Doing Your Homework Before Mediation Increases Likelihood of Success

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsWhile divorces and legal separation are commonplace these days even after years of togetherness, it is important to ensure that the process is carried out smoothly without further hatred and ill feelings towards one another. Today, many couples decide to embrace mediation for sorting their marital issues in a civilized way while parting so that they can save their money and have no misgivings. Such goals are easier to fulfill when both parties are ready to opt for a mediation while their divorce is underway.  Check out how you can do your homework prior to mediation so that the possibility of getting success is higher.

1. Emotional preparedness
While it may be an obvious one but there are occasions when people cannot keep their emotions under control while discussing about their finances, marriage or children. You should understand that mediators will not be surprised when they find frustration, fury or tears from both sides. There are some people who may have been concealing their true feelings until now and are stunned to see them coming out in the open. When such emotions surface before others, mediation can get stifled. But you should not let your feelings prevent a fruitful mediation. It is important to take a deep breath and gather your emotions and thoughts. You may even request a brief respite.

2. Preparedness with figures
When you want to opt for a mediation for discussing finances, income and properties, a thorough preparedness becomes a necessity. If you want to adopt a number you feel is accurate such as the worth of your marital house, attend the mediation session with the relevant documentation to establish your viewpoint and facilitate the progress of mediation in a smooth manner. Many spouses are known to feel comfortable and relaxed while arriving at an agreement related to finances when they are confident about their figures. Thus, a discussion on proper calculations backed by concrete figures can make the mediation process an effective one.

3. Be prepared to listen more
While it may sound cliche and immature, the framework for any fruitful mediation is to listen to the words of the other party carefully while the mediation is going on. When you listen patiently and prepare your responses carefully. your mediation can be more productive.

Professional Orange County divorce mediators are available to facilitate, assist and guide their clients so that both the parties can have a highly productive discussion and reach an agreement at the end. When both parties are willing to work together and are emotionally and literally prepared for it, the likelihood of a successful and effective divorce mediation can go up significantly.

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

Why Mediation is Good for an Uncontested Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediationIn case you are contemplating divorce, you may feel apprehensive about approaching a court. Most people feel scared and nervous with the prospect of going to a court and testify before a judge while they are going through one of the most critical phases in their lives. Stress is the last thing you want to go through at this crucial juncture of your life. Mediation can prove to be an ideal replacement for a trial in the courtroom in divorce cases. It is a process that serves its purpose for cases of uncontested divorces as well as for those divorce cases that can eventually become uncontested when a skilled Orange County divorce mediator is involved.

Benefits of taking assistance from a professional mediator

Resolve marital conflicts: Effective mediation can help in resolving marital conflicts between the couples and arrive at a consensus about the different divorce terms. The purpose of mediation is to concentrate on working together and it is not an adversarial procedure. An unbiased mediator guides both the parties while addressing their individual needs and solve their problems.

Spouses can remain in control: Both the parties can choose their discussion topics and define any settlement terms instead of the details being dictated by a court. The spouses have complete control over the discussion process.

Mediation is less costly: Litigation costs much more than mediation. If a spouse has to get the divorce through a trial then his or her divorce attorneys need to spend several hours for appearing in the courtroom and drafting motions.

More flexibility: A mediation process is much more flexible as compared to a litigation process. When you approach a court, you have to be present when your hearing is scheduled by the court, On the other hand, with the assistance of professional mediation, sessions can be arranged according to your own convenience. It is possible to participate in a mediation meeting even via a conference call or an online video chat.

Quicker resolution of case: Thanks to mediation, you need not wait for a date from the court that may take several days. Since you can schedule your mediation sessions, achieving resolution is a faster process and you can start your new life thereafter.

Why mediation is good for uncontested divorces?

Are your expecting to get an uncontested divorce? If that is the case, mediation is an effective process to work out the contentious issues in such a way that proves to be beneficial for all the involved parties like your kids, your spouse and you. It is a process that offers a way to work closely with your estranged partner to sort out all the pending issues without the trouble of approaching a court.

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

What Most People Don’t Know About Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediationAlthough there is a positive reputation attached to a divorce mediation as a sensible alternative to a litigation, there are very few people who are well familiar with the process. Contrary to popular belief, divorce mediation is quite a different process. It is meant for those reasonable couples who are unable to sort out their conflicts and misunderstandings by themselves.

There are many such couples who believe that there is no need for a divorce mediator. Rather, they should seek out a good family-law lawyer for getting their settlement through a court. Further, their situation does not qualify to undergo mediation since mediation is a process to sort out disputes and there is no dispute between them. These people feel that they have everything what mediation can offer to them. They also opine that their best option is to get the settlement done through an approval of a judge, in order to save their precious money and time.

