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

Options for Filing Tax Returns After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsRecently divorced individuals can often be faced with new challenges and problems that did not exist previously. One of them is tax filing. Married couples can file for tax either jointly or separately. Usually, the tax filing status of couples is done jointly. In California, couples only have the option for joint filing but divorced individuals can do it separately if they obtain a final decree of divorce by the end of the tax year.

If the final divorce decree is obtained before the end of the tax year, each partner has the option of filing the tax return as single or head of household. They follow the same tax rules as legally separated couples.

Filing as head of household

A head of household is a person who is unmarried and takes care of the house expenses. Those who qualify for head of household should file as such because the effective tax rate is lower than those who file as single individuals. It also protects one from joint tax liability that might arise due to the other spouse’s error.

One of the advantages of filing as head of household after divorce is that it does not require the other spouse to itemize things.

Filing joint and separate returns

In California, only married couples are allowed to file a joint return. It may not be applicable for legally separated couples and individuals should check the state tax laws first before filing a tax return. According to federal tax rules, a marriage is one where a legal union exists between two individuals. It does not matter which state the individuals belong to as long as their marriage took place in California. The state law also controls whether couples are legally separated or divorced under separate maintenance decree.

Joint returns can be filed by couples who are legally separated but still married. Separate returns can also be filed by both individuals.

Filing tax returns can be confusing and difficult after a long and tough divorce. It requires the individual to understand the state tax laws and file for returns accordingly. California state laws require couples to file tax returns jointly. Divorced individuals can file separately provided the final divorce decree has been passed by the end of the tax year. Legally separated couples can file jointly or separately. Tax rates can increase or decrease, depending upon how it is being filed and in what condition.

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

Can A Couple Go For A Trial Separation While Living Together?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsThere are many marriages that go through the process of trial separations. Contrary to common perception, a trial separation does not necessarily mean that your relationship has ended. Rather, it means that both the parties have made up their minds to take a temporary break in the relationship. Plus, they want to utilize the separation period to take a call on if they want to give another chance to their relationship or not. The period of solitude can help the spouses to assess their problems in an objective manner and find out how life will be while living alone and enjoying a period of freedom.

From the name itself, it is obvious that trial separation typically means that the spouses will be living in separate houses. So, is it possible that both of you will be living in the same house and yet go through a trial separation?

Although there are several couples who undergo emotional separation during this time period, it is not mandatory that they need to separate physically. It is a commonplace to find trial separations occurring while staying in the same home. The same is typically true when there are young kids from the marriage. Following are some of the guidelines to ensure the success of your trial separation while living under the same roof together.

Enter into a truce with your partner and explain each other

If you and your spouse keep arguing all the time, there is no point to opt for a trial separation and staying in the same house. It is better to agree on the time frame of your separation by calling a truce and stop bickering with your spouse. You should also express the reasons for which you desire to separate.

Establish certain ground rules

Will you see or meet other people while you are separated? Can you still text or call each other while you are separated? Have you decided how to look after your finances and shared vehicle? Do you have plans to reunite when the separation period comes to an end? Are you just waiting for the other spouse to save some money and then leave?

You need to consider the kids

If both of you have kids together, it is crucial to have a proper structure in place. It is better to set aside some time and discuss whether you will make decisions unanimously or as separated parents. If you want to take united decisions for the sake of your kids, it makes sense to maintain a proper routine so that your kids feel secure and safe. The routine may constitute of details like who will cook dinner, how should you spend the weekend nights together and so on. In case there is a routine that you have been following for eating dinner or breakfast together, it is better to continue with that.

