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

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

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

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

Can An Orange County Divorce Destroy Your Retirement?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you have finally made up your mind to get a divorce, it is likely that you may not think too much about how it can have an impact on your retirement. However, it is an extremely valid matter to think about. Insured Retirement Institute conducted a study which observed that about 24 percent of the divorced couples who are born after World War II felt their condition will deteriorate after retirement because of the divorce. About 23 percent of the respondents mentioned that they must work for longer years to combat the hardship. Thus, it signifies that you need to take certain measures for protecting your retirement plans. Additionally, it is better to do so as quickly as possible. After all, the financial impact of a divorce can actually last for many decades. Check out some ways to ensure that your retirement dreams are on a proper track irrespective of your divorce.

Retirement and divorce

Although your divorce could be taking place many decades before your retirement date, it is likely that your retirement savings may be badly affected. First of all, a divorce would typically mean that your retirement funds could be split between your former spouse and you. As a result, you may find a substantial reduction in your retirement savings. Secondly, a divorce also signifies that soon it will be a single income household albeit temporarily. Thus, it is possible what you would be able to save quite less for your post-retirement years as compared to what you had initially anticipated or planned.

Divorce and your retirement savings

Local as well as state laws ascertain the manner in which your retirement savings will be split between your former spouse and you. In case you are residing in one of the community property states, any assets acquired by your spouse or you during the course of your marriage are regarded as joint property irrespective of who saved the money. California is also an example of a community property state along with other States like Washington, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Idaho and New Mexico.

The most certain technique to ensure that your retirement savings are protected is to enter into a prenuptial agreement, which specifies which party will get the exact percentage of the saving in the accounts in the event of a marriage breakup. In case, you have not set up a prenup, you should negotiate with your former spouse and come up with an agreement that will benefit you both. You can hire one of the reputable Orange County divorce mediators at California Divorce Mediators to help you in the process.

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

4 Different Ways of Getting an Orange County Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsAre you planning to get divorced but do not know how to initiate the process? There is a common misconception that a divorce process is always a lengthy and complicated one, which may not be necessarily true. Here are some of the ways to get a divorce in Orange County, California.

DIY divorce

It is possible that both you and your husband/wife have sorted out all the parenting, tax and financial issues already. So, you have time at your disposal to go through those detailed guidelines, draft and file documents in the court. A majority of the bar associations or states sell handbooks that are handy for filing the paperwork or a do-it-yourself divorce. Alternatively, one can also browse through the website of a state on uncontested divorces to get a hang of the things. Usually, it takes about two weeks to complete the documentation and procures notarized signatures. However, you need to wait for the court’s final divorce decree that may take anywhere between a fortnight to about six months based on the time taken by your court.

Mediated divorce

It is highly possible that both you and your partner failed to resolve the parenting, financial and tax-related issues.  However, if both of you can still be together in one too then a mediator with a neutral approach can guide both of you on the issues that could eventually sort out your differences. The basic aim of a neutral mediation is to assist you and your spouse to arrive at a settlement without the court’s intervention. It is not necessary that a mediator has to be an attorney.  However, if the mediator is one, the person can get all the legal documents ready and then file them in the court on your behalf. While mediation is a voluntary act, it becomes binding after an agreement is signed. The speed of a mediated divorce is reasonably fast and can be usually arrived within three months.

On-line DIY divorce

It is quite similar to a DIY divorce but the difference is that you need not procure blank court papers. Rather, the online program will ask you certain questions and you need to key in your responses. Thus the software program does the paperwork on your behalf. You just need to take a printout of the final documents and notarize them before filing in the court. It takes less time than a DIY divorce as the paperwork is simplified due to the online program.

Litigated divorce

Both the parties should hire their respective attorneys who will represent them while the divorce proceedings are on.  It can be a time-consuming procedure.

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

Divorcing When You Have Adult Children

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsThere are many couples who are going through a high-conflict marriage. But since these couples have children from their marriage, they sometimes wait until their children grow up and leave home for college to separate or divorce. A term called “The Freshman Call” has originated from this practice that further goes on to prove how popular such a phenomenon is these days. It is true that while parents opt for a divorce and kids are involved, the major impact is typically on these young children. But when couples with adult children plan to divorce, the latter can be deeply affected too.

On several occasions, these parents are not quite prepared for the violent and powerful reactions they get from their adult children who are studying in colleges. In fact, these kids may face a host of issues when their parents make up their minds to part ways.

Handling feelings of guilt while separating with adult children

On one hand, younger children may feel concerned that they are responsible for the divorce of their parents while on the other hand, college-going children frequently feel guilty that their contribution was insufficient to stop the breakup of their parents’ marriage. Such emotions are likely to prevail even though the children know that their parents had a troubled marriage from the beginning.

Though several college going children do have the necessary insight and maturity to understand that their parents’ marriage is not a happy one, they may still be slightly taken aback when they get to know about the divorce news of their parents. It can also take a toll on their mental and physical well being. Plus, some adult children may start having apprehensions about the fate of their own romantic relationships. They may become pessimistic about relationships in general after their parents’ divorce.

Plan your conversation with your adult children while divorcing

Restrain yourself from calling your children at college and do not discuss such details when they are away on vacations. Instead, wait for an opportunity when they are at home for some days. It is the ideal opportunity for all of you to sit, relax and discuss the matter. You should understand that your divorce decision can be upsetting for them. It is also important to concentrate on your children rather than giving more focus on the reasons for which you are getting a divorce.

Encourage your adult children to maintain harmonious relationship with both the parents

Since your children are now grown-ups, there will be no orders from the court for a specific parenting time or schedule now. But let your adult child know that they should try to maintain a cordial relationship with both the parents even after the divorce comes through.

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