What is divorce mediation all about?

It is a technique of dispute resolution between an estranged couple outside the court, which helps them to sort out their differences in an amicable manner. There is minimal involvement or intervention of the legal system of the state.

Mediation facilitates a structured process for reducing the friction and differences, which can be typically found while spouses converse during their negotiations or settlements. The process accomplishes it by fostering a non-controversial ambiance, encouraging both the parties to be amicable while sharing their concerns and thoughts to their estranged partners.

Orange County divorce mediators use an impartial and neutral third party approach so that the disputes between estranged couples can reach a logical and peaceful compromise, which is acceptable to both.

Role of a divorce mediator

Do not be under an impression that a divorce mediator is an arbitrator, judge or a referee. Plus, they are not the people to take the final call on which party will win or lose. The only job of a mediator is to guide both the parties while negotiations are going on.

A spouse should be at their best behavior if they hope to convince the other party to be okay with an agreement outside the court. It can be quite tough to accomplish it since a divorce may not put the parties in their most charming behavior, It is precisely where a mediator comes in the picture. They can direct the dialogue and interaction between the two parties so that the potential hazards during the negotiation process can be minimized.

In order to ensure that the mediation process is fruitful, both the parties should be reasonable in their thinking for negotiating a final settlement.

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

How Divorce Mediation Is A Prototype For Positive Co-Parenting

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsMost marriages don’t end at the point of physical separation of the two partners, but were most likely dying slowly for a few years before that. In many cases by the time spouses actually separate and file for divorce there are already a lot of negative feelings for each other. When separating couples find it hard to agree on anything and hostilities run high it would be wise to hire a divorce mediator.

While having a divorce mediator is a good idea for the smooth progress of a divorce it is even more important when children are involved. Parents who are going through their own share of trials during a divorce can often overlook the impact the process is having on their children. Having a divorce mediator gives room for an objective third party to step in and provide constructive solutions which is in the best interest of all involved.

The Advantages Of Hiring A Divorce Mediator   

  1. You and your spouse can sit down together with the mediator and decide on the terms of your divorce. A meeting like this gives you the space to discuss issues like property division, paying off of debt, etc. and find workable solutions that you both agree on.
  1. Together you can both work out a plan for custody rights and parenting of your children. Decisions like whether you will co-parent or one parent gets full custody while the other gets visitation rights, can be taken with both your cooperation.
  1. If you decide to co-parent, together you can make a road-map for how things will proceed from this point on. Many points like how the child or children’s time is distributed between both parents, who gets what duties and what to do in emergency situations can be discussed.
  1. Any roadblocks that come up during the meeting can be arbitrated by the mediator and a solution can be found peacefully.

How Divorce Mediation Helps Co-Parenting 

When you consider all the points mentioned above, you also see that having a divorce mediator trains you to work as a team. Co-parenting requires teamwork and learning to cooperate with your former spouse peacefully is invaluable to the emotional and physical well-being of the children.

We offer divorce lawyer and divorce mediator services in Orange County, CA. Our practice is based on California specific divorce laws and we follow all the requirements put forward by the state. Our divorce mediator services have facilitated the amicable divorce of several couples and created a smooth transaction for the children.

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

Is Divorce Mediation Right For You?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediationThese days, couples can get divorced through various ways. Some of these ways are litigation, collaborative or mediation. But how do you conclude what is the right method for you? Divorce mediation is a method of procuring a divorce when a neutral and unbiased third party, selected by both the spouses can facilitate discussions to address and resolve various issues related to a divorce. But mediation is not binding unless it is mutually agreed by both the parties.

Check out some of the common principles through which divorce mediation can be conducted to resolve issues:

Private

A mediation process engages only those stakeholders whose presence is needed to reach an agreement. The stakeholders typically include the spouses, a financial neutral or a coach if required and the mediator, agreed by both sides. The records or notes exchanged in the mediation process can never be used in future court proceedings if the mediation does not work out for whatever reasons since they are public records. In a majority of cases, mediators tend to destroy the mediation notes and records after the process is completed for this particular reason.

Voluntary

It could be made mandatory for both the parties to attend an initial meeting if a judge orders so. However, follow up participation is voluntary in nature. The court cannot impose a resolution on either spouse. Plus, all resolutions that are arrived at should be voluntary and mutually agreed upon.

Confidential

Strict confidentiality should be maintained for all mediation sessions and are restricted to only those professionals that are approved by both the spouses as mentioned above. In case a party requests for any kind of access to mediation information, both the parties should put their signatures allowing so. Both sides should also be willing to the fact that secrecy should be maintained due to some compelling reasons or it is beneficial to do so.

