Tips for Mothers Going Through Legal Separation or Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Once the initial shock settles down and the divorce becomes a reality, you start realizing that your life will change in many ways when you become a single woman once again. A realization like this can be actually scary for many. However, like many others, you will also get used to these new changes gradually. So do not lose your cool and be patient.

It is indeed a gutsy role to be a single mother once your divorce gets finalized. Such a role will also be a challenging one as you transform into a stronger individual with each day. Do not feel scared and prepare yourself for the rainy day. You should start doing everything on your own so that your life becomes less stressful and easier. You may consider the following divorce tips that are helpful for single moms so that you can prepare yourself and plan accordingly.

Spend time in reviewing your financial position 

Do not indulge into self-pity or worry unnecessarily about your inability to provide for your kids. It will not serve any purpose and will end up giving you headaches. Thus, it is advisable to put aside your worries about how to get enough money to purchase a bicycle or doll for your little one. There are various ways of giving toys to your kids without going to the market to purchase them. You can make those toys at home. Let your kids help you out as they are going to love such activities. When you spend your time together and create these toys, it will be a memory they are going to cherish for a long time to come.

Self-education is extremely important 

Self-improvement initiatives and education are important things to work on at this crucial juncture of life as you need to be self-equipped and self-dependent in your new life. You can go online and research for some free courses on the net, find out easy tips to earn money and check available resources as a part of your action plan.

Be well-informed about issues like insurance plans, savings, credit, and taxes as they will come quite handy after your divorce. You can do so by either researching about them online or by hiring a professional consultant. Try to find out whether there are any government sponsored programs along with the benefits they offer to single mothers. The bottom line is you should have all relevant information at your disposal so that looking after your household and finances after your divorce become simpler.

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

What To Think About When Reconciling After Legal Separation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsOn certain occasions, some couples do regroup and reconcile after their legal separation. Contrary to what many people would like to believe, survival from a separation is not an accidental case. But spouses who do succeed in overcoming their discord after a separation are known to exhibit certain behaviors to make sure that their marriages are intact.

What should you do to get back together after your legal separation? 

The couples must ensure that there is complete transparency in their relationship if they are really serious about reconciliation after their temporary break-up. When there is erosion in the trust factor, transparency can act as a balm. Try to be open about the finances, schedules and personal habits so that some that lost trust factor can be replaced by your relationship. You should also note that coaching is a great idea. When you have professional experts or a good support system in your life that can help you out with your emotions, you can benefit to a great extent. It is also imperative for you to be completely honest with yourself by asking certain tough questions. So think carefully about the answers for the following questions prior to reconciliation:

  • Was it your partner who had ended the relationship of did you do it? Did both of you get an opportunity to have a heart to heart discussion on what could have gone wrong in your marriage during your legal separation? In case the answer is in negative, it is high time that you engage in an honest and open dialogue with one another.
  • Did you know the events in your partner’s life while both of you were separated?
  • Has there been a change in you or your partner’s nature since the end of your relationship? In case the reply is in affirmative, what and how did that change take place? Did such changes bring both of you closer or widened the gap?
  • Can your relationship get affected through certain other crucial factors in case both of you decide to get back together in the future?

You should generally give a chance for reconciliation

When there is a space between you and your partner albeit temporarily in the form of a separation, it shows you what is important and what should not matter to both of you. When you are focused on giving a second chance to your marriage and your partner is also on the same page, you should give a sincere chance to reconciliation.

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

Questions To Ask Yourself Prior To Filing For Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsThere are several cases where the divorce process is not easy at all. Rather, it can turn messy on several occasions. Whatever may be the reason for you to file the divorce; you should make this decision independent of emotions. In fact, such a step should be only taken after weighing all the options before you. Moreover, you should be all set to fight for the custody of your kids and your assets. While the situation may vary from individual to individual, there are some necessary questions that you should ask yourself first prior to filing the divorce.

Did you try to repair the relationship with your spouse?

Do you feel divorce is the most appropriate resolution before you? In case your married life is unhappy but not a violent one, you should go for a professional help to find out if it is a rough patch that you are going through or ending your marriage and moving ahead in your life is the best solution available for you. When personal issues are the main reasons for your marriage going sour, then chances are that you may go through the same problems in your future relationships too. So, it is important to find out the root cause of your sadness. This is precisely the reason why you should give another chance to repair your relationship before going ahead with your divorce decision. To do this you may try to identify what are the major points of conflicts between both of you. Make efforts to improve your communication as open discussions can solve plenty of problems.  You can even meet a professional counselor to make it work between you and your spouse.

