The Most Asked Questions about California Child Support

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

When there are kids from a marriage, their well being is the first thought that comes up in the minds of divorcing couples. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions as far as California child support is concerned.

  1. How is child support determined?

There is a statewide guideline in California based on which child support is ascertained. The formula used for determining is quite complex. Hence, calculations are usually done by an Orange County divorce attorney. These attorneys use some special computer programs that are licensed by organizations offering software on legal research. The calculation is carried out on the basis of factors such as income of both parents, their status on tax filing, and number of kids in the marriage, tax-deductible expenses of each parent, and the time span for which each parent has the child custody and so on.

  1. Is there a restriction on how much amount a court orders a parent to pay for child support in California?

There is no limit in California as far as the amount of child support is concerned, unlike some other States in the United States. The calculation mentioned in the guideline is the basis for legal calculation in a majority of divorce cases. There are a few exceptional situations where a court may digress from it.

  1. The calculation generated a figure that is much more than what is essential in bringing up a child. What is to be done then?

The amount to be granted by the “provider” parent to bring up a kid may not be same always. The Californian law states that a kid is eligible to lead a lifestyle that is similar to that of their parents. Hence, when the calculation for a child support enhances the lifestyle status of a parent with lower income, it is often upheld by a judge. However, in cases where the amount calculated for child support is exorbitant and does not match to the reasonable lifestyle of either of the parents, the court may decide to move away from the given guideline.

  1. What is the next course of action when the amount paid for child support is sufficient for supporting the other parent as well as the kid?

Such a scenario does occur on various occasions. The law enables the child to lead the lifestyle that is enjoyed by the parent with higher earnings. There are cases upheld by a superior court when a receiving parent petitioned for receiving housing as well as many other expenses as the amount paid for child support is not adequate. It is a common result when a parent is earning a very high income,

  1. Which incomes should be included while calculating child support?

Some of them are cash flows from a business, income from investment, recurring interest and salary from employment.

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

Ways To Lower Your Divorce-Related Stress

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediators orange county; California Divorce MediatorsFrom the time you have filed a divorce petition, there are lots to worry about. You are still figuring out how to move your kids between two different households, trying to coordinate with your divorce lawyer or a mediator or both, handling your children’s emotional needs and coping up with the emotional stress you could be going through. Even experts say that divorce is one of the biggest stressors of life. Hence, it is imperative that you put your best foot forward to ensure that your stress is minimized. There are certain activities you should drop and certain others you should continue doing to deal with your stress.

Discard

Conventional dinners

Drop the practice of having traditional dinners. Instead, try to go for snack dinners. Take out your plate and fill them up with healthy food products such as peanut butter, rolls, peanuts, grapes, apple slices, applesauce, and cheese slices. There should be a proper ratio of carbs, vegetables/fruits and proteins in your diet. Thus, you now have a well-balanced but easy to gather dinner ready within a few minutes.

Electronic gadgets

It has been often proved that certain devices are not good to depend on as babysitters. However, at times when children are thoroughly bored, the stress level of the mom is maximum or there is a doctor’s appointment at the last moment, some devices may help. But over-dependence on electronic devices is not good for health in the long run. Try to avoid them just before your bedtime as the blue light being emitted from them may cause havoc to your kid’s sleep.

Continue

Chatting with your children

By this time your children are aware that you are going through a rough patch. When you validate their feelings and discuss issues with them openly in a loving and positive way, you will enjoy a healthy relationship with them during this tough time.

Bedtime routine with kids

The right kind of bedtime routine you follow with your kids can make them relaxed while being a great stress-buster for them. Maintaining a consistent schedule even while you are stressed can bring in comfort while minimizing stress-related insomnia. Researches have proved that it can alleviate the stress levels of the moms too.

Have dates with family at night

You can have family date nights with your children though there could be financial constraints now. However, many big cities offer plenty of free activities that you can indulge in with your children. The least you can do is go out for a picnic in the nearby park or take them out for a walk after completing dinner.

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

Tips to Keep Your Divorce Expenses Down

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsAlthough you could be the one you initiated your divorce process, it may still take a toll on you. It is quite a costly process and there is hardly anyone who emerges as a winner in a divorce? Costs can get multiplied when a single household splits into two. But rational and logical thoughts, proper planning and education may be helpful in lowering the financial impact. Check out the following suggestions that can come handy for keeping your costs in check during the divorce.

