Division of Assets in Orange County Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange county divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsThink of having a divorce, and automatically there is a fear that starts to set in. The fear of failure, and the fear of the unchartered waters. One of the first questions that come to one’s mind is about their assets. These fears are legitimate, and likely to materialize into reality for people that go for divorce litigation.

Divorce through the court system is usually an emotionally-sapping experience with fights, feuds, and bitterness being the norm in such situations. This means that even if litigation doesn’t break you financially, chances are you’ll end up emotionally broke. Orange County divorce mediation, on the other hand, is a much more cost effective and predictable alternative to litigation. Divorce mediation is a process that warrants the couples to sit down and disclose their assets, debts, incomes, and other sources of expenses to their Orange County divorce mediator. Once that is done, the couple can then sit down and talk about the best solutions to the issues at hand and to make sure they are able to agree on things mutually.

When it comes to assets and the financial aspects of divorce, divorce mediation can have an important role to play. The role of the mediator will be to encourage the spouses to have a healthy discussion about the financial aspects in a relationship. The role of the mediator doesn’t end there. More often than not, mediators will also give the clients legal advice with respect to the rules that can govern assets. This choice, however, will be left to clients and not to the mediator or the judge as is the case in litigation.

Asset distribution is an extremely important aspect in mediation agreements. Divorce, as mentioned in the first paragraph, is heavily dependent on the financial well-being of a person. This is why proper asset distribution, where each party is satisfied, is extremely important. The role of mediation in asset distribution is particularly important. The primary reason for this is the flexibility that mediation affords. Then lack of set rules to decide cases and the customized solutions for each couple allows for asset separation agreements that could never be possible in a divorce litigated in court.

Another Five California Divorce Mediation Myths

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsThis blog is a continuation from the previous blog titled Five California Divorce Mediation Myths. Here is a list of five other mediation myths that mislead people with respect to mediation.

Myth 6: I Have To Always Be In The Same Room As My Spouse

This is another one of the common misconceptions and myths that people continue to have with respect to mediation. The mediation process works best when both of the spouses are talking to each other face to face in the presence of an Orange County divorce mediator. This sometimes however cannot be the case because of a prevalent sense of bitterness between the spouses. In cases such as this, mediation allows for the spouses to talk to the mediators separately and for the mediator to act as the communicator between them.

Myth 7: A Mediator Will Force Me Into Saving My Marriage

This misconception is rooted in the concept of mistaken identity. Most people think of Orange County divorce mediators and the mediation process as therapists and therapy sessions. While the job of therapists is to help ease the issues between the spouses and motivate them to continue their marriage, this is not the case with mediators. Mediators are tasked with channeling the post divorce agreements between the parties and to assist them when needed.

Myth 8: No Expert Consultations Are Allowed In Mediation

Mediation is a process that has been primarily developed to help the parties and facilitate their divorce process, free from the problems that litigation courts pose. This is why the above myth is nothing but wrong. Orange County divorce mediation has no such ban on the use of experts such as accountants, realtors, and tax consultants etc. Mediation is a process that gives the power in the hands of the spouses, and therefore they are able to do as they seem fit in the process.

Myth 9: The Mediator Will Give Me Legal Advice, Not A Lawyer

There is a difference between legal advice and legal information, and an Orange County divorce mediator is likely to provide you with the latter. Legal advice are actually concerned with increasing the spouses’ information with respect to legal matters. The role of the mediator, however, is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.  Divorce mediators often allows their spouses to get their mediations agreements checked by family lawyers.

Myth 10: A Spouse That Is Intimidated Will Be Not Get The Mediation Process To Work

Divorce mediation is perceived to be a process that has little or no power of enforceability in its own. This, however, is far from the truth. Mediation is an empowering process that not only holds power it to be enforced in courts; it is also a process that allows the spouses to be empowered, which allows spouses that are scared or intimidated of their spouses to exercise their own free will.

5 California Divorce Mediation Myths

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce mediation is one phenomenon that has seen a steady rise in the eyes of the masses, with a large number of people retorting to mediation as a solution to their problems. With the increasing number of people turning to mediation, there are also a few myths that have started to try and influence the minds of would-be users of this service. There are a whole host of myths that are trying to create misconceptions with respect to the process of mediation. Here are 5 such myths.

