Tips to Keep Your Kids Out of Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorney; California Divorce MediatorsThere are many such instances when kids may find themselves trapped while their parents are getting divorced.  In majority cases, conflict precedes a divorce. When a couple is childless, they would simply divorce one another and may avoid seeing them again. However, things are different when they have children from their marriage.  In such a scenario, you may have to keep meeting your former spouse repeatedly as the spouses need to co-parent. The responsibility lies with both the parents to ensure that their co-parenting relationship does not create a stress in the kids’ lives. After all, they should not feel entangled in the midst of the conflict of their parents. The following tips will ensure that children are kept away from stressful and emotional situations.

Do not articulate your negative thoughts about the other parent in front of your kids

This is not a difficult task to accomplish. Whenever your children are with you, you should concentrate on them. Avoid being vocal about your negative thoughts on the spouse while interacting with your children. All that toxic stuff need to be compartmentalized. Simply keep them sealed and do not share them with your kids.

You should not expect your kids will not share secrets with their other parent

You should always give your ex-spouse the same kind of respect that he/she had before you divorced. While this may take some effort and acting, but you should always be courteous to the other parent for the welfare of your kids. This will, in turn, ensure that your offspring will also be respectful towards you.

Avoid discussing financial matters with your kids before or even after your divorce.

In case your divorce lawsuit seems to be an expensive affair, your kids need not know the details of it.  Moreover, if you are going through financial constraints after your divorce, you should not use your little ones to vent out your worries and apprehensions.  In case you are having financial issues while still being married, avoid discussing the matter with the kids. Do not say or discuss anything that will make your kids become concerned over your financial crisis.

You should not expect that your kids should take your side in the divorce

Do not treat your divorce as just a game where a scoreboard is being maintained and there are two teams. It is not a job of your children to act as your cheerleaders during the divorce.

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

What To Know About Uncontested Divorces

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsToday, many couples prefer to go through an uncontested divorce due to features like ease and promptness. Unlike contested divorce that may go through a longer process of several hearings in the court before the divorce can be granted.

Why uncontested divorce may get rejected sometimes?

However, though uncontested divorce is mostly preferred as compared to long and bitter legal battles, it will be surprising for you to note that a large number of applications made for uncontested divorces get rejected every year. The key reason for the rejection is the fact that a majority of such applications do not satisfy the concerned authorities that the couple has agreed on all the important issues.

The key point of the legal process is to ensure that all the issues are amicably resolved as per the state’s law and both the partners get a just share of the assets as well as the liabilities.

It is natural that the spouses will have thorough knowledge about their domestic and financial arrangements. That is the reason for the family law experts to stress on the point that both the spouses should meet and resolve all the issues amicably. However, if there is lack of agreement on any of the crucial issues, it is impossible for the uncontested divorce to succeed. The judge will then issue a date for the case of contested divorce of the same couple.

Merits of uncontested divorce

A big benefit associated with an uncontested marriage is that it can save both time as well as money. There are many such scenarios when an uncontested divorce is faster and costs less than all other forms. The key savings that the petitioner enjoys is the legal fees that are a major cause of expenses in the case as there is no reason to hinder or delay the proceedings, the entire process can be completed with two to three months.

Another main benefit in the case of an uncontested marriage is related to the relationship shared by the spouses after their divorce. There are many such divorced couples who hold grudges against one another and are bitter against their ex. Many a times, such hard feelings may trigger other cases in the court even after the divorce comes through  for what they feel are injustices made against them with respect to the divorce settlements. However, in the case of an uncontested divorce, the couples part in an amicable manner according to agreed agreements on child custody, division of properties among others. So, there are fewer chances of such legal battles after the divorce.

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

The 3 Other Alternatives to a Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsAre you uncertain of whether you want to divorce your spouse or not? If it is so, you can relax since there are various other alternatives to a divorce, which you may consider. These are counseling, annulment, and separation.

Legal separation

If you opt for a legal separation from your spouse, your marriage does not end. However, it does make life easier to live away from your spouse when the situation is not right. You can also get a legal on ways of coping up with concerns such as child custody and finances while in a separation. There are a number of reasons why you and your spouse may want to opt for a legal separation. They include:

  • Not in favor divorce due to religious reasons
  • An effort to stay separately prior to going ahead with a return to your married life or a divorce.
  • Opting to separate till the time you satisfy the state’s requirements for divorce.

You need to understand that going for a legal separation does not mean your marriage has ended.

