4 Different Ways of Getting an Orange County Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

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

DIY divorce

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

Mediated divorce

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

On-line DIY divorce

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

Litigated divorce

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

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

Understanding the Annulment of a Marriage

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsThere are some people who feel that annulling their marriage is a good alternative of divorcing their spouse. While a civil annulment is regarded as legal, an annulment done through a Catholic church is religious in nature and not recognized by civil courts.

What is marriage annulment?

It is process wherein a marriage is declared to be null and void from the start. A marriage annulment is typically granted for any one of the reasons mentioned below:

  • Both spouses or any one of them was given a threatening to go through the process of getting married.
  • The partners are related by blood, which should have prohibited the marriage in the very beginning.
  • A spouse is not legally eligible for marriage since he or she was already married or was underage in a state where their marriage took place.
  • Mental capacity of one of the spouse diminished due to consumption of certain toxins like alcohol or drug abuse, or illness.
  • Concealment of crucial information or undisclosed details i.e. fraud was committed by either one or both the spouses while agreeing to get married.

These above conditions may vary based on the state where the spouses reside. There could be some states that have laid down time limits to file for an annulment.  You can get in touch with a good lawyer in your locality to learn about the exact legalities involved in the process.

Annulment through a Catholic Church

A Catholic Church may annul the marriage if it learns the said marriage was not conducted with proper intentions. The Catholic Church opines that there are two key points, which should be upheld when the marriage vows were exchanged:

  • There is an intention to be faithful to the spouse all through the marriage.
  • Physical ability and the necessary willingness to procreate.

Other scenarios like psychological condition, mental illness, or extreme immaturity can also be taken into account while the church makes a decision on if the marriage is valid or not. The concerned couple must express their desire of getting their marriage annulled to the priest.

Annulment just deals with the intention on the marriage day when the couple exchanges their vows. Its purpose is not to end a marriage and rather signifying that the marriage did not exist at all from the very beginning. This is the fundamental difference between a divorce and an annulment. The former acknowledges that a marriage did take place and ends it subsequently.

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

How Can International Citizens Protect from Marriage Fraud?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsIf you’re planning to get a green card through a marriage, then it is advisable for you to not do so because then you can easily be charged with marriage fraud. Although it is true that a marriage is based on love and trust, it is also true that some people may take advantage of that. Often, international citizens enter the US soil with the intention of becoming a permanent citizen. However, the wait and the legal procedure can be depressing. So, they opt for something easier – marriage.

Marriage frauds are common and take place in almost every country with a strong GDP. It is often misunderstood that the victims of marriage frauds are American citizens. International citizens are also victims and for them, the punishment can be worse.

Conditional permanent residence

After marriage, an international citizen receives the status of a conditional permanent residence. The couple must be together for at least two years before immigration officials can review the documents and give permanent residence status. If you are planning to get one, then it is suggested that you do it legally. Also, if you genuinely want to settle down with an American partner, then you should know the rules the regulations for getting a green card through marriage. Legal problems for immigrants are strict and the only punishment is deportation.

Property and assets

Often, the marriage takes place in the other way. American citizens marry an international citizen to get a share of the property. To save yourself from financial damage, either make a prenuptial agreement and have your partner agree to it or claim your property as separate property before the marriage. When finances are concerned, divorces can be complicated even for American citizens. For foreign nationals, it can become uglier.

Marriage fraud is a big problem in America and it can happen to anyone – foreign or American. Marriage can be a means to extract money from rich people. Or it can be used by international citizens to quickly get hold of a green card without waiting too much. Before they can get a green card, they must stay in the marriage for at least two years under the status of conditional permanent residence. Only after the immigration department has reviewed the documents can they be given a permanent residence status. Foreign nationals need to understand the rules and regulations that govern marriages in the US.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please click on the following link for our free ebook, What is Divorce Mediation

Post-Judgment Modifications for California Divorced Couples

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce cases can be complex and sometimes a divorce case may not be over after the final judgment is filed. Things like child custody, child support, alimony can be subject to change anytime and can have major effects on the lives of both individuals.

Child custody and visitation are easily modified after the final custody judgment and the parent seeking modification can do so after providing a substantial amount of proof to the court. The proof must indicate a significant amount of change since the final order was passed.

What kind of judgments can be modified?

The judgment of dissolution of marriage covers important factors like alimony, child custody, visitation, child support and property division. All these factors are prone to modification but some can more easily be done than others. For example, a parent who wants to change the visitation arrangements can easily do so without showing substantial evidence. However, for issues like child custody, the court is likely to ask for more proof.