Myth 1: There Is No Choice For A Complex Divorce But To Go Through Courts

This is one of the most common myths that have started to take shape about Orange County divorce mediation. This myth, however much like the others on the list, is far from the truth. In reality, any divorce case that can be heard in court can be settled out of court. This includes even those divorces that can be categorized as complicated because of the financial issues that are at play. Orange County divorce mediators are more than capable of solving these issues effectively and at a fraction of the cost litigation would.

Myth 2: Mediation Does Not Work For Women

Women are equally successful in terms of Orange County divorce mediation as men are. This myth mentioned above is created because of two common misconceptions that people have. One of them is that women are emotionally not fit for negotiations, and the second that they have a lack of knowledge on financial issues. This, however, is far from reality. Women are able to conduct themselves well in mediation proceedings and the presence of the divorce mediator makes sure nobody is taken advantage of.

Myth 3: Mediation Means Getting Less Settlement

In reality, contrary to the myth that has been portrayed, couples in Orange County over the years have been seen to have similar settlements irrespective of whether they go to court or not. California is a state where community property is split in 50/50 between the two spouses. Mediation, however, allows the parties to exercise their free will and divide the assets as they wish between each other, not strictly adhering to the 50/50 separation principle.

Myth 4: Mediation Is Always The Best Option

This is important to understand. While it is true that mediation is one of the most effective dispute resolution methods, there are some instances where mediation is not appropriate. Here are a few of those situations:

  • In cases that involve physical violence against either of the spouse
  • Where the judgment of either party is in question due to substance abuse
  • Where spouse in reluctant to declare assets

Myth 5: The Best Place To Fight For Kids Is The Courtroom

If parents go to court, they will pull out all their stocks and raise a bitter, emotionally sapping war against the other to gain the child’s custody. This, however, is not the most appropriate thing to do. The bitterness and the hate created through this process is likely to damage the children forever. The best way for parents to decide child custody issues is through Orange County child custody mediation.

Why Peaceful Divorce Mediation Works Well

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce is one of the hardest fought cases between the people, since it involves not only assets and children, but it also involves lots of emotions each of which can take a toll on  spouses. The process of divorce can be divided into two broad categories legally, i.e. divorce through mediation and divorce through litigation. On the more practical side of things, this can also be divided as peaceful divorce mediation and bitter divorce litigation proceedings.

Orange County divorce mediation is becoming a more common methods for couple to get divorced. The primary reason for this is the emotional and procedural benefits that such a method gives to spouses. Peace is one word that is important when associated with a process as emotionally sapping and bitter as divorce.

Here are a few reasons why peaceful Orange County divorce mediation is what you want to consider.

·         Peace will nurture the parental relationships

One of the things that hurt a child most is seeing their parents fight it out against each other. In the process of divorce litigation, this is one of the norms. More often than not, spouses will be logger heads against each other, will bad mouthed one another in the process, among other things. This will not harness but destroy their relationship with their children. The bitterness created from such ruckuses is hard to get away from. In the case of Orange County divorce mediation, however, the tables are likely to be turned. The fact that the process is based on cooperation means that even when getting divorce the parents will have a sense of cordiality and cooperation between them.

·         You can get what you want without fuss

Divorce mediation is all about the cooperation, communication and coordination that go on between the spouses. The role of the mediators is simply one to try and facilitate the proceedings and not dictate them. As opposed to bitter litigations, a mediator will not give you any order that both the spouses have to follow. The mediation agreement is all about spouses and how much they are willing to work towards a peaceful resolution. The cooperative nature of the divorce means that mediation will allow you to agree upon what is best for you and what you want.

·         Peace also comes with a variety

No one size fits everyone. This is one of the most famous statements that have come to define the world.  Everyone in the world is different and the fact of them being different means that they are all in need of something that is made specifically for them instead of being treated generally. While litigation has set court procedures that cannot be truly modified, it is mediation that allows such spouses the chance to make the most of the flexibility of options.