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

What Is The Meaning Of An Emotional Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsSome spouses use a psychological phenomenon called Emotional Divorce if they feel their marriage is now a threat for their very well-being. If you opt for an Emotional Divorce from your spouse, you are actually segregating your emotions and feelings from the marriage. This is felt by some couples even before a divorce. However for other, it happens only post the divorce process, in a majority of the cases, divorce is a one-sided affair. It is a very rare phenomenon when a couple sits down and arrives at a consensus to divorce one another.  This is typically when a spouse is no longer emotionally attached to his or her marriage and wants to obtain a divorce. This spouse has already gone through the divorce emotionally and now wants to legally get unattached from their spouse.

Walk-away and left-behind spouses

There are cases when some spouses go through years of struggles as they emotionally feel distant from their spouses prior to arriving at a conclusion that divorce is the ultimate solution to all those marital problems they are going through or how they feel emotionally about the marriage, such spouses are known as “walk-away spouses”.

There could be various reasons for walk-away spouses to feel emotionally detached from their partners. The most common technique to remain emotionally detached from a marriage is when the spouse starts drawing boundaries they feel hurt or believe that the marriage is no longer safe for him or her.

When a spouse goes for an Emotional Divorce, it will be helpful in maintaining some kind of a psychological integrity whey face an emotionally disturbed situation.

Ideally, Emotional Divorce for some happens before a legal divorce as they felt that there was a strong requirement to protect and withdraw themselves from their marital problems.

A left-behind spouse is one who has to cope with his or her feelings and emotions post the legal divorce. But irrespective of the kind of role that you will be playing, it is imperative for you to handle the divorce process in a mature manner and start viewing yourself like a separate individual not as a wife or a husband.

No matter if you are the wife or the husband, emotional divorce from marriage is possible. However, this phenomenon is more prevalent in women as compared to men.

Having control over your feelings

A left behind spouse usually has a tendency to look for avenues for controlling the situation. These spouses did not see the warning symptoms, symptoms that hinted that their marriage was shaky and feel at a loss to understand how they should respond.  As such, their response becomes such that drove their walk-away spouse even further away emotionally.

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

How to Cope Up With a Legal Separation from Your Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsWhen a marriage is on the verge of a collapse, both the parties may say things they do not mean out of anger and frustration. If you cool down a bit and take a rationalistic view, you will realize that although both you and your spouse have entered into the marriage with complete consent, you are not giving the efforts of late that you had been giving in the beginning of your relationship. Some of them include:

  • Both of you have stopped complimenting one another
  • You are not willing to help each other anymore
  • You have stopped speaking about your feelings
  • Both of you have stopped complementing one another

It is possible that if you give some space to one another, both of you will realize the important aspects of your marriage that seem to have fallen apart. Do you feel that is the case between both of you? If that is so, separating legally from your spouse can be the most suitable alternative for you. While making a decision on whether to opt for a trial separation or a permanent one, you may go through a lot of emotional upheavals. Though separating from your spouse may appear to be the best thing to do, chances are that it may not be the most suitable action for you.

How you decide to spend the time of your separation is very crucial when you and your spouse take a call to separate. You should use the time to get some useful perspective and retrospect on the pros and cons of your marriage. While such a phase in your life can be shocking, you can utilize it well by following the tips mentioned below:

Do not spend all your free time alone 

It is the perfect time to meet up your family and friends who can help you to cope up in this transitional phase in your life. You should use the time to spend some time with your nephew or visit your parents or grandparents. It is crucial to contact your social circle especially since an important chunk of your social circle could have walked out the door.

You should also make an effort to enjoy your “me” time 

Irrespective of how unhealthy or happy your marriage was, there is likelihood that you both you and your partner spent a lot of time in each other’s company. Although, it may not have been quality time, yet it was time nevertheless. So, now that you are separated, utilize your time to enjoy moments of solitude and peace. It is also the right time for you to follow your hobbies or passion. Try reigniting a hobby, which you might not have followed for a while. You can also listen to some lively music to recharge and revitalize you. However, do not spend this time to indulge in self-pity. Sulking and sitting alone think about the past cannot heal your pain.