Try to stay out of a court as far as possible

A litigated divorce can be quite an expensive affair. In fact, it may even deplete the marital assets of a couple who are about to end their marriage. Collaborative or mediation divorce can save both money and time and also help in completing the procedure in a proper manner. When these approaches are adopted, it is easy to agree on common grounds so that a mutually satisfactory agreement between the couple can be reached. When both the parties are flexible and can come out with solutions to sort out their issues, there could be a cooperative association between the former spouses in the future. Hence the parties can proceed with fewer possibilities of conflict and stress, particularly when kids are involved in a marriage.

You can secure professional help to get a feel of your financial situation

Splitting natural properties and financial issues can be extremely time consuming and complicated aspects while a couple gets divorced. Expenses can shoot up drastically as a consequence. It is recommended to hire an experienced attorney as they have the necessary expertise and experience on similar legal matters. The only point you need to take care us about hiring an attorney with specialized knowledge of handling with complex financial matters.

Increase communication and reduce conflicts

You need to realize that when you fight more, your divorce proceeding could get more complicated, It in turn will make the overall process more expensive. Make sure that the attorney hired by your spouse or your attorney does not try to encourage conflict between the two of you. You need to think rationally so that you can continue to communicate freely with your estranged spouse. When you adopt a flexible approach and are ready to negotiate, you can actually save thousands of bucks. There is hardly any merit to try taking revenge on your former spouse or extract vengeance for their supposed bad behavior. The culmination of the distribution of your marital property should be accomplished in a manner that is equitable and just for both the parties involved.

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

Tips for Men to Cope After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsThere are some men who take a deep sigh of relief once their divorce comes through. However, for most men, it can be a shattering experience, which can impact their lives in a negative way. There is no doubt that divorce is not a child’s play. Plus the effects of divorce on men should not be taken light-heartedly. In fact, there are some men who start living a life of pain and suffering after separating from their wives. In case you are one of them, here are some top tips that can help you in coping with your divorce.

Stay away from drugs and alcohol since they are not the right way to handle your divorce 

Many men commit this dumb mistake post divorce. In fact, they feel that drugs and drinking can help them to forget all about their past and enable them to come out of this crisis. However, abuse of drugs and alcohol is one of the big mistakes men can think of after their divorce is finalized.

Divorced men should avoid further conflict and stress with former spouses 

You and your estranged spouse can have different viewpoints and opinions. However, when both of you tend to engage in conflicting situations, it can be counter-productive for both of you. Such emotional banters and bickering can be obstacles to move on with your life and bring more anger and misery.

Start altering your life as soon as possible 

Once your divorce comes through, it is time to make a self-commitment to start altering your life. You can take small steps for accomplishing this by taking good care of your soul, mind and physical well being. To begin with your body should be more active so that there is positivity and energy in you. Secondly, you should try to cleanse your mind from self-destructive and negative emotions. Finally, you need to do some serious soul searching too.

Check out some activities that you may consider:

  • Go to a good hair salon and get a stylish haircut. You are beginning a new life and it can be a good start.
  • Try to have regular and healthy diet. Such a practice will make your body healthy.
  • Concentrate on your job instead of quitting. While your divorce could be a devastating chapter in your life, you should not let your career suffer because of that. Additionally, you will need more money after your divorce.
  • You should shave and shower regularly. Do not forget to use nice smelling cologne before going out to make you feel good. After all, you are a new individual post divorce and should look good to get on with your life.

Be in touch with your close friends

Your friends’ support is very precious at this juncture of your life. Call them up and request them to come over to your place.

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

Things to Know before Separating From Your Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsTo separate from one’s spouse or partner is one of the most difficult and painful decisions to make. If you are a married person, the lives of you and your spouse get intertwined in many ways. Separation can be a devastating experience when a spouse is still in love with the other spouse.

However, it is important to note in this context that a divorce may not be a necessary outcome of every separation. There are several couples who look at separation as a much-needed opportunity to work out issues and also get some space to think. No matter what the ultimate outcomes are, one should not take the decision of separating in a light-hearted manner. In case you are contemplating to separate from your spouse, these are some of the things you should know:

It s crucial to lay down some ground rules

When you are trying to make up your mind about separating, establishing ground rules may not be something you take seriously. But when you establish a few ground rules to start with, it becomes simpler to point out what you are looking out from your separation. Firstly, it is important to indulge in some serious discussions with your partner. You should make a joint decision on if you will be in touch with each other during the period of separation, where you both will live and so on. It is also critical to have a consensus on how to take care of difficult issues such as visitation arrangements and child care and whether you can date a new person or not.