Decision-making should be done in an informed way

Both the parties should have the essential information required to make informed decisions with respect to the resolution of their conflicts.

Whether divorce mediation will work for you or not depends on your unique situation. It may work out for those couples who want to divorce by embracing a cost-effective procedure and need to maintain a harmonious relationship even after their divorce is finalized so that they can co-parent their kids successfully. But there could be a scenario when one of the spouses may disagree to mediate. In such scenarios, opting for litigated or collaborative divorce can be a better alternative.

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

Symptoms Your Kids Are Being Affected By Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county custody mediation; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce triggers both kids as well as adults to make several adjustments and face tough challenges. However, there is a difference in how each child responds to their parent’s divorce. While a majority of them will handle these challenges with maturity and sensibility and grow up into well-adjusted adults, there are some kids who go through behavioral and emotional difficulties when their parents go through a divorce. And though there are differences in the long-term reaction in a child to the divorce of their parents, many kids may go through emotional distress and emotions like conflicts, confusion, guilt, fury, anxiety, and sadness in the short-term. Such emotions pop up when there is a question of loyalty towards their parents and a strong desire to spend more time with their absent parent.

When you notice the following symptoms of distress with your child, you need to take appropriate action such as taking them to a therapist so that they can overcome their emotional problems related to the divorce.

Drastic change in academic performance

Do you find your kid is showing dismal performance in the tests? Is he losing interest in his school activities? This could be a telltale sign that he is emotionally disturbed.

Refuses to spend time with his/her parent

When there is no issue of child abuse in a family and yet a kid shows an unwillingness to spend their time with the parent, it can be a symptom that the kid feels the requirement of taking sides. A child should not feel that they are forcefully put in a situation where they have to select one parent over their other.

Increase in certain type of physical complaints

When you find them complaining about their physical conditions such as stomach aches or headaches quite often, it may mean that they are going through a tough time to come up with the divorce of their parents.  Allergy, stomachaches, and headaches are some of the most common symptoms that your kid is going through an emotional distress.

Prolonged and significant change in the behavior

You have always known that your child to be extremely polite bit you may find them being inconsiderate all of a sudden when your divorce case is going on. Your outgoing, gregarious and talkative kid can express less interest in social activities and friends.

Does not show keenness to engage in family, school, athletic or social activities

This is another important symptom that your children are clinically depressed as a result of your divorce from your spouse.

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

How To Choose The Best Divorce Mediator

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorney in orange county; California Divorce MediationSelecting the best divorce mediator should be the first important agreement that should be made jointly by the divorcing spouses right at the start of their divorce mediation process. Thus, it is one of the most crucial decisions for both the spouses to make during the course of their divorce.  Several factors should be taken into account while selecting the best Orange County divorce mediator. Read on to know some of the essential qualities in a mediator you and your estranged spouse should look for prior to taking the final call.

1. Should be educated in mediation as well as dispute resolution
Make sure that the divorce mediator you are choosing has the essential education for resolving disputes and mediation training. When a person is pursuing yearly training on mediation and is educated in resolving disputes, they can serve your purpose well while the negotiation process is on.

2. He or she should be specialized in family mediation matters
You need to confirm that the practice area of the said mediator is solely dedicated towards family and divorce mediation. When you choose a proficient family mediator, they are highly skilled because of their domain knowledge in practicing divorce mediation. A good divorce mediator should have the necessary expertise and a specialized skill set with necessary knowledge to help you as well as the other party through divorce. When you choose a professional whose primary focus area is not divorce mediation, you may not get the kind of help you are expecting to resolve your divorce issues. You should directly query them to find out how much percentage do family and divorce mediation constitute out of their entire practice experience. Typically, this should be one hundred percent. But a majority percentage is a good sign too.

3. Trust factor is highly crucial
Select a divorce mediator that you can trust wholeheartedly. It is perhaps the most critical aspect to consider while selecting your divorce mediator. You should be able to trust them for guiding you through the entire process. After all, there could be a high degree of emotions while the mediation is going on. Plus, when there are kids in your marriage, greater considerations should be made while discussing their future. Hence, your divorce mediator should be a person with whose you can always be at ease both as a professional as well as an individual.

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

3 Tips on Effective Co-Parenting After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County Divorce Mediators; California Divorce MediatorsIt is not easy to be a co-parent, especially after you have split from your spouse and your relationship with your former partner is strained. You may have apprehensions about the parenting abilities of your ex-spouse, worried about your child support or stressed about some issues. You could also be tired of the ongoing conflict and feel that all that animosity between you and ex-partner will never disappear.