Divorce and Setting Your Emotional GPS

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsAsk anyone that has gone through an Orange County divorce and they’ll tell you how their divorce left them in a state of emotional distress. Most people tend to recover from their divorce years after they have gone through the ordeal of ending their relationships. It, however, shouldn’t have to be like that for anyone. You need not hit emotional rock bottom before you are able to recover. The key to this is letting go of the blame, the shame, and the pain that comes with a divorce.

The key to making a divorce work is in handling the emotions. If you are able to control your emotional GPS as we like to call it, you’ll be able to get through your divorce with less trauma and delay.

In this blog post, we give you five ways you can set your emotional GPS from suffering and sorrow to goodness. Much like the GPS system in your car, your emotional GPS is likely to determine the course your Orange County divorce will take. To be able to set your emotional GPS to a positive setting,  you’ll need to:

·         Forget the Concept of Perfection

Getting through divorce is not about being perfect. All you need to put your mind and efforts into is to try and be able to get through the process having given it your all. The process of Orange County divorce mediation will warrant you to be compromising, adapting, and understanding of your spouse and get something that both of you agree on, no need for it to be perfect.

·         Stay Nice

How’d you feel if your ex started to treat you like trash? Not very good one assumes. This is exactly the case with your spouse. It is widely believed that you get respect and niceness in response. Try and be nice in your dealings and interactions with your ex spouse. Try to maintain cordial relations with the person you had hoped to spend the rest of your life with, since that allows both of you to escape the bitterness of divorce.

·         Be Forgiving

Forgiveness and forgetfulness are the two single most important ways to eliminate pain from your life. During the course of an Orange County divorce mediation, there are likely to be a wide variety of issues where the spouses may disagree. Yet disagreement shouldn’t be allowed to turn into bitterness and the key to doing that is forgiving the past and moving on.

·         Be Empowered

There is no one in charge of your life and your behavior except you. Feel empowered, and try to change your mood to happy. Make sure you are able to clear your mind that bygones are bygones, there is a future ahead of you, and that you should make the most of it. Ruing past decisions is likely to strip you of the impending opportunities. Keep them in mind and act like you are in charge.

Orange County Divorce Mediation is Client-Directed

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIn this world, no two couples are the same. There are a variety of differences that exist between each individual. This trend is continued in terms of the relationships since each relationship is likely to be different to the relation that exists between the other parties. One of the most startling facts nowadays is the increasing number of failed marriages. The large number of failed marriages should be an indication of the increasing burden that is befalling and likely to befall on the different types of couples seeking divorce. The fact that each couple is different means that there needs to be a different approach to divorce resolution for each couple.

There are some couples that have special children that need extra care and support, while other parents might have elderly parents and need for them to be taken care of. Each couple is likely to come to Orange County divorce mediation for different reasons. It is these reasons that need to be taken care of so that both spouses are able to get the best out of their divorce mediation. This means that each couple needs to have their own specially designed divorce mediation proceedings that are focused on the couple and their hopes, aspirations and needs.

Orange County divorce mediation is a process where, unlike litigation, the client is in charge of the process. The clients are granted a large amount of authority in divorce mediation.  The primary reason for this is the fact that in mediation there is no judge to give a final order that is binding on both the parties. Mediation, as a process, is all about the clients trying to channel their differences and work towards a better outcome from this divorce for both of them.

Divorce mediation can be termed as a client directed one because in each and every aspect of the mediation process, the client is the one calling the shots. Mediation proceedings have no set timings and are dependent on the availability of the spouses. This means that the flexible timing of divorce as well as the fact that the mediators’ role is no more than that of a facilitator of the dialogue between the spouses, which means that clients are the ones running mediation.

The speed of the mediation, the decision of the mediation process and the signing of the mediation agreement are all choices that clients take on their own. Unlike litigation, divorce mediation in Orange County mediation is a process where the parties come willingly. The primary reason for them coming to mediation and the increase in the number of clients is because the client directed mediation proceedings give them a sense of empowerment and control over their future outcome that litigation can’t promise.

Divorce Mediation and Expectation Management

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County Family Mediation - Divorce Mediation; California Divorce MediationOne of the biggest fears that most couples and individuals have when going into divorce mediation is the threat of an uncertain financial future. Divorce is about dividing the pie that used to feed one family into two to feed two families. No matter what size of the pie each of the spouses gets it will continue to be less than what each had during their marriage. This is going to be a bitter pill for most people to swallow. However, there are some people who come into mediation expecting to have little or no change in their lifestyle at all after their Orange County divorce. Unfortunately though, this kind of expectation is beyond the calculations that math affords.