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

People You Definitely Want On Your Divorce Team

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorney; California Divorce MediatorsWhile you are young through a divorce, ups should surround yourself with those people who prove to be helpful and useful to you at all stages of the divorce process. You will require friends either who me you can share your emotions, a divorce lawyer who can safeguard your legal rights, a marriage counselor who can guide you and so on. In this discussion, you will find a list of all those people who should be by your side or should be in your divorce team even prior to the beginning of your divorce process.

Family and friends

There should be family members and friends by your side who would support in helping you to decide what is right for your family and you. However, you should carefully pick the, before confiding. Choose those family members and friends who can help you to get over your grief for the end the marriage and guide you to concentrate on your future. It is better to stay away from all those family members and friends who instigate you to nurture and not forget your anger and disappointment towards your ex-spouse and encourage you to seek retribution. So, you should have those people beside you who can give you affection and love and help you when you need it. They should consider what is best for you all the times.

Divorce coach or counselor

There can be a big difference when you have somebody in your divorce team to see you through your emotional transition during and post the divorce. You need someone who can help you to overcome your negative feelings as a result of your divorce. So, have a member of your divorce team who is licensed as well as trained to guide you through your negative feelings and start healing. Such a counselor is a precious asset to have by your side during the divorce.

Good mediator

The market is full of mediators and you will be fortunate enough to select someone who is appropriate for your particular situation. If you are not comfortable to be the same place with your husband/wife, look out for a mediator who is good in negotiating your divorce settlement and do not require you and your spouse to be present in the same place. A good mediator can help you by settling the most crucial issues of your marriage.

A divorce attorney

You need a divorce attorney who is experienced enough to look at your particular divorce case from the larger picture and offer you the necessary legal advice you require to make sure you have considered both the pros and cons for every choice made by you during your divorce. You need a divorce attorney who can respond to your queries in a satisfying manner and can keep you aware of your rights on the basis of the divorce laws of your state.

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

How To Have A Good Relationship With Your Ex-Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsSometimes, children can get unconsciously hurt by their parents while the divorce proceedings are going on or after the divorce. There are some adults who may even cause distress knowingly as their anger can drive their attitude and behavior.  But here are a few things that can be done to show respect and good will to your former spouse even after your divorce.

Be courteous to your former spouse when your children are present

Do not lose an opportunity to teach your children on how to control or conceal grudges as well as be polite even if they may be feeling bitter from inside. After all, your kids need not know that their other parent is pushing your button. They simply need to appreciate the fact that your behavior is immaculate despite such negative and ugly behavior from the other side.

Accept and reiterate the fact that your ex’s presence is important in the lives of your children

In case your children value your former spouse, it will be sensible that as your child’s other parent you consider their feelings.

Show maturity while responding to your former spouse’s phone calls and emails

You need to understand something while dealing with your ex, especially when it is about not hurting your children’s feelings. It takes less effort to be humble and polite rather than bring furious with your former spouse. It has been often seen that exes ignore to respond to the emails of the other parent and do not want to sort out issues in an amicable manner. While you could have a feeling that your ex-does do not deserve a good behavior from you but the world is definitely a nicer place when both of you attempt to be good to one another. You may be unaware but how you behave will set an example for your little ones who will also learn how to be well-mannered and civil when they become adults

Do not create a situation where your kids may have to take sides or may feel unsure what they should do

There are instances when the relationship between the former spouses is so bad that one could not attend the functions in their child’s school when the other is attending. Sometimes, such situations may even turn into a sort of power struggle between the two parents Avoid creating situations where your children need to take the side of one of you since such scenarios can be quite distressful for your little ones.

Your actions should demonstrate that the respect of your ex is crucial for you

If you want to get respect, you should be willing to show your respect to the other parent. In case the trust factor was lost while the divorce proceedings were going on, it is time you rebuild 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

Does Adultery Have An Impact On A California Divorce Case Today?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsAre you wondering whether cheating can have an impact on your divorce case or not? If that is the case, here is all that you should know about adultery.  A marriage can end when one of the spouses discovers that the other is having an adulterous relationship. But what importance does an extra-marital relationship has on the continuity of a marriage or in a divorce? The answer to this question may vary from country to country and from state to state. While in some states the effect may be negligible, in other states such a behavior could have a big impact on the results.

