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

Can You Mediate A Prenuptial Agreement?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Prenuptial agreements Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsPrenuptial agreements are a sensitive topic of discussion. A couple entering into marriage might not warm up to the idea in the beginning. Unfortunately, the growing number of failed marriages and ensuing ugly disputes makes such agreements all the more necessary. Once a couple has decided to sign a prenuptial agreement, the next task is to decide the division of assets. This can turn out to be unpleasant.

Ultimately, discussing a prenuptial agreement can lead to disputes between both the spouses. In such cases, mediation is an excellent way to reduce damages that can happen. Mediation is a form of conflict resolution used in law. A third party assists the spouses-to-be to come to a fair settlement. Such a person is called the mediator.

Mediation is possible

The first thing that a couple who has decided to move ahead with signing the prenuptial agreement should know is that successful mediation of the agreement is possible. Many couples are unaware of this fact. Mediation is an excellent way to resolve conflicts and it helps if the couples research about it by themselves or get the help of a competent attorney. 

Mediation starts with people 

It is important to sit with an experienced mediator to discuss the potential terms for an agreement first. Both parties need to keep in mind that they are getting married and while the terms in the agreement should be fair, it should also be decided upon mutual agreement and should be fair to both spouses.

Understand the law 

Different states have different laws pertaining to prenuptial agreements. The mediator should make sure both parties are aware of existing laws. Divorce and inheritance should not become an issue in case the unthinkable happens. Mediators should provide legal information as to what can happen if one spouse inherits property and what it possibly means for the other spouse. Mediators cannot provide legal advice since they are not attorneys per se. 

Understanding either spouse 

A mediator should communicate with both spouses to understand any concerns they might have regarding the agreement. It’s important to understand their views on the agreement. Often, it happens that one party may not want to sign the agreement but is afraid to be forthcoming about it. It is important to address the concerns of such an individual and allay their fears. Each term on the prenuptial agreement should be discussed fairly and accurately and should be reviewed against the other terms to make it fair to both parties.

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

How To File For Divorce When Not A California Resident For The Prior 6 Months

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators in California; California Divorce Mediators; California laws and rules regarding divorces are straightforward and do not require much insight. As is common in other states, California too has residency requirements for couples who want a divorce.

The residency requirements for a California dissolution of marriage are clearly stated on the first page of the Petition form. The most important requirement for petitioners and respondents is that they must have stayed for a minimum of six months in California before they can get divorced. However, since not everyone can meet the criteria there are ways to go around the six-month residency requirement.

At least one spouse must meet the requirement

A divorce can take place if either of the spouse meets the residency requirement of California. The form states that at least one spouse must meet the residency requirement for the divorce to take place.

When both spouses don’t meet the requirement

It becomes a bit complicated when neither of the spouse meets the six-month residency requirement. In California, the laws are clearly stated and avoiding or breaking them can result in severe punishment. One of the best options is to simply wait till the six-month residency requirement is fulfilled. Talk to your spouse and wait it out. It is useful for people who are nearing the requirement period and don’t want to wait too long for the divorce to take place.

The other option is to file for a legal separation than a dissolution of marriage. That way you won’t have to stay with your spouse and once one of you reach the residency requirements, you can get a divorce. After you meet the six-month requirement, you can file for an amended petition and request the court to convert it into a divorce petition. By doing so, you immediately get access to the Family Law Court.

Conclusion

California has strict residency requirements and couples who want a divorce are expected to stay for at least six months before a divorce can take place. But many couples don’t meet the requirement but they still want a divorce to take place. The most common way to do it is to wait for the six-month period to get over. Additionally, couples can opt for legal separation and then get it converted into a divorce. However, it is best to consult an experienced divorce lawyer before going through a divorce proceeding.

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

Understanding The Types of Child Custody in California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIn the State of California, couples who are on the path of divorce are advised to read up about all the rights that apply to them so they do not get the short end of the stick. Even unmarried parents have legal rights that cannot be stripped away from them.

Joint legal custody

According to California’s Family Code, parents that have joint legal custody of their children need to ‘share’ the responsibilities of ensuring the well being of the children. Share is the critical term here. You don’t need to share details about everything, but you will need to share details of critical parts of the child’s life such as medical, dental, and education records unless specified otherwise by a court.

Under joint legal custody, a parent cannot do things such as infringing on other’s custodial time, taking the child and moving away, or seeking therapy for the child without the knowledge and consent of the other parent. If a parent violates joint legal custody, then a court could strip some of the parent’s rights away depending on the nature of the violation.

Sole physical custody

The parent whop does not have sole physical or legal custody of a child still possesses the right to access records about the child in question. The parent will also have ‘reasonable visitation’ rights. Sole custody does not deprive noncustodial parents of all their rights, and they have the right to ask courts to strictly define visitation times and schedules. However, the sole custodian will have the exclusive legal authority to make decisions about a child’s education, welfare, and health. The noncustodial parent has the right to challenge these decisions in court and have it overturned if a court determines that it is against a child’s best interests.

What about child preference?

After the California Family Code 3042 was implemented in January 2012, child preference is now more important than ever before. A child’s preference will be taken into account by a court as will factors such as maturity, parental influence, social conditioning, financial health, and other factors that affect a child’s well-being. If a child is sufficiently mature and meets all the relevant criterion, a court will be obliged to respect the wishes of the child. Children who are or above the age of 14 are allowed to attend and address the court regarding their preferences.