However, when you co-parent in an amicable manner with your former spouse, you can provide security, the close relationship with your kids with both their parents and stability that they require. It is for the well-being of your children that there will be a possibility to overcome the challenges associated with co-parenting and build up a cordial and working association with your ex-spouse. These tips will help you to resolve conflicts on contentious issues, be consistent and remain calm so that the custody and parenting schedule with your ex-spouse works well and your children feel secure and happy.

Tip 1: Keep your anger and animosity aside

If you want to enjoy a fruitful co-parenting experience, you need to have a check on your emotions. This means that you should keep your hurt, resentment, and anger at bay for fulfilling the needs of your kids. It is true that keeping such emotions at a distance could be the toughest part to work towards a good working relationship with your former husband but nevertheless, it is an extremely important one. Being successful as co-parents are opposed how you or your ex-spouse may feel about one another. Rather it is all about the future well-being, stability, and happiness of your kid. Avoid putting your kids in between. It is highly possible that you may not lose all the bitterness or anger about your divorce ever. However, the best technique will be to compartmentalize your emotions and keep telling yourself that these are your concerns but not your kid’s; you should ensure that the issues you have with your ex-are kept away from the kids.

Tip 2: Try To improve your communication with your ex

Meaningful, consistent and peaceful communication with your former partner is a must for making your co-parenting click, although they may not appear to be possible. However, everything starts with your mindset. You need to remind yourself that the peaceful communication between both of you can be highly needed for the well-being of your child. Prior to getting in touch with your ex, introspect how your discussion could affect your kid and make a resolution to conduct yourself in a dignified manner. The key point of every talk that you have with your ex should revolve around your kid. You need to also note in this context that meeting your former spouse physically may not be essential always. You can speak to him or her over the phone, exchange messages, emails or texts on a majority of the occasions.

Tip 3: You need to co-parent as a single team

Being a good parent also involves having frequent decisions with your ex-irrespective of what you feel about one another. When you communicate and cooperate with one another without bickering or hurting one another, making decisions become much easier and simpler on everyone. When both of you work together as a team, decision-making with respect to your child becomes quite easy.

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

Dealing With Divorce Involving A Special Needs Child

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody mediation Orange County; California Divorce MediationWhen you have a kid with special needs, there could be special issues in your divorce. Hence, when you visit your divorce lawyer, you should describe the facts to him or her clearly and accurately as it will be a different divorce altogether.

Implication of divorces involving special needs children 

If it is a divorce pertaining to special-needs then your lawyer may require specialized understanding, specialized details, external experts and a distinct discovery process. When you do not furnish all the requirements to the lawyer or not procure all the information that will be needed for your divorce since you are unaware of the requirements, there can be severe repercussions for your child or your entire family.

Questions your lawyer may ask you

How can the needs of a special child affect the co-parenting and custodial arrangements that are being contemplated? After all, a standard parenting plan can be quite inadequate. How much amount the other parent should pay for the support of such a child? Do the parents know how long the support should be paid since the child may not be self-supporting ever? Does the spouse need to purchase additional life insurance in such circumstances? If so, then how much and for what duration? How does your lawyer ascertain whether there are special requirements in reality or not when one of the parties say there are while the other parent goes on claiming that the kid is just doing fine.

Your divorce lawyer may conduct a fact-finding exercise while conducting the first interview for you. In fact, it can be a different exercise altogether as compared to the way they deal with their other divorce clients.

Some of the questions they may ask you are as follows:

  • Has there been a formal diagnosis?
  • Do both the parties agree with that diagnosis?
  • Who made such a diagnosis?
  • What kind of testing has been done and by whom?
  • Does your kid have an IEP?
  • Do any special financial requirements exist?
  • Is your child’s condition treatable, curable or is it a terminal one?
  • Does the state or a private insurance company reimburse additional and special expenses?
  • Are these expenses non-recurring, recurring or ongoing?
  • What is the daily schedule of your child?
  • Do you think any such expenses will occur in future that is not being incurred now?
  • Are there expenses related to the child’s medications?
  • Does your kid have problems with transitioning between two different environments?
  • Are there any special dietary requirements?
  • Does one of the parents need to undergo excess time commitment or any kind of special training as compared to the other parent?
  • Is your kid with special needs affecting the other kids in the family who do not have special needs?

Depending on the severity of the child’s special needs, there may be a need for adult child support beyond them reaching the age of majority (age 18), so it is important to address this issue in the divorce judgment that may include having the child formally assessed as to abilities to work and live on their own before the child turns 18.

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