Moreover, such a state does not permit you to get married to another person. Legal separation is just a way for managing your child custody, finances as well as other relevant issues.

Counseling

When a married couple gets in touch with a mental health professional, clergy member or a counselor to get their concerns addressed, the process is called counseling. There are some widely-known reasons of divorces like communication gaps, financial differences and lack of physical intimacy that can be effectively sorted out with the help of a therapist sometimes. This is a good alternative when you want to remain with your spouse in the marriage.

Unlike a divorce, the couple remains married while the counseling process is on. Moreover, the said couple’s legal situations, childcare and financial situation also remain the same.

Annulment

It is a process that proves that the marriage did not exist from the very beginning.  You can annul your marriage for certain issues, which existed prior to your marriage. Such issues are now making your marriage invalid in the eyes of the law. Some of the potential causes for annulment could be polygamy, underage marriage, duress, and fraud.

Annulments can be distinguished from divorces as you may not be able to make claims for community property rights or spousal support, unless the other person qualifies as a “putative spouse” in California that could entitle that person to obtain such rights as if they were a legal spouse.

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

Ways To Be Happy Even During Divorce Proceedings

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsA divorce can be a catastrophic experience, so being happy while the divorce proceeding is going on may seem a paradox. After all, isn’t a divorce associated with heartbreak, anguish, fear, anger, and confusion? But, it is in your hand to control your negative emotions during this critical juncture of your life and nurture positive emotions within you.

Even when a divorce can be an intensely emotional process, it will do you good to go through a different set of emotions. It will give you the much-needed relief from sadness when you experience a loss of any kind in your life. A sure-shot technique to come out of your grief is to keep your body in motion. You can try out any kind of physical activity including riding in a swing in your nearby park. In fact, you can get the much-needed relief while taking a break from certain emotions in a conscious manner.

Ways of being happy even during stressful time 

  • Spend some time on a trail hiking

Give yourself time to take a long walk in the midst of nature or enjoy hiking with your friends. When you are in close contact with the earth, it empowers you with several qualities such as beauty, time, and certainty. All these qualities can be a big support for you when you are experiencing a deep sense of loss, particularly during your divorce. It is also important to keep an eye on your footing as well as observe the nature and scenic beauty around you. Such an act will definitely succeed in distracting your mind. It will lead to the reduction of stress and lift up your spirits.

  • Indulge yourself with some strength exercises regularly

If you brood too much during your divorce and be sad every day, it is difficult for your body to retain the ability to engage and contract muscles and strength. So, it is essential for you to take out some time and do some weight lifting, push-ups, and squats; in fact, any kind of physical activity to experience your outer and inner strength.

  • Be playful and happy go lucky

If you make it a habit to move in playful and natural ways, your heart can open up and your spirit will be lifted too. If you do not wish to use a swing in the nearby park, find out what activity can make you feel playful and relaxed. Once you find it, just do it. On certain occasions, you may go on a hiking expedition and yet the sadness is still within you. When you are playful though your heart is heavy, it can open the floodgate for a variety of emotions.

With passing time, you will realize that your sadness will also decrease. Precious moments such as being on a swing or in the midst of nature will be helpful in ebbing your sad energy.

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

Understanding The 3 Stages of Divorce Grief

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsIrrespective of how you look at divorce, it is definitely a catastrophic event in one’s life. The emotion a spouse may go through is quite similar to the loss of a loved one or a severe illness. But despite that, it is imperative to learn ways of coping up with divorce grief and move on with life and have new goals and milestones for future instead of brooding on the past. Check out the following stages of divorce grief and how to handle them in your own way. Incidentally, these steps are similar to the ones a person should take to come out of the pain of losing a loved one.

Stage 1: Denial

The first thought that might have come to your mind when you hear your spouse wants a divorce is that how could he or she do it to you or this cannot be happening to you both. It is a phase in your life where the situation appears so grim and intense. As such, it becomes difficult for many to accept the news to be real. Such a mechanism of emotional survival may prevent one to get too overwhelmed while they are still unprepared to handle the current situation. But slowly, a spouse starts relaxing and accepting the bitter reality. He or she comes out of the fog of being in a denial mode and is capable to visualize situations in a realistic manner.