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

Coping With Stress During And After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce mediators; California divorce mediatorsDivorce can result in a variety of negative emotions and if you are going through one then you know the feeling. Most of the time people going through a bad divorce feel stressed from the entire experience and it ends up having a negative impact on their lives. In situation like these it is very important to relax and learn how to deal with the stress.

Contemplate your decision to get divorced

The decision to legally end a relationship can be a difficult choice and the feelings after the divorce can be worse. When you get divorced it not only affects you and your partner but it affects friends and family members as well. On the emotional front, you and some family members will face a hard time. It is important to contemplate on your decision and then taking the necessary step. You should try and talk to your partner about it and the way it makes him/her feel. If you feel there is a chance, however small, for things to work out, you should consider that option. You can even consult experts like divorce mediators for more details.

Pay attention to emotional needs

Usually, people who get divorced want to stay isolated and away from social gatherings. But being isolated makes the experience even more difficult than it already is. If you have just experienced a divorce it is important that you find support from your friends and families.

You can also seek help from people who have gone through divorce. They will understand how you feel and can guide you in a better way.

You should spend more time with people who enjoy your company and who value you. Such people can not only be your stress buster but they can also provide moral support as well. The feeling of being neglected only makes things worse and you should avoid isolation at all cost.

Take care of yourself

During and after a divorce the most important thing that you tend to ignore is yourself. Divorces can be painful but that does not mean the end of the world. Treat your divorce like a flu and try overcoming it. Go for a vacation and meet new people. Try taking a break from your job and visit different places where you always wanted to go. Moving away from the old home and relocating to a new place also works.

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

The Rate Of Gray Divorces Is On The Rise

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIn 2016, the rate of gray divorces rose by three times than gray divorces in 1990. More couples above the age of 65 are heading for courtrooms to get divorced. Experts have cited many reasons for this trend and some of them include the changing laws, evolving status of women in society and less stigma associated with divorces.

Reasons for gray divorces

The rise of gray divorces cannot be limited to any one reason. There are different speculated causes for the rise in gray divorces. The rise does not necessarily indicate that older people are discontent with their marriages. Today’s lifestyle and the change in outlook has made it possible for more and more older people to head for a divorce. Previously, divorcees were often faced with social stigma and divorces were looked upon as embarrassments. But things have changed and getting a divorce has become more common than it used to be.

Probably the most important reason for the rise in gray divorces is the evolving status of women.  Women have become an important part of the work force and they are choosing a life that makes them more independent. Women have become less dependent on their male counterparts in terms of finances and it is probably why women make up the majority of people who initiate gray divorces.

Another reason for gray divorces is the change in state laws which has made it easier for couples to get a divorce. Previously, laws concerning divorces especially gray divorces were tough and many couples did not want to go through such a rigorous process. But now individual states have relaxed divorce laws and most couples can now head for an easy divorce.

Impact of divorces at a later stage in life

Divorces can be a difficult process both in terms of emotions and finances. Asset division during a divorce can be a major problem if the number of assets and property is high. Young couples may find it relatively easy because the number of assets amassed will be substantially less than those of older couples. For gray couples, getting a good lawyer should be their first step when getting a divorce.

Conclusion

Gray divorces are on the rise due to the changing social lifestyle for both men and women. Women have now become independent and feel that getting a divorce at a later stage in life can actually be beneficial for them.

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

Symptoms That Your Kids Are Getting Stressed From Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody attorneys in Orange CountyDivorce 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 within your kid, you need to take appropriate action such as taking them to a therapist so that they can overcome their emotional problems when your divorce comes through.

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

What Is Divorce Coaching And How Can It Be Useful To You?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsWhile terms like litigation and divorce attorneys are known to many, everyone is not so aware of divorce coaches. A good divorce coach may have a very important role to play when your divorce proceeding is going on. If you are wondering what a divorce coach is, they are individuals who can guide you to explore different facts of your divorce.  They are particularly of help for all those parties who could be moving ahead with an amicable separation.

Defining divorce coaching

A third party who can offer assistance at different points while a divorce is going on is called a divorce coach. They are professionals usually having a background in family or marriage therapy. A divorce coach can prove to be a valuable asset for all those couples who want to separate amicably and yet are having a tough time in conducting a productive and stress free discussion without the presence of an intermediary. A divorce coach frequently helps in making both the parties communicate about tough and contentious discussion points so that the talks do not take an ugly turn and there is a better result for the concerned parties.

Different roles of a divorce coach

Divorce coaching may take place in several ways. A divorce coach can get involved in the difficult phases of a divorce so that the couple finds it easier to figure out the right divorce method for them. They also enable the couples to sort out their different marital challenges and live together for a long time to come.

A divorce coach has a significant role to play when the actual divorce process continues. Their key aim is to ensure that there is a successful communication between both the parties so that the couple can arrive at an agreement that is mutually beneficial in the long term.

Last, but not the last, a divorce coach can also play a big part in offering a helping hand during the parenting process post a couple’s divorce in some cases. It is a specialized form of divorce coaching which is referred to as a “Co-parenting coach.” Such a coach is equipped in navigating through the post-divorce parenting process to come up with the best possible solution for the concerned family.

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