Do you feel safe in your home?

In case you have already made a decision on taking a divorce, whether stay in your ex’s house or leave it may have severe implications.  After all, your children’s safety is of great importance.  However, in case you do not have any immediate danger, you can get in touch with an attorney before you leave your existing home since it could have a bearing on the custody hearing. But when the relationship between you and your spouse is strained and an abusive one, you must take the required steps to remove the kids and yourself from any type of danger. According to a report published by the American Bar Association, about half the assaults take place either during or after separation.

Have you spoken to a good divorce attorney?

Getting in touch with an experienced divorce lawyer is one of the most crucial steps that you must take prior to filing for your divorce.  Different states have different laws on divorce and they keep changing frequently. A good divorce attorney may help you with your queries and doubts and also represent you in court.  In case your case is a complicated one and children are also involved in it, you will need an expert lawyer who specifically deals with family law to represent your case.

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

Pros and Cons of Cohabitation Vs. Marriage in California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsThe subject of whether marriage better or cohabitation warrants a lot of debate based on people’s personal experiences and beliefs. There are some who believe nothing can replace a marriage in a loving relationship, while others beg to differ and believe that cohabitation is equally amazing without the legality of marriage. We discuss some of the benefits and disadvantages of cohabitation over marriage.

Pros of cohabitation over marriage 

  • One of the most obvious benefits is that you get to share your home and life with someone you love and like to be around because you love the person and not because of legality binding you.
  • Cohabiting has all the financial benefits of being in a marriage without the legal hassles that come with marriage. You get to split costs, manage finances, and invest together with your partner.
  • Cohabiting can be a great way to understand if you and your partner can sustain a marriage. It is a good way to know how well you both work together as a couple living together before taking the plunge and getting married.

Cons of cohabitation over marriage

 There is some research that shows that marriage may have physical and psychological benefits that are lacking in cohabitation. However, some results are still ambiguous about the reasons behind these differences.

  • There is no legal responsibility or hassle, making it easier to leave a cohabitation arrangement. Marriage demands more legal commitment and, therefore, there is more thought given before a spouse decides to leave.
  • If you have kids while cohabiting, custody rights can become complicated if you decide to go your separate ways.

Cohabitation in California 

California does not recognize common law marriage except when a couple is considered married under common law marriage in a state that recognizes it and then moves to California. California recognizes cohabitation as a legal form of relationship, and there are some provisions for couples who wish to cohabit but not marry.

If you are cohabiting to test your relationship before getting married, you can enter a prenuptial or premarital agreement that lists rules and laws applicable to you as a couple once you get married.

If you simply wish to cohabit without the legal hassles of marriage, then the state has a provision of getting a cohabitation agreement, also known as a nonmarital agreement. This formal agreement lists out responsibilities and rights for the cohabiting couple and works as a contract that is outside of marriage laws.

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

What To Know About California Child Support

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsChild support is money which any court orders both parents or any one parent to pay to assist in paying for child (or children) support and the latter’s living expenses. The amount must be paid every month. Every California county has a family law facilitator to assist you for such activities. These services can be had for free. The facilitator helps in a number of ways like preparing the forms and explaining the procedures of the court for obtaining and changing the child support orders. The person concerned will also help in calculating total child support using guidelines and explain how the court arrives at the child support decisions.

Parent guide

A child support agency is present in every California county to assist you when it comes to getting, collecting and changing child support activities.  Courts in California must order the child support amount as determined by child support guideline. The only exception is that if a particular case fits one of few legal exceptions linked to the rule. One exception is that parties consent to an amount which is different from guidelines related to child support. The solution, however, must meet certain tests.

Non-guideline support

Most parents can consent to “non-guideline” support of both know fully their rights to support the child. They should also know the guideline support amount of the child. Parents must not be forced or pressured to give consent to the child support amount. This is applicable if parents do not receive public assistance or have not made any application for any public assistance. They have also consented to monetary support to meet the needs of the children.

The parents can agree to any child support order based on this guideline. The couple, by signing on a particular written agreement for guideline amount, have no need to visit a judge so that the latter can make a decision on child support. The agreement musty be submitted to court clerk for the judge to sign. Only after signing that it could be enforced as a court order.