Child support modification

Child support depends on a parent’s income and income can change anytime regardless of what situation an individual might be in. Now, a change in income might not necessarily require a change in child support. In cases where one parent has lost a job and is completely broke, the court might pass an order that allows the other parent to cover child support expenses for a certain period. California courts usually don’t like modifications in child support but if the case is serious, changes can be made.

Alimony modification

Many expect that alimony, once settled upon, cannot be modified. However, it can be. In fact, most alimony awards can be modified. However, alimony modifications are not easy or straightforward because the application that sets alimony does not calculate post-judgment alimony modifications. The court needs to look into section 4320 of the Family Code and the 13 factors present in it before alimony modifications can be made.

Modification of property and asset division

Property divisions are uncommon since couples that decide to divide property do so after agreeing to the split. However, certain circumstances can make individuals change their mind and they can opt for modification in property division judgment. Property divisions can be complex and should be dealt by experienced family lawyers.

Many factors that were included in the final judgment can be changed depending on the circumstances faced by divorced couples. Some of the post-judgment modifications are easy while others are not and require a substantial amount of proof.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, click 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 Take Charge In Your Divorce Process

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsHave you wondered what your first step should be when your spouse tells you that he or she wants a divorce from you?

Managing your emotions should be the first and most important step to start your divorce process

The first thing you should do is to have a grip on your emotions. When you are furious, be cautious of not letting that anger create a scary and hostile environment for your children. Use your anger as a positive energy to channelize it toward taking constructive actions toward freedom. When you feel depressed about losing your spouse forever, fetch for the help or support you may require. If you feel anxious about your future, you should take meaningful steps to create a secure one.

Your next step should be to educate yourself. It is time for you to learn about your choices as it can help you to realize that you may have some sort of a control mechanism in place over what may happen. Several good divorce lawyers and professional mediators have plenty of free and relevant information put on their web portals.

A divorce can have an effect on various aspects of your life. Some of them include your legal responsibilities and rights with respect to your ex or spouse, your children, long-term as well as short-time financial security, your job, your relationships, your soul and your emotions. You need to take proper care of yourself since you are going through an emotional roller-coaster ride during your divorce or separation period. It makes sense to give some time to yourself and grieve about your tremendous loss. But start thinking about how to build your future too.

Gather your divorce team

Following is a list of all those people who you may like to have in your divorce team. Although it may look like a long list, you may need only some of them based on your unique situation.

  • A good divorce lawyer who can guide you about what your legal responsibilities and rights are. They can also represent you in the court if required
  • A reputable life coach specializing in the field of divorce
  • A therapist or a counselor when you are going through emotional turmoil and distress
  • A professional mediator who tries to help both your spouse and you to negotiate in an unbiased manner but effectively and constructively
  • A therapist for your children so that they can speak freely to someone outside their family
  • A dear friend who is always there beside you are is willing to listen to your worries and concerns
  • A certified financial advisor specializing in divorce matters so that you get professional help in understanding your various liabilities, income, assets as well as expenses
  • Real estate agent in case you are planning to purchase a different house or sell your present home

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

How Long Should You Wait To Get Remarried After A Default Judgment?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorney; California Divorce MediatorsA default judgment in a divorce case has its advantages. In fact, some people want a default judgment because it saves a lot of money for them. First, you won’t have to pay much as attorney fees or for appearing in the court. Second, you won’t have to disclose any financial information such as income and assets.

However, before you can get married, there are certain requirements that must be met. Every couple who go through a divorce must follow the requirements before their divorce forms can be accepted and a final judgment can be passed.

  1. The six-month waiting period

The six-month waiting period is mandatory for every couple going through a divorce. The period starts when one attorney representing a party serves the other party with divorce papers. In some cases, the resolution can extend more than six months but that it can’t happen any time before that.

Complex cases involve a lot of paperwork and this is the reason why the court grants individual parties up to six months to get everything in order. It’s best to consult an attorney when dealing with paperwork because they know which document is required and which is not. And, note that the end of six months does not mark the end of marriage.

  1. The court’s judgment of dissolution

After six months, the court goes through the documents and passes a judgment. The judgment of dissolution can also be passed before the six-month waiting period. There are many ways by which you can obtain a judgment of dissolution and some of them are trial, bifurcation or settlement. It’s best to consult an experienced attorney because different paths for dissolution of marriage are taken on different circumstances. A bifurcation is done when both parties don’t agree to the terms and conditions of the divorce as put down by the court.

