swing or in the midst of nature will be helpful in ebbing your sad energy.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

How To Provide Consistency in Parenting Styles After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsWhen there are too many contradictions in the households of the divorced parents, the children may get baffled, feel insure and even get emotionally scarred for the rest of their lives. As it is, your divorce has led to a feeling of insecurity and void in your children’s lives. What they now need is some sort of predictability, consistency, order and lots of love from both their parents. They need complete peace of mind but if their parents are constantly changing the rules in their respective houses to simply spite one another, it is the kids who are going to be affected in the long run.

The following are a few important suggestions on ways of providing consistency from one parental household to the other for the best interests of the kids.

  • Sit down and discuss together

An ideal scenario will be when both the parents meet and discuss all the rules they will follow in their individual households going forward. While the parents may not feel comfortable to meet one another after their divorce, they should have this face-to-face meeting in person for their children’s sake. They can include their kids too in this meeting if the latter is above six-year-old. The two most crucial essentials for the minor kids of divorce are continuity and structure. A crucial thing to keep in mind is that it is not only about you two but primarily about your kids. These rules can be about anything and everything that concerns your child starting from whether they should be permitted to eat junk food, if yes, then how much, how many hours should they be allowed to play video games, bedtime, wake up time and so on.

  • Take part in parenting classes

Perhaps both the parents or either of them does not know how to compromise on certain issues for better co-parenting. In such scenarios they can always get themselves enrolled in some wonderful classes, typically conducted by the family law courts. It can be a good idea to request your therapist or an Orange County divorce attorney to give your a referral to attend such workshops. These parenting classes demonstrate how parents can bring up their kids without bias. Many of them also highlight some of the universal guidelines for rearing the children. Some of these courses also teach the divorced parents on ways of compromising and where they should do it. Others may point out the sad repercussions on the kids when they face conflicting rules on two households.

  • Consult a professional mediator

Consulting with an Orange County divorce mediator can prove to be beneficial for both the parents, in order to work out a parenting schedule and guidelines or rules for each parent to follow in creating consistency in each household on all parenting issues, including discipline.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Understanding The 3 Stages of Divorce Grief

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsIrrespective of how you look at divorce, it is definitely a catastrophic event in one’s life. The emotion a spouse may go through is quite similar to the loss of a loved one or a severe illness. But despite that, it is imperative to learn ways of coping up with divorce grief and move on with life and have new goals and milestones for future instead of brooding on the past. Check out the following stages of divorce grief and how to handle them in your own way. Incidentally, these steps are similar to the ones a person should take to come out of the pain of losing a loved one.

Stage 1: Denial

The first thought that might have come to your mind when you hear your spouse wants a divorce is that how could he or she do it to you or this cannot be happening to you both. It is a phase in your life where the situation appears so grim and intense. As such, it becomes difficult for many to accept the news to be real. Such a mechanism of emotional survival may prevent one to get too overwhelmed while they are still unprepared to handle the current situation. But slowly, a spouse starts relaxing and accepting the bitter reality. He or she comes out of the fog of being in a denial mode and is capable to visualize situations in a realistic manner.

Stage 2: Fury

When your spouse confesses that he or she wants to split, you may go mad with fury. How could your spouse throw your marriage like this? And why should it be happening only to you? These are some of the questions that keep haunting you when anger overcomes all your other emotions. You start feeling the intense pain that now appears to be so real for you. If you have invested a lot in your marriage emotionally and have been extremely attached to your spouse until now, the pain and the hurt you are going through will be even deeper. Your fury may get diverted toward anyone who reminds you of the pain knowingly or unknowingly. While your ex may be at the receiving end of your fury, anyone else near you may also bead your wrath. You may even start snapping at your close friends and well-wishers.