In the past, there had been a bigger correlation between adultery and divorce as compared to today. Especially, when a woman committed adultery, it was viewed as a big offense. The punishment was harsher for her than if it was done by a man. Even today, this is so in some countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran. In these countries, the woman could be punished with a violent death if she had an extra-marital relationship. In the United States of America, adultery is treated as a crime in a few states and yet is hardly ever prosecuted.  However, as California is a no-fault state, adultery has little impact on the outcome of a divorce case.

Impact of adultery on asset distribution

Today, adultery does not have that much of an impact on asset distribution in the event of a divorce. However, the exception can be cases where a spouse has used his or her marital assets to provide support to that extra-marital relationship. For instance, when a husband takes a loan against a marital property to support his girlfriend, it can be considered while asset distribution takes place.

Effect of adultery to determine custody

Generally, adultery does not affect decisions related to determining the custody of the children in California. The exception could be when the third person that the wayward spouse is cheating with poses a threat to the children by having a criminal background, uses drugs or abuses alcohol, etc.

However, if adultery can be proven, it can have an impact on spousal support by reducing or terminating the amount of support when an ex-spouse or a spouse is living with some other person, which is known as cohabitation.

But the most problematic and serious problem that adultery is like to cause is while negotiating a settlement. According to statistics, more than a whopping 90 percent spouses resolve their divorce settlement through negotiations. An unfaithful spouse is most likely to feel sheepish or guilty after the confession or the discovery. On the other hand, the spouse cheated on usually feels furious and cheated. These emotional elements of both the parties may come in the way of a peaceful settlement and can significantly have an impact on the divorce terms.

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

Understanding The Emotional Impact of Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce happens due to a number of reasons, like lack of intimacy, infidelity and abuse. It generally occurs in multiple stages, what relationship experts term “divorce cascade”. A marriage about to end is peppered with rising conflict. Communication between the couple reaches disastrous levels before  the marriage reaches a flaming end.

Most divorces result in couples living a better life afterward. This could result in considerable adjustments. It is quite common for divorced individuals to experience psychological pressure like that they have failed in life, sadness and loneliness.

Emotional Issues

Divorce can result in distressing emotional impact. These could affect both the sexes. Recovering from a divorce involves a period of grieving. This is as the spouses know that an important relationship is lost. The relationship was once an is levels before the ma mportant part of their lives. A few people pass through multiple stages of grief, like depression, denial, bargaining and anger. Finally there is an acceptance. Do note that different people react to their loss in different ways. These stages thus do not occur in this particular order for every person.

A marriage end is specifically painful for people who did not want it or even expecting it. It becomes much more problematic when such a sense of loss is blended with tense and even hostile interactions between the divorced spouses. There could be a number of psychological effects like identity loss, depression and lowered self-esteem. A few people who suffer divorce also experience embarrassment and rejection. These may lead to withdrawal from their previous social groups. They generally finds it hard to discuss their fears and feelings, even among their best friends and people who care about them.

In a few cases, individuals who go for divorce face alienation from relatives and friends who disapprove of such a step. They thus experience social support loss in the form of loss of contact from relatives of the ex-spouse. They may also get less support from their own relatives. The result? A much smaller social network which leads to a rise in their sense of isolation.

Depression Post Divorce

Stress related to divorce may lead to depression. The latter is marked by an intense sadness, withdrawal from society, and severe feelings of worthlessness and futility. A number of depressive orders can happen. The list includes dysthymic disorder and heavy depression. A distinct sense of prolonged fatigue and loss of interest in enjoyment of activities are common.

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