Stage 2: Fury

When your spouse confesses that he or she wants to split, you may go mad with fury. How could your spouse throw your marriage like this? And why should it be happening only to you? These are some of the questions that keep haunting you when anger overcomes all your other emotions. You start feeling the intense pain that now appears to be so real for you. If you have invested a lot in your marriage emotionally and have been extremely attached to your spouse until now, the pain and the hurt you are going through will be even deeper. Your fury may get diverted toward anyone who reminds you of the pain knowingly or unknowingly. While your ex may be at the receiving end of your fury, anyone else near you may also bead your wrath. You may even start snapping at your close friends and well-wishers.

Stage 3: Reflection 

It is a stage where you start introspecting and retrospection about your married life. You may feel that the divorce could have been averted had you been more affectionate and caring towards your spouse. You may even wish that you could make things right if you get one more chance. It is not unusual to find yourself blaming for certain things which you did.

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

Can A Separation From Your Spouse Save Your Marriage?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorney Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsDo you feel that your marriage is in a crisis? If it is so then you may be in a dilemma about what to do next. There is a possibility that you have not left any stones unturned to salvage your marriage starting from undergoing joint therapy sessions to dating one another once again. However, things seemed to have got even worse. In case you are at the rope’ end, your marriage could still be saved by opting for a trial separation. Although. It may not be intuitive to keep both of you together, in some cases, separations have proved to be useful for those couples who are going through a rough patch and have managed to bind them together.

Steps for Trying A Trial Separation

Spending some time away from your spouse

For several months, you and your spouse have been bickering against each other and arguing heavily. Perhaps, you need to show a little fondness toward each other now. If you and your spouse are away from each other, getting away from the daily grind becomes simpler and regular fights may also subside for the better. You can get time to retrospect at a lot of things, which you could have missed out when you were together. It is usual for everyone to need a little space on certain occasions. If there has been trouble in your marriage for some time, it is not possible to see something nice about your partner at all. However, separation can give you an opportunity to get away from them. It can also serve as a reminder of your love for one another.

Realize that you appreciate one another

When you stay with someone, it is easy to take many things for granted. It is especially true when both you and your spouse are living together for many years. Both of you can call
each other in the middle of a crisis and there is always a person to handle the mess in their daily life. But when you go through a trial separation, it becomes easier to learn and understand that you are missing your spouse at your side. You may also realize their appeal as your spouse.

Go for a legal separation

Though it is not compulsory to get in touch with a divorce lawyer for figuring out ways of staying in different houses for some time, a lawyer can come handy to ensure that things work out according to your convenience.

You need a break sometimes

At times, a separation is a time when you don’t have to worry about the well-being of others. You can utilize this time to go out on a vacation with your friends. You may also get time to make up your mind on your exact feelings are about your relationship with your spouse.

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

4 Ways to Heal Emotionally After A Later Life Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce can be a traumatic and emotionally scarring experience, a gray divorce even more so. Have you recently gone through a gray divorce or are in the process of getting one? Are you struggling to cope with the emotional and psychological stress of a gray divorce? Do you want to know about coping mechanisms and ways to be happy again after the divorce?

What is a gray divorce? 

To begin with, you need to understand the concept of a gray divorce and how it is different from other divorces. When older couples over 50 years of age who have been married for many years or even decades divorce, it is called a gray divorce. This is become a phenomenon now that a greater number of older couples than before are going through divorces and choosing to lead separate lives.

Older couples are better off than young couples during and after divorce because they are usually better off financially and have adult children which does away with the need for custody rights. However, divorce can take a bigger toll on older couples who have been together a long time or when there are a lot of property- and finance-related disputes during divorce proceedings.

Healing emotionally from a gray divorce 

It can be extremely difficult for older people to heal emotionally after a divorce, especially if the divorce has been messy and complicated. Here are a few tips that can help emotional healing:

  • It is important to accept that you are divorced and not to fight the reality of the fact. Acceptance is the first step to healing emotionally from the trauma and sadness of separation.
  • You can join a support group for older divorcees if you are struggling to cope with the divorce alone.
  • Alternatively, you can join groups that cater to single older people and be a part of various activities like road trips, events, meet-ups, and even dating.
  • Indulging in activities that you enjoy, be it painting, traveling, reading, or anything else, can be highly rewarding and can help cope with divorce and the myriad emotions that accompany it.

It is important to remember that you are important and you need to love yourself and stop blaming yourself for the divorce, especially if there was no cheating and other immoral activities involved in the divorce. You deserve to be happy even if you are divorced and understanding and accepting this can help you heal emotionally.

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