Stage 3: Reflection 

It is a stage where you start introspecting and retrospection about your married life. You may feel that the divorce could have been averted had you been more affectionate and caring towards your spouse. You may even wish that you could make things right if you get one more chance. It is not unusual to find yourself blaming for certain things which you did.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Can A Separation From Your Spouse Save Your Marriage?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorney Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsDo you feel that your marriage is in a crisis? If it is so then you may be in a dilemma about what to do next. There is a possibility that you have not left any stones unturned to salvage your marriage starting from undergoing joint therapy sessions to dating one another once again. However, things seemed to have got even worse. In case you are at the rope’ end, your marriage could still be saved by opting for a trial separation. Although. It may not be intuitive to keep both of you together, in some cases, separations have proved to be useful for those couples who are going through a rough patch and have managed to bind them together.

Steps for Trying A Trial Separation

Spending some time away from your spouse

For several months, you and your spouse have been bickering against each other and arguing heavily. Perhaps, you need to show a little fondness toward each other now. If you and your spouse are away from each other, getting away from the daily grind becomes simpler and regular fights may also subside for the better. You can get time to retrospect at a lot of things, which you could have missed out when you were together. It is usual for everyone to need a little space on certain occasions. If there has been trouble in your marriage for some time, it is not possible to see something nice about your partner at all. However, separation can give you an opportunity to get away from them. It can also serve as a reminder of your love for one another.

Realize that you appreciate one another

When you stay with someone, it is easy to take many things for granted. It is especially true when both you and your spouse are living together for many years. Both of you can call
each other in the middle of a crisis and there is always a person to handle the mess in their daily life. But when you go through a trial separation, it becomes easier to learn and understand that you are missing your spouse at your side. You may also realize their appeal as your spouse.

Go for a legal separation

Though it is not compulsory to get in touch with a divorce lawyer for figuring out ways of staying in different houses for some time, a lawyer can come handy to ensure that things work out according to your convenience.

You need a break sometimes

At times, a separation is a time when you don’t have to worry about the well-being of others. You can utilize this time to go out on a vacation with your friends. You may also get time to make up your mind on your exact feelings are about your relationship with your spouse.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

8 Signs You Should Skip Mediation and Retain A Divorce Lawyer

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediationThere are many couples who want to legally separate or divorce from one another via mediation instead of opting for a litigation. These couples do not want to have animosity with their partners post the divorce. In such scenarios, experienced Orange County divorce mediators may be the people to contact. However, all couples may not be ideal for going through the mediation process. Check out those 8 signs that indicate that perhaps your marriage is not appropriate for divorce mediation.

1. Even if you do not win everything you would love to see your partner lose
In case your partner is hell bent in making your life worse by insisting that you cannot go on a holiday with the children while it is convenient, or disagrees to every suggestion you come up with just because they want to spoil your well-intended plans, the other party is not a good candidate to go for a mediation.

2. There is no intention to settle issues through mediation
Mediation can be a lengthy process that may work against a spouse. After all, a mediator cannot force both the parties to do something. There are a few unscrupulous folks who often use the process to avoid paying support. If your ex is such a person, it is better to approach the court first and then try out mediation at a later stage.

3. When a person is in a hurry
As mentioned above, mediation may not be a speedy process. So, if a couple is in a hurry to resolve matters quickly, then mediation is not recommended.

4. When the estranged couple has had a violent and stressed relationship

When the couple had an abusive relationship during their married life, they are not eligible candidates for mediation. In such cases, both parties may never see eye to eye on most matters, making things even worse.

5. Spouses are unable to advocate for them self
There are cases where one spouse appears as the dominating and aggressive while the other party is meek and submissive. Thus, the latter may not be in able to advocate for himself or herself even though there are many issues that should be discussed in the best interests of their kids.

6. A party may not wish to be good with the other party even though the latter feels otherwise
The success of a mediation process depends on both the parties wishing one another well even if they are not on the best of terms with one another. They need to compromise at times and understand the perspective of each other. If they are not willing to listen to one another, mediation may not work out.

7. One party is not ready to see the other’s viewpoint
Although a spouse may be open-minded about several things, they may still feel that their version is the only real version. It is particularly true at this crucial juncture of their life. When both the parties are not ready to accept both their versions can co-exist, mediation may not be an ideal process for them.