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

Advice On Reconciling After A Marital Separation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce lawyers in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmDo you want to improve your chances of reuniting after your legal separation? Then, it is always better to start the process with complete honesty. Both of you should be prepared to honestly discuss all those issues, which resulted in the trouble. It can be various factors such as addiction, an act of betrayal, or abuse. Whatever it is, they should in the open. When the two partners are dishonest about the issues that hurt them, it is unrealistic to expect that they will be sincere about the changes they should implement in their relationship to salvage the marriage. It is always recommended to take the help of an impartial mediator or a third-party therapist or counselor.

What should you do to get back after your separation?

Being completely transparent with your partner is another important step to follow if you are really keen about a marital reconciliation after being separated. When trust factor has disappeared in a marriage, transparency is the perfect antidote for the couple. Both the parties should be completely frank about their personal schedules, habits, and finances. Such a step will make sure that the couple gets back the lost trust to some extent. It is a good idea to contemplate coaching.

Give a chance for marital reconciliation

When there is a space in a relationship, it shows what is important and what does not matter. It also teaches what helps and what can be hurtful. When both you and your spouse are serious about giving your marriage another chance and your partner to echoes your sentiments, you would definitely have one more chance to marriage reconciliation.

Check out these tips when you and your partner intend to get back together especially after your legal separation.

There is no harm in accepting your mistakes

In order to make your marriage work, both you and your partner should accept all those mistakes made in the past, which led to your separation initially. If you and your partner are one of those couples who are interested in reuniting, you should be prepared to apologize to each other. You should realize and appreciate that frankness; trust and forgiveness are some of those key ingredients, which can salvage your marriage.

You should be prepared for certain changes

Being willing to change is perhaps one of the most crucial factors to get back together. You should freely discuss the desired changes you are looking forward to. It is imperative for you to be ready to change yourself for your spouse.

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

Forms of Child Support In Divorce Cases

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce mediators; California divorce mediatorsWhen a couple divorces, child support plays an important consideration in it. Reasonable maintenance of a child would consist of providing expenses like training and education, medical and dental care, clothing and recreation if applicable. In fact, both the divorcing parents have a responsibility for child support as per their individual means. This responsibility exists in situations when the child in concern is born out of or in wedlock or has been adopted. The question of child support also pops up, if a child is born from a previous marriage or a subsequent one. The reasonable amount depends on the existing standard of living of the family, cot of living and on parents’ income.  Here are some of the forms of child support:

Cash payments on a monthly basis

The primary spouse who has the physical custody of the children typically gets monthly cash payments from the other parent. The maintenance order or the divorce agreement will have a mention of how much will be the amount of money paid by one parent to the other each month. Either the monthly payment is done in advance or it is determined on a particular date on every month. The mode f payment could be through electronic transfer/debit order in an account specified by the parent who is entrusted with the primary care of the children. The amount of maintenance cost that is payable may have an annual increment on the divorce order’s anniversary date or whenever there is a change in the inflation eats as declared officially.

Educational expenses

Educational expenses can include pre-school as well as aftercare fees, school lunches, camps, school outings, additional tuition fees, school fees expenses towards sports and extra-curriculum activities, any other activities the kid participates, sport tours and club fees, and expenses related to any type if equipment like computers, uniforms, stationery, school books and any other expenses for the child related to his or her school.

Medical expenses

Parents must also bear medical, surgical, dental, vision, orthodontic and hospital expenses for their children whenever necessary as per their means.

As mentioned before, both the parents should support their kid according to their financial capacity. Though a father may be financially stronger, the mother cannot shirk the duty.

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

What Happens When Your Former Spouse Files For Bankruptcy?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you go through a divorce, it can be both financially as well as emotionally painful. Moreover, if your former spouse suddenly files for bankruptcy, things can be even more stressful for you as there is a possibility that your financial stability can get greatly affected.  Divorce, as well as bankruptcy, may have a great impact on your financial position in various ways based on the new circumstances of your ex-spouse. Check out some of the important things that you can consider while going through a bankruptcy and a divorce.

Cosigned or joint credit liabilities

When your former spouse files for bankruptcy, the responsibility for any debt falls on you in case you are a cosigner or a joint owner. The lender may hold you accountable as a cosigner or a joint owner to pay for a loan when your ex-spouse declares that he/ she is bankrupt and is unable to make the due payment.

Though it is unfortunate but the creditors are least concerned about the statements mentioned in your divorce agreement. So, your liability to pay the debt still exists when your former spouse fails to make the payment. A divorce payment does not remove your accountability to pay; it only indicates that you can compel someone else to do so. So you should be ready to pay the debt in case your former husband or wife is discharged from the need to pay off the loan or stops paying due to the bankruptcy. In such a scenario, you should immediately get in touch with your divorce lawyer and discuss what legal options are available for you.