Be happy of having a strong support network

When you have a great support network in place, life becomes easier while you are separated from your spouse. Having a supportive family and close friends during this trying period will make your life easier and calmer. You can also contemplate consulting a professional and reputable therapist to guide you. Such experts will listen to your problems and guide you to sort out your deeper issues. 

Feeling relieved is not unnatural

When your marriage is going through a rocky phase, the decision to separate and the process of separation can bring in a deep sense of relief. So, such emotions are not unusual at all. However, at the same time, you should not regard this sense of relief as a symptom that you will be happier to separate forever. Separating from your spouse does not signify that your choice of partner was incorrect. It only indicates that the present situation is not correct and there are some things that must change.

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

Tips On How To Move On After Infidelity

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsA spouse may go through great mental by social agony when they find about the illicit relationship of their partner. In fact, they may constantly think about it till their heads stagger. However, these people need to understand that most of the times their spouses may not depend that kind of energy and they just do not care.  It is better not to dwell too much into their acts of infidelity.

Try to come to terms with your emotions

Although every case is a unique one, you can definitely do certain things to reduce your pain. Your roller coaster ride of emotions suddenly begins once you get to know about your spouse’s betrayal. It is natural for you to go through several emotions like fear, a sense of deep loss, great fury and disillusionment. You should try to realize that going crazy will not be of any use. After all, there are many other people who have gone through the same kind of confusion and mental agony but have managed to survive. So, you should never forget that you are not the only person to suffer. Follow these easy tips to help you move on in life after you face betrayal from your spouse.

It is important for you to channelize your frustration and anger

You need to take the help of a good therapist or coach who has specialization in divorce related cases. They will listen to you describing the incident f your spouse cheating on you and then guide you to move ahead in life. A good therapist will also help you to make sure that you get the right perspective and make you realize that you still have an opportunity to lead a happy life and you are not to be blamed for the faults of your spouses. They are adults and made their own decisions. You should never own their decisions and feel bad about it.

Keep yourself thoroughly engaged with messages all through the day so that you feel better

When you indulge in self-pity and try to stay as a recluse, it is impossible to start a new life and stay positive. While no one is arguing that self-pity is normal in the beginning, you should let yourself be angry and hurt only for some time. However, you need to soon make a conscious effort to pick yourself up, and get in touch with your counselor or therapist. It is the ripe time to promise yourself to start a new journey in your life.

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

Things You Should Expect From a Good Family Law Judge

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsMany would agree that family law can be one of the most complicated legal affairs. The level of difficulty may go up due to excessive emotional stress that often accompanies divorce proceedings or disputes related to child custody. So, it is not an easy task to for a good family law judge.

Judges need to be in complete control in the courtroom

A family law case involves a lot of emotions. Hence, it is highly imperative that a good family law judge should be in complete charge of their courtroom do that the things get cool down. It is the responsibility of these judges to ensure that the two parties or the lawyers of both the parties should be restrained from attacking one another. There are some divorce lawyers who spend about 30 minutes covering issues, which should be covered within 5 or 10 minutes. It is exactly where the judges should step in to control the litigants and the attorneys.

Judges should ensure that the proceedings of the court start in time

In case a court is scheduled to start at eight in the morning, a judge should not be delayed in reaching the court. He or she should be punctual in reaching the court so that the hearings should begin on time. As it is, the litigants and the attorneys would be waiting impatiently for the court’s proceedings to start. However, the public should understand that several important events could be taking place in the chambers of the judge, so some times a late start is unavoidable.

Accessibility is a key feature of good judges

Problem-solving is a key personality trait of any good judge or attorney. Any good judge makes it a point to get in touch with the litigants as well as lawyers about certain issues. He or she may tell that certain facts in cases may prompt them to take certain actions in certain scenarios. Such information can be used by the attorneys for resolving certain contentious issues since they got a specific reading from the said judge. They are also able to clearly see the writing on the walls.

Decision-making capacity

There are some judges who hesitate to make a timely decision. It is a known fact that both, clients as well as their attorneys, want that they should get a proper judgment. Even if one of the parties may not agree with the ruling of a judge, it is still better to give a ruling instead if no ruling at all. A good family law judge should declare a ruling with proper reasoning to support such a decision. When a judge has given a ruling, both the parties can at least go ahead with the next phase in their lives or to the subsequent part of that case.

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

Mediation Tips for Same-Sex Couples

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Gay marriage and domestic partnership attorneys in Los Angeles Orange County California; California Divorce AttorneysMediators have increasingly become important in divorces and often play a vital role in determining the outcome of divorce. In some cases, mediators are successful at stopping a bad divorce from taking place.