If you want to preserve your financial security and are looking for a more secure future monetarily, divorce mediation is the best place for you. The first thing you achieve the instant you choose mediation is a significant cut back on the fees you’d have to pay in litigations. Having said that however, there is very little mediation can do without the spouses managing their expectations to meet the resources available.

Here are a few tips to help you manage your expectations in Orange County divorce mediation:

Understand The Concept Of Separate Property

Any property that you received from inheritance, or had before you came into marriage will be your community property. This is exactly the same for your spouse. Now that this is clear, the first step to expectation management is think about your life on a timeline. If the property and assets belong to the pre marriage stage on our timeline, they are going to be considered community property and barring some exceptions will be completely yours.

If the assets and properties came under your ownership during your marriage, they will be considered joint property. This is the property that is divided up in between the two spouses. Once you are able to understand what is yours and what will be divided 50/50, you are likely to have more realistic expectations.

Take A Look At Your Finances

There are a host of cases that we face where one of the spouses is completely oblivious to information regarding their finances, and the other spouse’s earnings and assets. In cases like this, most spouses seem to assume that there is a large amount of money and assets to be divided where in reality that is not the case. This is an important aspect in Orange County divorce mediation, since lack of knowledge will handicap you in the negotiation processes.

To make sure no spouse is left under false impressions, both the spouses need to fill in financial declaration forms to make the picture clearer and expectations realistic.

Divorce Mediation – A Cost-Benefit Analysis

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorney in orange county; California Divorce MediationOne of the most common misconceptions that is prevalent in the people today with regards to divorce mediation is that going to court is likely to get them a greater sum of money as opposed to use of mediation. This logic has little practical sense. Think of it in this context: all the property that you buy during the marriage is known as community property and is likely to be divided 50/50. Now subtract from that property valuation, the cost of the lawyers that each of the spouse will hire to go to court and the fees that are going to be charged by the courts for the starting and running the case.

Usually the retainer fees of litigation in Orange County family law cases can be from around $5,000 to $15,000 dollars. Add these fees up with the annual hourly rate of lawyers that they will charge you and the numbers can add up to startling sums. In such situations, it is safe to say that litigation is likely to cost you a huge amount of money, not the added amount of money that most people seem to think they would.The choice of Orange County mediation is the choice where you get the chance to save a considerable amount of money for yourself. Mediation, as a divorce resolution, has been mentioned as being one of the most cost-effective methods for resolution of disputes. When a couple takes up divorce mediation, they will almost remove the costs of lawyers and the costs of mediation will be less than the overall costs of litigation proceedings of your divorce. There are also a host of other advantages that are likely to weigh up on the financial aspects of mediation and litigation debate.

Here are few benefits that you are likely to get if you choose divorce mediation:

·         Time Saving

This is one of the leading reason people are increasingly turning to divorce mediation. While there is no question on the fairness of the California legal system, typically though, most legal systems have procedures and a whole host of cases which slow down the progress of cases. In divorce mediation, however, the resolution of the dispute settle in weeks if not month and at max in 6 months.

·         Emotionally supportive

When you are in court, both parties try to win at all costs and the greatest victim of all this are the emotions of each of the spouses that will be severally affected by the heat and bitterness of court divorces. In mediation, however, the reconciliatory, conclusive and cooperative divorce method is likely to allow the spouses and their emotions to respite. This is an important benefit of mediation since emotional traumas can have a lasting effect on the overall health and well being of a person.

Tips To Keep Your Marriage Going Strong (and Hot)

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

mediator divorce orange county; California Divorce MediatorsMarriage is one of the most sacred relationships that a person can get into. Marriage is a relationship of commitment, dedication, and unending support for each other through the thick and thin and the highs and lows. The most important thing to understand about marriage is that it isn’t only a relation between two individuals but it is also the coming together of two families and the start of another. It is often believed that people who offer divorce mediation services tend to want the couples to get divorced and encourage it.