Conclusion

A default judgment is a useful thing when disclosing finances are in question. However, there are certain conditions that must be met before the divorce can be finalized. One of them is the six-month wait period that every couple going through a divorce must go through. After the wait period, the California court passes a judgment of dissolution based on the paperwork provided. The judgment again depends on a variety of different factors which can be clearly explained by an experienced attorney.

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

How To File For Divorce When Not A California Resident For The Prior 6 Months

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators in California; California Divorce Mediators; California laws and rules regarding divorces are straightforward and do not require much insight. As is common in other states, California too has residency requirements for couples who want a divorce.

The residency requirements for a California dissolution of marriage are clearly stated on the first page of the Petition form. The most important requirement for petitioners and respondents is that they must have stayed for a minimum of six months in California before they can get divorced. However, since not everyone can meet the criteria there are ways to go around the six-month residency requirement.

At least one spouse must meet the requirement

A divorce can take place if either of the spouse meets the residency requirement of California. The form states that at least one spouse must meet the residency requirement for the divorce to take place.

When both spouses don’t meet the requirement

It becomes a bit complicated when neither of the spouse meets the six-month residency requirement. In California, the laws are clearly stated and avoiding or breaking them can result in severe punishment. One of the best options is to simply wait till the six-month residency requirement is fulfilled. Talk to your spouse and wait it out. It is useful for people who are nearing the requirement period and don’t want to wait too long for the divorce to take place.

The other option is to file for a legal separation than a dissolution of marriage. That way you won’t have to stay with your spouse and once one of you reach the residency requirements, you can get a divorce. After you meet the six-month requirement, you can file for an amended petition and request the court to convert it into a divorce petition. By doing so, you immediately get access to the Family Law Court.

Conclusion

California has strict residency requirements and couples who want a divorce are expected to stay for at least six months before a divorce can take place. But many couples don’t meet the requirement but they still want a divorce to take place. The most common way to do it is to wait for the six-month period to get over. Additionally, couples can opt for legal separation and then get it converted into a divorce. However, it is best to consult an experienced divorce lawyer before going through a divorce proceeding.

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

Tips for Splitting Marital Property During a Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in orange countyBefore understanding how your marital pretty should be split during a divorce, it is important to recognize what a marital property means. Any property owned by you or your spouse during the course of your marriage is counted as a marital property. The properties you owned prior to getting married or any property that you inherit while being married is not considered as your marital property. Some spouses are under the impression that they can escape the process of splitting their marital assets; however, a divorce lawyer is a smart professional. Hunting for hidden assets is one of their top priorities when they fight cases for their clients. If you do not want to get penalized by the court for tucking your marital asset, later on, it is better to disclose such properties in the beginning. Check out the following tips for splitting your marital properties while your divorce proceeding is pending.

Take help of a mediator

It is a good decision that you hire a mediator who will help you by working on sticky issues, which may pop up while the marital properties are being split. While it is a requirement in some States to have mediation while the divorce process is on, other States do not have such a requirement. It is better to save your money and time by hiring a reputable mediator who will help you in this process prior to the involvement of the courts.

Stop fighting on small issues

When you let emotions rule over your good sense, your objectives may not be fulfilled. For instance, there could be a portrait in your bedroom, which you are emotionally attached to and want to take it with you by any means and you do not agree with your spouse that he or she should have it. In case you fail to arrive at an amicable settlement on such trivial issues, your judge may not care about your emotional attachment to certain objects. A court’s job is to find out the assets acquired by you during your marriage, As such, it will instruct the property to be split according to the laws of your state and not according to what you want. To put it simply, it is you and not the judge who has made an emotional and financial investment in your marital property. A judge cannot and is not in a position to order for the split of marital properties in a manner that will satisfy both the parties involved. If the couples can mutually sort out those issues, then only both of them can be satisfied. Any attempt made to hide marital assets is a legal offense, which means you are violating the law.

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

Posted on Monday, September 18th, 2017. Filed under California divorce, California Family Law, Division of Property, Division of retirement plans, Divorce, Divorce & Debts, Divorce & Division of Property, Divorce & Family Businesses, Divorce advice, Divorce court proceedings, Divorce Mediation, Family Law, Frequently asked questions, Orange County divorce, Orange County divorce mediation, Orange County divorce mediators.
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