As a mediator, you need to keep certain points in mind before you can proceed with a mediation for same-sex couples.

Keep things in perspective

It is a serious matter but don’t make it so serious that the couple feel that a divorce is the end of the road for them.  Keep things in perspective.  Allow them to focus on important issues and be calm about it.

Try to save the marriage first

Most of the time, you will try to sort out the differences between the two individuals. However, in case of same-sex couples, try to save the marriage if there is a possibility to do so. Tell your clients the pros and cons of getting a divorce and help them decide the best course of action.

Be sensitive about what you say

How you talk with heterosexual clients may not work for same-sex couples. Try understanding their psyche and look at things from their point of view.

Conclusion

Same-sex marriages like heterosexual marriages are prone to divorces too. It is difficult for same-sex couples to split because finding a partner is not easy for them. Once they find someone who they are comfortable with, they try staying with the same person for the rest of their life. However, problems can arise anytime and sometime they lead to divorce. Divorce mediation for such individual is a bit different than regular mediation process. The sensitivity meter is higher and mediators should know what they are talking about. Also, same-sex couples prefer options for saving their marriage rather than learning about the best way to do a divorce.

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

Behind the veil of how California family law courts function

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators in California; California Divorce Mediators;Forget all renditions of courtroom dramas as seen on television or in the movies, the real courtroom where everyday cases are heard by judges runs very differently. Devoid of all glamour and romance, family court is not what you would expect, if going by what you’ve seen on TV.

Here’s a more appropriate view of what to expect if you do find yourself in a California Family Law Court.

Tight Security Checks

Like all Government institutions, court houses are firm on security checks. Before entering you will be subjected to a thorough screening. Beginning with a walk through metal detector screener, keep a check of all metal items you might be carrying on your person. You will need to keep all metal aside, including objects like belts, keys, phone, pocket change etc.

Arrive well before your scheduled appointment and leave unnecessary objects in your car, before entering if you’re running late. It might take you a while before you clear security and can then carry on to find the room in which your case will he heard.

Public Hearings

You might be surprised to learn that your case won’t be the only one on the docket that day. Prepare yourself for a whole bunch of strangers listening in on your case. Additionally, it might take some time before the judge calls on your case to be heard, following the progression of cases before yours.

Public hearings have positives too, you can ask friends or family to join you in the audience. Keep in mind to ask only those family and friends who are an important part of your support system.

Look for Signs

Every morning, each courtroom will provide a list of cases they are to hear that day on a sign outside their doors. Read all lists to check if your case is listed to be heard in that particular room. When inside the room, look for which side you should be sitting on either the respondent or petitioner’s side, this makes things easier when your case is called to be heard.

Additionally make it a point to adhere to courtroom decorum and follow required etiquette, also listed on signs in the room.

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

Circumstances When Virtual Divorce Mediation Makes Sense

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Virtual divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsAs technology keeps expanding its base, more and more avenues open up where technology plays a crucial role. For communication purposes, technology has become absolutely necessary. One of the new areas where technology has made its presence felt is divorce mediation. Divorces have become a common affair in the U.S. as more and more couples head for a divorce instead of staying in a bad marriage. Therefore, the job of a divorce mediator has become increasingly important and mediators are now looking for newer ways to connect with clients.

Virtual divorce mediation is mediation done through an electronic mode. It mainly takes place through video chat and other visual communication tools where clients and mediators interact with each other.

How it differs from regular mediation process

In a regular mediation process, the mediator sits with both parents and decides how the marriage can be saved or if it cannot be saved then how the divorce should take place. Over the last few years, mediation has become an important factor in divorce and many couples have even saved their marriage from unnecessary damage. A virtual divorce is the same except here, the clients and the mediator interact through an electronic medium. Even interacting through phone can be a part of virtual mediation.

When is it used?

A virtual mediation is best when the client is away from home but still needs to go through the divorce proceedings. It’s good for people who stay out-of-state for long periods of time. Also, it works well when both spouses are away from each other and the mediator needs to interact with both of them. A digital mediation process will help bridge the communication gap between both parties. It also works when the interaction involves children. Kids have become used to technology and therefore, it becomes easy for them to interact with someone through an electronic medium.

Conclusion

Mediation processes are important for settling disputes between couples who are heading for a divorce. Since the number of divorces are increasing day by day, it is becoming important for mediators to keep up communication with their clients. And one of the best ways to do so is through a digital media. Video chats can be done from almost anywhere and it helps mediators and clients communicate effectively with each other. Virtual mediation is therefore the latest communication tool for mediators of the 21st Century.

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