Reality, however, is far from the perception. Most genuine Orange County divorce mediators and mediation services wants married couples to have a healthy and happy married life and avoid divorce. In this regard, this blog outlines a few tips for spouses to use in making sure their marriage lasts the distance.

·         Nurture Yourself

The institution of marriage stands upon the principle of giving, yet this principle, if over worked, can lead to difficulties. While marriage is about giving, giving too much is likely to make you seem weak and dependant on the other spouses. This is never a good situation to be in, since individuality of each of the spouses is one of the most important ingredients of a successful married life, and it needs to be maintained throughout. Make sure you give yourself importance in the relationship and allow your partner to realize your importance in this relationship.

·         Express The Complex Issues In 3 Sentences

There are often things that a couple needs to talk about which can be misinterpreted by either of the spouses if too little or too many words are used. The 3 sentence rule is what protects this from occurring. Have a rule in your marriage that both of you will express the complex marital issues in 3 sentences to not only sound convincing but to avoid coming of as assertive or aggressive. This is an important issue, since misconceptions have been regarded as one of the leading reasons couple go into a divorce.

·         Do It To Renew It

By it, we mean sex. It is no secret that intimacy, romance, and the feel good factor are all important branches that lead to eventual sex. Sometimes though, couples need to simply get on with it and let the rest of these aspects fall into place. Sex is one of the best communicators of feelings of joy, and is an almost instantaneous means of connectivity. Sex between couples is known to not only bring back the missing spark in the relationship, but also gives the spouses a sense of security and togetherness.

·         Remind Yourself Of The Reason You Got Married

A long marriage can sometimes become boring with the couples becoming more like roommates than anything else. In this regard, it is important for the spouses to continue to remind themselves of the reasons that they go married.

What Are The Chief Causes of Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

mediator divorce orange county; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce has always been one subject that to some is a taboo subject that needs not be discussed openly, and yet the number of people with such thoughts seems to be shrinking quickly. The number of divorces in Orange County and the United States has increased with couples now ready to jump ship rather than having to live through a relationship that they don’t think is fit to continue. In addition to the obvious circumstances of marital infidelity, here is a list of the leading causes of divorce:

Getting Married For The Wrong Reasons

Everybody gets married for the marriage to last and the love that they are able to experience, correct? Wrong! People get married for a whole host of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with a happily ever after. One of the leading reasons such as this is marrying for money. Marrying for money means you marry for the estate, the monetary benefits etc. and when you can get this through a divorce, why stay in the marriage?

The Disappearance Of Intimacy

One wrong step, a wrong night, and a few misplaced words of disinterest, and one of the most important aspects of a relationship can disappear in a flash. Intimacy is the glue that tends to hold a relationship together. If a spouse starts to believe the other isn’t romantically interested or sexually attracted to them, things can turn sour really quickly. Men can often want sex in order to be romantic while women can often want romance first as a precursor to sexual activity. Miscues and growing apart in the intimacy department can often led to the decline of a relationship and give way to divorce.

The Lack Of Financial Compatibility

Lack of finances is very seldom the reason for the downfall of a relationship, it is more the lack of compatibility in finances that can hurt the relationship and bring the couples to the brink of divorce. One of the leading examples is the conflict of financial interest between a spouse that’s likes to spend and other spouse that wants to save for a rainy day.

Lack Of Communication and Conflict Management

No relationship in the world can be conflict-free, yet what differentiates the long committed ones from the short endings is the level of conflict management. Couples who are unable to solve their differences and conflicts will build on their frustrations and issues until they finally explode, taking the relationship to divorce.  This building of frustrations can also stem from a lack of communication.  No doubt you know someone who is going through a divorce or is divorced but prior to the divorce filing, the couple supposedly never fought or argued over anything.  A real relationship means that people argue at least occasionally, clear the air so to speak, get their feelings and frustrations heard, and move forward.  Never arguing or expressing feelings of frustration or of unfulfilled needs to your spouse means that over time, those feelings only build up inside you and cause you to grow apart from your spouse.  Whose fault is that?  Yours, and it is not fair to your spouse that he or she never had any real idea of what you were feeling or what you needed until it was too late because your feelings of love eroded over time, like your marriage subsequently did.