Child support and alimony

Expenses for child support and alimony should be paid prior to paying the other creditors as well as taxes. However, though your alimony cannot be discharged, it does not mean that you will continue receiving the same amount before your former spouse fee pared bankruptcy.  In a majority of the States, the obligations for alimony can be revised when the ex-spouse submits his or her request to a bankruptcy court. It is up to the bankruptcy court to decide a revised amount for the alimony or enter into a new agreement with you after the petition filed by your former spouse.

But there are a few rare situations when alimony may be also discharged. Thus, in order to be on the safer side, it is better to consult your divorce attorney to make sure that your support payments or alimony remain protected.

Impact on your credit report

Though your ex-spouse filed for bankruptcy, your credit score may not get affected directly. The reason for this so your credit score is considered to be distinct and separate from your former spouse.

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

Common Co-Parenting Issues after Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediators in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIf parents are able to co-parent in a civil manner, children can be relaxed and normal even after their parent’s divorce. Though you may love your kids the most, there could be certain scenarios where it is tough to give a preference to their best interests over the fury and disillusionment you feel towards your former spouse or over the divorce. Your children will be able to cope up well with your divorce when you and your former husband or wife can co-parent in a matured manner after the divorce has been finalized. There is a tendency in many married couples to follow the lead of each other as far as the matter of parenting is concerned. While your marriage may have come to an end and your former spouse may not be important to you anymore, you may still have to parent together for the best interests of your children. Check out some of the common co-parenting issues that may divorce couple face before them:

You are worried about your kid when he or she is in the custody of the other parent

If your ex-husband or wife does not have a background of abusing the kids or you, you should not feel scared or apprehensive about what is happening when the children are in their custody There are moms who demand a detailed schedule of each and every move that will be made by their child when they are in their father’s custody.

Both of you have distinct parenting styles

A father can be laid back while it is an issue of parenting at times. When the children are at his place, kids are not taking a bath every day, going to bed late and are not doing their homework regularly. Moreover, they are having junk food almost every other day. On the other hand, at times the mom is too strict with the daily routines and kids are feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the discipline. It could be possible that both the mother and the father are adamant that their parenting style is better than their partner.

Your former spouse use your kids to hurt you

The kids should not be used as pawns by one parent against the other. Though it may sound surprising, it can happen on several occasions. When you realize that your children want to spend more time with the father but you refuse to let them do so, you are not thinking about your kids but want to hurt the father by resisting to your children’s desires.

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

4 Divorce Myths That Should Be Ignored

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsMany people go for a divorce with certain preconceived ideas about how their experience would be. Check out some of those common myths that are often associated with the process of divorce. It helps you to keep your mind open about what may happen while your divorce proceeding is going on.

The divorcing couples must go to divorce court

It is quite likely that you would not have to spend a day in the court, especially if you are little fortunate. In a majority of States, a couple can arrive at an agreement with a divorce lawyer or a mediator, a judge may put his or her signature on the divorce decree and the parties involved need not appear in the divorce court. It is easy to stay out of a divorce court even the couple can sort out their conflicts amicably while the negotiation for divorce settlement goes on.

A divorce lawyer is mandatorily needed for seeking a divorce

On the contrary, it is not compulsory to hire a divorce lawyer. You can choose from certain options that can alleviate the requirement of hiring a lawyer. These options can prevent

Divorce courts can be biased as they often favor the moms

It is true that in the majority of cases, mothers are given the custody of the kids. However, that is not because the judge is biased. It has more to do either many fathers agreeing to hand over the custody to their estranged wives. Mostly, fathers have heard that they should not even try to get custody that they do not even make an attempt to get the custody. In reality, a father does not have to prove that the mother is not capable f caring for or mentally unstable to provide or care for the kids. Who will gain custody while the parents are getting divorced will be ascertained by the concerned judge. In case a father can give evidence to a judge that he is a more suitable parent, custody can be awarded to him.

A child can spend equal time with both the parents in case of a fifty-fifty custody. This is perhaps the most ideal scenario for the children. Both of you should make the best possible efforts to provide the best for your children. But a father has the same legal rights as the mother in the case of child custody.

Divorce will damage the kids 

This is not true because children do not get damaged due to divorce. But parents who do not give a priority to their children’s interests during and after the divorce process damage their kids.

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