8. One party is affluent and just want to dwindle their money
There are some people who joke that having too much money is not an ideal state to be in while undergoing a divorce. A lawyer can give false hopes that if they approach a court, the judge may take their side.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Emotional Divorce Can Often Occur Before The Actual Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

mediator divorce orange county; California Divorce MediatorsEmotional divorce can occur when partners become emotionally separated from the marriage. There are some spouses who get emotionally separated even before their divorce.

There are other people for whom the process starts after the divorce comes through. Most of the times, a divorce is one-sided. Typically when a spouse has separated from the marriage at an emotional level, they want a divorcé. There are some spouses who are known to struggle for several years feeling emotionally distant before they realize that they need to get divorced to solve their marital problems. Such spouses are known as “walk-away” spouses.

There are various reasons why a walk-away spouse gets emotionally detached. When a spouse gets emotionally detached, it is a way of mentally asserting that certain boundaries should be maintained in a marriage when the marriage is not safe for them or they get hurt. When a person gets emotionally divorced, he or she can have a feeling of psychological integrity.

Most of the times, emotional divorce occurs before the process of legal divorce since these people feel that they needed to withdraw into a shell and safeguard themselves from the conflicts in the marriage.

Left-behind spouse is the spouse who has been left behind for dealing with their emotions post the legal divorce taking place. Either of the spouses can divorce themselves emotionally from the marriage. However, this phenomenon is observed more in the case of women.

Features of walk-away spouses

  • Not communicative after spending several years of making attempts to communicate
  • A walk-away spouse becomes distant and cold. He or she has no interest to work on the marriage.
  • He or she is out of the home for a long time as an escape route from the unhappy marriage
  • The walk-away spouse has become impatient and irritable and is not cooperative towards attempts made by spouse to continue with the marriage
  • They would like the divorce process to complete very fast

Control one’s emotions

A left-behind spouse has a natural instinct of controlling the situation. They did not see the tell-tale warning signs that could have alerted them that their marriage was shaky. Plus they were clueless about ways to respond effectively. Hence, they behave in a fashion that made the walk-away spouse go away even further emotionally.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Factors Considered In Granting Grandparent Custody & Visitation Rights

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Grandparent Rights California; California Divorce MediatorsThe laws for visitation rights of the grandparents may vary from state to state. Over the years, decisions taken by the courts have undergone a lot of changes. Thus, each state has a different set of laws and rules.

Grandparents are only awarded visitation rights when specific conditions laid down by the court are adhered to. Conditions to get custody rights for the grandparents may vary from that of visitation rights. As grandparents, you should be aware of the conditions applicable for visitation or custody prior to deciding if you should file your petition to request for the same.

Court will keep the interests of the kid in mind

A court has to consider what is best for the child while awarding visitation or custody rights to the grandparents. There are many states where the law mentions all those factors a court should assess while deciding the best interests of the child or children in question. Even in States where such factors are not listed, courts try to identify the factors in visitation and custody cases by interpreting the available state laws. Here are some of the factors, which ascertain what should be done in the best interests of a kid based on case laws and applicable state laws.

  • The ability of the grandparents and/or parents to satisfy the requirements of the kid
  • Need of the kid such as the emotional and physical health, safety of the kid in question and their welfare
  • The desires of the grandparent(s) and the parent(s)
  • The desires of the kid in question in case he or she can take that decision
  • How close the bond is between the grandchild and grandparent(s)
  • Evidence of neglect or abuse by the grandparent(s) or parent(s)
  • Duration of relationship between the grandchild and the grandparent(s)
  • Evidence of substance abuse by the grandparent(s) or the parent(s)
  • Ability of the child to adapt to the community, school or home
  • Distance between the location of the grandparent(s) or the parent(s) and that of the kid
  • Ability of the grandparent(s) or the patent(s) to shower the kid with affection and love

Is the biological parent abusive?

In case a grandparent can furnish necessary proof that the child’s parent is in poor condition, abusive or is incapable, a court can give permissive or even permanent custody rights to the child’s grandparents.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation