Top Parenting Suggestions After Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Father's Rights attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you are planning to get a divorce or going through a divorce, a key area of concern should be how your kids may get impacted by your divorce. Several studies have shown that divorce can have a negative impact on their children. So, it is hardly surprising that parents are bothered about the welfare of their children when they plan to get divorced. How your children may be affected by your divorce depend on the method of parenting that you select. While your children may be negatively impacted by the divorce, there are several ways to avoid such impact.

Behave maturely with your spouse in front of the kids

The manner in which you and the other parent behave with each other while your divorce is underway or after it has been finalized will determine how your children get affected by your decision. When kids see their parents at loggerheads during or even after the divorce they get a feeling that they have also become a part of such conflict.

Children should not be dragged into conflicts

Hence, when you do not want your children to be harmed by your divorce, it is your responsibility to ensure that they are not dragged into the conflicts between you and their other parent. Some parents have a feeling that tensions in a divorce cannot be avoided but irrespective of what their feelings are, it is necessary to take positive steps so that your children do not feel harassed and are not stuck in between two hostile parents. Here are some simple parenting methods after your divorce comes through.

Abstain from doing the following:

  • Do not use your kids as messengers or to seek information about your ex’s social activities, dating life, and home.
  • Trying to get the favor of your child so that the other parent is punished.
  • Utter negative remarks about your ex in front of your children.
  • Discussing financial issues with your children. These matters could be pertaining to a delayed check of child support; adult financial issues no fund to pay your rent and so on.
  • Share fault problems about you and your former spouse with the kids. These may include topics like the reasons why you got a divorce, infidelity or details about the divorce proceedings.
  • Your marriage comes to an end after the divorce comes through. However, that does mean your responsibility also as a parent also ceases. A key responsibility is to establish a positive relationship with your ex for effective co-parenting.

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

5 Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids During A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorney; California Divorce MediatorsWhile a divorce can be hard for the couple going through it, it can be much harder on the children. For children a divorce could shake their sense of security to its very foundations and leave them feeling vulnerable and frightened.

Younger children could worry about things like, “if daddy has left the house will mommy also leave me?” And older children can quietly wonder to themselves if this was their fault and if they did something to cause the breakup.

Here are a five this that you must not say to your kids during this time:

  1. It’s all dad’s / mom’s fault: Playing the blame game will not serve anybody least of all your kids. Blaming your spouse for the divorce can not only create a rift between you former spouse and your children but can also cause emotional distress. Children love both parents unconditionally and these new revelations could prove too confusing for them to handle.
  1. I feel sad when you go: This can happen a lot in cases of co-parenting where one parent can make the child feel guilty about going to spend time with the other parent. A mother telling her kids that she is sad when they go live with daddy puts the child in a position that their young minds can’t cope with very well. The feeling of guilt of wanting to spend time with their father while knowing that it hurts their mother could be extremely damaging for the kids’ self image.
  1. You are acting just like mom/dad: Picking on a child’s behavior and saying that they are behaving just like their other parent has two big disadvantages. The first being that you make the child feel like mommy or daddy’s behavior is not good and the second being that you scare the child into thinking that you will leave them too. You can always correct bad behavior without bringing up your ex.
  1. Is mom/dad seeing someone else?: Trying to get information about your ex through your children is something you should avoid totally. Making children spy on their other parent is a burden they should not have to deal with. Children want to be loyal to both parents and this can be very stressful for them.
  1. That is not my responsibility: While your divorce agreement might clearly demarcate your parental responsibilities, children need not be burdened with legalities. If they ask you something that the other parent needs to approve of as well you can always answer with why don’t we check with mom and see what she thinks. Saying things like, “that’s not my responsibility go ask your mother” undermines the respect your child has for you.

Be loving and supportive of your children while going through a divorce and give them a sense of security during this emotionally confusing time.

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

Symptoms Your Kids Are Being Affected By Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

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

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

Drastic change in academic performance

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

Refuses to spend time with his/her parent

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

Increase in certain type of physical complaints

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

Prolonged and significant change in the behavior

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

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

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

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

Factors Considered In Granting Grandparent Custody & Visitation Rights

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Grandparent Rights California; California Divorce MediatorsThe laws for visitation rights of the grandparents may vary from state to state. Over the years, decisions taken by the courts have undergone a lot of changes. Thus, each state has a different set of laws and rules.

Grandparents are only awarded visitation rights when specific conditions laid down by the court are adhered to. Conditions to get custody rights for the grandparents may vary from that of visitation rights. As grandparents, you should be aware of the conditions applicable for visitation or custody prior to deciding if you should file your petition to request for the same.

Court will keep the interests of the kid in mind

A court has to consider what is best for the child while awarding visitation or custody rights to the grandparents. There are many states where the law mentions all those factors a court should assess while deciding the best interests of the child or children in question. Even in States where such factors are not listed, courts try to identify the factors in visitation and custody cases by interpreting the available state laws. Here are some of the factors, which ascertain what should be done in the best interests of a kid based on case laws and applicable state laws.

  • The ability of the grandparents and/or parents to satisfy the requirements of the kid
  • Need of the kid such as the emotional and physical health, safety of the kid in question and their welfare
  • The desires of the grandparent(s) and the parent(s)
  • The desires of the kid in question in case he or she can take that decision
  • How close the bond is between the grandchild and grandparent(s)
  • Evidence of neglect or abuse by the grandparent(s) or parent(s)
  • Duration of relationship between the grandchild and the grandparent(s)
  • Evidence of substance abuse by the grandparent(s) or the parent(s)
  • Ability of the child to adapt to the community, school or home
  • Distance between the location of the grandparent(s) or the parent(s) and that of the kid
  • Ability of the grandparent(s) or the patent(s) to shower the kid with affection and love

Is the biological parent abusive?

In case a grandparent can furnish necessary proof that the child’s parent is in poor condition, abusive or is incapable, a court can give permissive or even permanent custody rights to the child’s grandparents.

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

Tips for Single Divorced Moms

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsAre you a single divorced mom? There is a high possibility of dealing with the process of healing your pain as a result of your murky divorce. Moreover, you also had to take up the added responsibility of taking care of your children mostly not only that, you need to arrange for meals for your family, deal with your former husband who could be irrational at times and have a roof over the head of your family. At the same time, it is natural that you want to move on with life and want to date a new man and gave a fulfilling future. Life is full of new challenges for you and you need to face then to put back your traumatic past and lead a rewarding and rich new life. Follow some of the tips mentioned below to do so.

Make conscious efforts to eliminate the trauma related to your divorce

As they say, time is the biggest healer. While you may have gone through a lot, do not keep thinking about your past. Look out for exciting activities that can keep you engaged. Instead of being stuck with old pain, start dating and going out with friends with whom you share common interests.

Do not depend solely on alimony and child support for your financial needs

You should stop thinking of alimony or child support as your income. After all, the money that is coming to you in the form of child support is only temporary.  In a majority of cases, even alimony too is a temporary inflow of cash. You need to establish your financial position so that there is no difficulty in your survival when these today checks do not come to you anymore. It is crucial that you make a proper investment in yourself to get a sound return in the future. It may be possible that you possess a degree but are not employed. You can call up a local university or college and inquire about classes, which will enable you to refresh some of the skills or get certified so that your marketability in the job market goes up. You can get in touch with the financial aid office and procure student loans to pay for these courses when you attend them.  Be confident about your talents and skills that you believe are marketable and contemplate starting your own business.

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.

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

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

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